Stop Light Observations and The Vegabonds – Tickets – Georgia Theatre – Athens, GA – April 12th, 2017

Stop Light Observations and The Vegabonds

Stop Light Observations and The Vegabonds

Reverend

Wed · April 12, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Georgia Theatre

$5.00 - $10.00

This event is 18 and over

Stop Light Observations - (Set time: 11:15 PM)
Stop Light Observations
“In the 1930’s, the blues sang the sorrows of a man with nothing,” says JohnKeith “Cubby” Culbreth, principal songwriter of Stop Light Observations. “This 21st century album, ironically, sings the sorrows of a man with everything. ‘Toogoodoo’ is the ‘Middle Class Blues.'”
For as long as Americans have sought the illusions of comfort and security in materialism and wealth, there have been those who rejected the predictability of conformity in search of something more authentic. From Thoreau at Walden Pond to Jack Kerouac’s manic crosscountry road trips, the quest for fulfillment plays out uniquely in the art of every generation. For Charleston’s Stop Light Observations (aka SLO), the search for something more meaningful led them on a journey through ecstatic highs and crippling lows, artistic triumphs and business setbacks, and, ultimately, right back home to the Toogoodoo River in South Carolina.
The roots of SLO stretch deep into childhood, when Cubby first began assembling the lineup as a middle schooler, but things didn’t truly take off until the band released their acclaimed 2013 debut album, ‘Radiation.’ Metronome Charleston hailed their “emotive and elegant” songs, which blended arena-sized rock with undercurrents of hip-hop and folk, while the Charleston City Paper profiled their unexpected rise, which “took many in the music industry by surprise” as they went from relative unknowns to playing Bonnaroo and selling out Charleston’s largest rock club, The Music Farm, in roughly a year. Since then, they’ve gone on to break the record for most consecutive sellouts at The Music Farm and perform live shows all across the country, including more standout festival sets from Firefly to Summerfest . Despite the rapid growth of their fanbase, though, the band had to deal with misplaced trust in music industry figures along with a series of setbacks and the accompanying disillusionment. They hit rock bottom at the end of a tour in Colorado, facing a depleted budget, no shows on the books, and the potential dissolution of the band.
“I remember sitting in the van wondering what we were going to do and how we were even going to make another record,” remembers singer Will Blackburn. “I said, ‘Why don’t we go out to Toogoodoo?'”
It wasn’t the first time Blackburn had suggested it, but it was the first time Cubby took the idea seriously. Toogoodoo is a more than 200-year-old private family compound located about 30 minutes outside of Charleston on the Toogoodoo River . Cubby’s family had been renting it out to vacationers in recent years, and while beautiful, it’s a far cry from a modern recording studio. The grounds are a trip back in time, far removed from the luxuries of Charleston and its bright, sunny beaches. The property overlooks immense, brackish marshes where the ocean and river water meet, and the specter of Charleston’s sometimes dark history hangs heavy, a counterbalance to the currents of peaceful serenity and natural splendor that flow throughout the property.
The band decided the only way to properly record an album there would be to track everything live as a full band over the course of eleven days , and then to render the resulting songs through analog tape. They relocated all of their gear and set up in the house on a tireless quest to capture the sound in their heads. Even once they felt like they’d nailed a perfect take, SLO would push onwards to cut it again with even more intensity. Sometimes 40 performances deep into a song, bandmembers would continue to call for one more, and one more again until something undeniably transcendent happened.
“I grew up in a church, and it was like a Holy Spirit type of situation,” says Cubby. “Every single time we got the one, we all knew that was it, there were no arguments. We would just hug and sometimes cry. The best thing about it all is that every single song on this album captures that deep level of emotion we felt performing it. Every song you hear is “The” take and everytime I listen to them it takes me right back.”
‘Toogoodoo’ opens with the first notes SLO recorded there, the haunting, palm-muted hook of Louis Duffie’s guitar on “Dinosaur Bones.” As a chorus of crickets fades into the Low Country night, Blackburn’s voice enters on top, smooth as silk at first but gaining grit and gravel with each verse, musing on loneliness and emptiness in the modern world over the intensifying rhythms of drummer Luke Withers. “Decorated on the outside, but empty at my core,” he sings, setting the stage for a journey through middle class alienation and dissatisfaction over the next eleven tracks.
“My generation has grown up with a ridiculous amount of privilege and lived a better life than any king in history,” reflects Cubby. “Think about it: we have planes to fly around the world; grocery stores with endless food; TV and internet; AC and heating; running water and flushing toilets; medicine if we get sick; sound machines to block out the noise if we can’t sleep in our soft cotton beds. All of this stuff exists because the human race is chasing after an easier, more comfortable life. But when you experience the absence of pain, you also experience the absence of positive feelings. America is in a numb state, and as a millennial, I feel confident that my generation can speak to this truth better than any.”
On the hypnotic “Security,” Blackburn sings sarcastically of the only things that will bring true satisfaction (“two cold beers, a hot bitch, and security”) and later asks, “Shit, why don’t we feel happy?” The gospelinfluenced “50 Ways” and rollicking “Know It Alls” examine ego and humility, while “Aquarius Apocalyptic” is a stream of consciousness musing on the end of the world that came to Cubby in a lucid dream. Despite the frequently grand themes, there are more intimate, personal moments on the album, too, like “For Elizabeth”—a fond farewell to a lover—and “Who You Are,” a reminder that in spite of the time and distance while the band is on the road, their loved ones are always on their minds. Many of the tracks were directly inspired by SLO’s surroundings, too, from the bluesy “Leroy”—named after a homeless man in Charleston’s Old Village who came to work at Toogoodoo—to the chain gang a cappella of “Dead”—which captures the eerie footsteps of one of the property’s ghosts—to the sweet, instrumental tranquility of ” Stepping Away ,” recorded at night on the dock that hangs above the Toogoodoo River.
While South Carolina is an essential element of SLO’s identity, they’re certainly not a “Southern rock” band.
“Southerners are the storytellers of America,” reflects Cubby. “You might listen to our music and hear elements of classic rock and modern indie rock and blues and folk and hip hop, but underneath all of that tying everything together is southern storytelling.”
The stories on ‘Toogoodoo’ will at once feel familiar and revelatory, as SLO takes an insightful look at the contradictions of a modern society that has access to everything (and everyone) at its fingertips, yet still so often feels empty and alone. The answers, they discovered while creating this album, don’t lie in possessions, or status, or in anything external.
“There’s no such thing as security, and all the answers you’re searching for and the fulfillment you want is a daily struggle that lives within you,” concludes Cubby. “It’s your responsibility to love and accept yourself and to share the energy you receive from that with others. And that’s what this album is. It’s the story of some 23 year olds living in America in 2016.”
The Vegabonds - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
The Vegabonds
With their third European tour under the belt, three full-length albums including a fourth nearing completion, and a gravitational pull to their growing fan base down every American highway, the Vegabonds are on a musical pilgrimage to spread the gospel of pure, unadulterated New South Rock.

