Beyond The 500: A Rock n’ Roll Interlude

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The 500 is taking a summer break, and I thought I would be too. However, I went to a rock n’ roll show on Friday that still has me in a tizzy. As a result, I felt the need to share.

Drivin n’ Cryin’ is an Atlanta band that is currently celebrating 30 years of existence on its current tour. I have long been a fan and consider their debut album Scarred but Smarter from 1986 a classic. Kevn Kinney is the lead singer and main songwriter, and he has always mixed blue collar themes with hard rock riffs. It’s southern rock for sure but with more AC/DC and Angus Young than the Allman Brothers and Duane Allman as the inspiration. In short, they rock and take no quarter while doing so.

I last saw DnR in January of 1990. They were playing the Converse College event “1889,” named after the year the all-female college was founded. My friends and I were young and irreverent at the time, so you can imagine we referred to the event with the “nice” 1869. On that evening, Drivin n’ Cryin’ were extremely loud, and I loved it, however inappropriate the sound was for the occasion.

Fast forward 25 years to when I discovered they were playing in Asheville at the Grey Eagle, a wonderful venue. To top it off, Warner Hodges of Jason and Scorchers will also be playing with them. The Scorchers came out of nowhere in the early 1980s with Warner (also an Angus Young devotee) defining the sound of Cowpunk. In short, after having seen the Scorchers several times through the years, he’s become my favorite guitar player.

And the show Friday night did not disappoint. It rocked, and by the end of the evening I was blown away. At first it seemed like it would be a standard 90-minute show. But after what appeared to be the three-song encore, something magical happened.

As the band was saying its goodnights and thank yous, Kevn said “I’m gonna play y’all one more song.” And then he started an acoustic version of the Replacements heartbreaking song “Here Comes a Regular.” Wow! By the end of it, he called the band back on the stage and they kept playing and playing, all the while grinning at each other. They were having fun, as were we. They played three songs off the first album, including the title track, and then they closed the show with Warner on lead vocals singing the Scorchers’ Bob Dylan Cover “Absolutely Sweet Marie.” DnR, the Replacements, Warner, Jason, Dylan. So many things came together that evening for me, and I won’t soon forget it. And I also got to share the evening with my good friends Kay, Baker and Peter. It was special for sure.

For a taste of what I experienced, give the following video a listen. If you are a little short on time, skip ahead to the 7-minute mark and listen to both Kevin and Warner rip it on “Honeysuckle Blue.”

What’s currently on my iPhone: Low from David Bowie, In Colour from Jamie xx and Sprinter from Torres.

Hailing from Parts Unknown by way of Germany and South Carolina, Harris King came to BGS packing a koffer full of knowledge. With a double doctorate in Good Tunes Studies, a Master’s in Baking, and various certifications in breaking hearts and spitting truth, Harris is both invaluable and beloved. He is not to be trifled with.

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