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I missed the Ramblers and Kingsized show Friday - and was thankful. Rumor has it the place sold out and, to quote the bartender, "the number of the night was 770." Atlanta reference joke, for you out-of-towners.
Saturday we braved the Star Bar, despite the fact that both the Loafing and the AJC were hyping Big Sandy and his Fly Rite Boys. Frigidairz opened, excellent country, western swing, and a rockabilly tune or two. Nice guys from Gainesville, GA. Super stripped down - stand up bass (standing up on a case of PBR), a snare drum, guitar, and an old guy named Cowboy Garland on steel guitar - fabulous in every way. Cowboy sang lead on one song and his voice is excellent. They should get him to sing more often.
The joint packed to capacity to catch the headliner. Big Sandy took the stage to all cheers and proceeded directly to the land of SMOOOTH, passed go and collected $8 at the door. Worth 5 times that much. Western swing at it's finest, some country and rockabilly thrown in for flavor, boil for 2 hours until the lid blows off, then simmer until the pan is burnt. I couldn't bear the crowd after a while and retreated downstairs for some R&R. We waited 'till the first break, around 1:30, and headed back up. Much of the crowd had left and the swing kids came out to fill the space with whirling skirts and kicking feet. Big Sandy kept up the heat until I realized I'd never seen so many people dancing at the Star Bar (sans Romeo Cologne) in all my years of going to the place. There wasn't a square foot free for more than an instant, before some shaking or spinning body would take up the space. From the stage to the door, everyone was moving. About 3 (yes, that's AM) they said goodbye, but the crowd wouldn't have it - they yelled for more. They took a break and came back for yet another set. I left before they quit and it wouldn't suprise me if, Sunday afternoon at 1 PM, they were still there singin' and swingin'.
In other news, I heard the Atomic in Athens finally closed its doors to become a brew pub. Appropriately, their last week ended with explosions of sound from folks like The Runs and The Quadrajets. Unfortunately, we weren't aware and couldn't make it. We need you Athens folk to keep us posted on stuff like this!!!!
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