Birmingham Music Scene

The Steel City Jug Slammers and the New Punk Rock

Published in the October, 2013 Issue of The Leaf.

This year SCJS-nola133at Birmingham’s Artwalk, I caught a killer set by The Steel City Jug Slammers, a band of six young Birmingham locals ripping it up in the street the way they like to perform, live, in your face, and raw. About five years ago before they were The Steel City Jug Slammers, their love of Jug Bands and the tradition of busking on the streets came from trips to New Orleans where they learned the rules of survival among street performers first hand from other musicians working the busy New Orleans music scene. Their first few trips were tough and didn’t go so well, but persistence paid off for them and with more hard work on the streets, they amassed a circle of incredible musician friends who also play what lead singer Jerrod Atkins calls, “amazing old tunes, Jug Band, Jazz, Bluegrass, and all the good stuff.” Paying their dues on the streets has started to pay off for these hard working guys and they are scheduled to make a guest appearance on national TV in late November or early December. They asked me not to reveal the specifics until all of the legalities are ironed out, but this exposure, along with a high-profile November 9 gig at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans may be the kick these guys need to get their fledgling music careers in high gear. In the past month, they have generated enough buzz online to triple their Facebook followers. They all love playing what jug player, Derek Stack calls, “The New Punk Rock.” Read More

Review: The Black Jacket Symphony Plays The Beatles White Album, Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center

This review was published in the September, 2013 Issue of The Leaf, formerly The Tannehill Trader.

IMG_1826Having seen the Black Jacket Symphony do a blistering performance of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Are You Experienced several years ago, I knew they were an incredible band but I have to admit, my expectations for covering The White Album, were skeptical at best. Long considered the Beatles crowning achievement by many critics, The White Album, covers vast musical ground with an equally wide array of instrumentation ranging from sparse acoustic guitar to horns and strings, all masterminded in the studio by their famous producer, George Martin. The Black Jacket Symphony delivered all 29 songs without a break in the original album sequence, flawlessly covering every dynamic and nuance with perfection. Read More