LOCAL PROFILE: Georgia's Country Music Scene | Arts & Culture
ATLANTA – According to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, “country music is a perennial Southern favorite in Atlanta and it won’t disappoint”. The music, which has its roots in the south, is known as a blend of, both, traditional and popular music. The country music genre gained widespread popularity around the mid-1900’s as music known as “hillbilly” or old-time music began to decline. Hillbilly music was a genre of music native to the people of the Ozarks. The music was usually played on acoustic instrument like a guitar or a banjo.
Over the years, old-time music changed however most of the lyrical content and instrumentation stayed the same. As it evolved, the arrangement of instruments grew to include the electronic keyboard, drums, the bass, fiddle and the harmonica. Country music has been a pretty consistent genre of music and has experienced quite a revitalization, lately, with the introduction of new talent into the industry.
On a regular basis, Atlanta hosts many country music greats and newcomers to the industry. And Atlanta has a number of great live music venues, country radio stations and other venues that cater to the lifestyle.
Best Place for Live Music
The restaurant, The Swallow at The Hallow hosts live music on Friday and Saturday night. Atlantans say that country music fans can visit this restaurant and listen to country songwriters perform popular songs, as they were written. The venue serves BBQ favorites, sides, sandwiches and home-style desserts in addition to their concerts on the weekends. Many country hits were performed at The Hallow before they recieved mainstream noteriaty.
Best Country Radio Station
According to the people, Kicks 101.5, is the best country radio station in the area. The stations morning crew, Cadillac & Dallas, have been rocking the airwaves together since 2006. The show was nominated in 2008 for a “Billboard /R&R Magazine Major Market Morning Show of the Year” award. During the day, the on-air team consists of Sari Rose, Tim Michaels, Kim Fitz, Rob Lee and Greg Talmadge. The station is popular for their mix of old, new and “honky-tonk” country music.
Best Local Talent
Local Grammy Award winners, Sugarland, grew up in Atlanta and linked up at local talent factory, Eddie’s Attic. The group formed in 2002 but made their first hit in 2004. During the early years of their success, one of the group's members left to pursue a career of songwriting. Sugarland is comprised of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush and, together, they have sold more than nine million copies and have won a number of music awards.
Country Songs about Atlanta
Perhaps the most infamous country song about Georgia is “Chattahoochee” by Newnan native Alan Jackson. Kids everywhere around Georgia grow up singing the first stanza of this song and giggling. The song describes a young Jackson and the trials he experiences growing up in Georgia. During the song he describes a scene at the Chattahoochee River, which is probably the way he and others who grew up around the "Hooch", remember it. Some say this song creates a sense of nostalgia and some say it epitomizes their childhood; either way, the song is a Georgia country favorite.
Best Venue for a Concert
The Chastain Park Amphitheatre is a small, outdoor venue but it’s among the best in the country to catch a "honky-tonk" concert. This venue hosts concerts for some of the most famous country acts in the nation at an affordable price. The amphitheatre is small and intimate and its size helps to facilitate a relaxed atmosphere for guests enjoyment. Concert goers can bring blankets, small coolers and TV trays. And although concessions are available, guests are welcomed to bring their own.
Best Place to buy Cowboy Boots
Hands down, The Clothing Warehouse, in Little 5 Points, is the best place to buy cowboy boots in Atlanta. The store which was founded, in 1992, by a retired model from Ohio, contains an entire wall of vintage Cowboy Boots along with other vintage clothes they’ve collected from people around the city. The boots range, in price, from $50 to $80 and they all have that "funky weathered" look that makes you look like you’ve done your “share-o-living” in them. Check them out.