Being the music capital of the south, Atlanta offers great local bands to fill every musical taste. While country and hip-hop get most of the headlines, Atlanta has produced some great rock stars and bands through the years. While R.E.M., The Black Crowes, the B-52’s and Drivin N Cryin still get radio play today, you can go all the way back to the Allman Brothers, the Atlanta Rhythm Section and even the Marshall Tucker Band to make note of the great bands to come out of the Atlanta area. That tradition carries on today with a whole new generation of rock and rollers that call Atlanta home. Check out these acts.
When you look individually at Mike Magno, Dan Call, Sean McNally, Michael Wilkes and Jimmy James Schmitt, you see some of the best and most versatile musicians Atlanta has to offer. When you put them together, you get The Villains. After releasing their second album titled “Velocity” in 2012, the guys toured with the legendary band Little Feat from coast to coast. Now the group’s single “(My) Rainy Day Girl” has hit the Billboard Hot AC chart. The music world thinks The Villains are on the verge of something big, so catch the band playing locally when you can.
Mike Watson Band
For almost 30 years, Mike Watson and his band have been entertaining people of all ages with their brand of Southern rock and blues. This award-winning ensemble is more than just cover tunes. The group released an album as recently as 2012 and shows no signs of slowing down. Watson has opened for the likes of Freddy Fender, Confederate Railroad and Cheap Trick. The Mike Watson Band has been a good band for a long time, and it make music and memories with every performance.
Freddy Jones Band
Like many in Atlanta, you can call the Freddy Jones Band a “transplant.” After calling Chicago home for many years, two of the members of Freddy Jones now call Atlanta home. If you don’t know Freddy Jones, you should look the group up. It had some chart success in the 90s with singles like “In a Daydream” and “Waitress.” It now has a new album coming out and will be playing all over this summer. Recently, drummer Simon Horrocks commented, “We’re like a new band with a long history.”
Robert B. Meadows
Longtime Atlanta musician Robert B. Meadows calls 2013 a new beginning, and with a new solo album in “Let’s Try That Again” and a burgeoning solo career, Meadows is poised to make that jump. He’s known as the keyboardist for trop-rock legends A1A, and he’s played all over the South for over two decades, but now he’s churning out original material that is getting critical acclaim. Check out Robert when you can.
Call it rock with a little country thrown in, or vice versa, but whatever you want to call it, Angela Reign rocks. Backed by a fantastic band, Reign’s shows are high energy and crowd pleasing. She was just voted Female Artist of the Year at the Georgia Music Awards and she’s coming off a successful performance at the Final Four in Atlanta. Reign says her influences go back to Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac, and she brings a little of that into her performances. Reign doubles as a successful songwriter and her original material sets her apart.
Rick Limpert is a freelance writer/photographer in Atlanta and he loves covering anything Falcons-related. His work can be found at Examiner.com.