Some might assert that their sound is Americana, while others may consider them to be true rock ‘n’ rollers. Regardless of what fans like to call them, the Alabama-born, Nashville-bred quintet is pulling themselves up by the bootstraps just in time for 2018, forging ahead into the future by avoiding pigeon holes.

A group of five musicians with myriad influences between them, The Vegabonds are fronted by lead vocalist and songwriter Daniel Allen, with Richard Forehand (lead guitar/vocals), Paul Bruens (bass), Beau Cooper (keys/vocals), and Bryan Harris (drums) rounding out the quintet.

The Vegabonds released their critically acclaimed record, “What We’re Made Of,” with the help of Grammy-nominated producer Tom Tapley, whose portfolio includes that of Elton John and Bruce Springsteen, among others. Tapley returned to record The Vegabonds’ latest single, “Long Haired Country Boy,” now available on iTunes and Spotify.

“Long Haired Country Boy” gives listeners a taste of the upcoming album slated for early next year as they breathe new life into the Charlie Daniels Band’s country classic. Their modernized rendition of this legendary ballad pays homage to the hard-working, blue-collar lifestyle of the Deep South, but with an electrified, psychedelic intensity that only The Vegabonds can conceive. As they steadily become one of the most sought after, highly-acclaimed Southern Rock bands in music, The Vegabonds’ roots run deep, even alongside the fan base having now extended across the U.S. and Europe. Their devotion to music and their tireless tour schedule illustrates their laser-sharp focus on growing into one of the biggest names out of Nashville, while never forgetting their humble beginnings.

The Vegabonds got their start in 2009 by playing the college circuit across the Southeastern United States. Their popularity quickly burgeoned to the point that they found their fans singing along word-for-word to their first hits like “Georgia Fire” and “American Eyes.” From Ole Miss to South Carolina, students were buzzing about The Vegabonds’ authentic sound and their seemingly effortless ability to bring the house down. Through pure word of mouth, the group’s fan base grew rapidly, and the guys learned they had something distinctive with their eclectic mix of Southern Rock, Country, and earnest songwriting.

With a sound reminiscent of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers mixed with the grit and twang of the Allman Brothers Band, The Vegabonds give their fans a sensational performance with powerhouse guitar riffs and impactful songwriting night after night. Their hard work and unbridled talents have not gone unnoticed; the group has opened for such notable acts as Lynyrd Skynyrd, the late Gregg Allman, and Kid Rock, among others. Rousing performances at festivals like Peach Fest, Magnolia Fest, Sunfest, and Toadlick grew their notoriety nationwide, leading to a west coast tour that formed in-roads with the music and comedy community in Los Angeles. It’s no wonder that Live for Live Music has compared them to musical legends like My Morning Jacket and The Black Crowes, calling them “a force to be reckoned with,” complete with “gorgeous harmonies and impressive instrumental skills mak[ing] for a perfect combination.”

With their focus on growth, The Vegabonds have much in store for old and new fans alike. Upon returning from their third European tour, the band’s focus will shift to perfecting their highly-anticipated new album, slated for release in early 2018. With a new management and publicity team behind them, their New South Rock sound is destined to reach an even broader audience than ever before. The band is excited to bring in new blood to achieve their overall strategic vision.

Born in Alabama. Bred in Nashville. Seasoned by the Road. Celebrated the world over. Come let your hair down with The Vegabonds.

-Liz Bogie

The Vegabonds are...

Daniel Allen (Lead Vocals)
Richard Forehand (Guitars/Vocals)
Paul Bruens – (Bass)
Beau Cooper – (Keys/Vocals)
Bryan Harris – (Drums)
Reverend - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Reverend
Reverend is a Rock band from Athens, GA. The members include Robert Hibbs on guitar, Garrett Hibbs on bass and JP DeBruhl on drums. After meeting in the Summer of 2008; they have been writing, recording and performing across the country. Their influences include Neil Young, Howe Gelb, Townes Van Zandt, Dead Confederate and The Glands. The show gets noisy at times, wear ear plugs.
Venue Information:
Georgia Theatre
215 N. Lumpkin St
Athens, GA, 30601
http://www.georgiatheatre.com/