Dre\’s Ramblings

City Stages 2007 – Day Two

Right place, right time

Dr. John

I’d heard Dr. John’s songs. I’d seen Earth Wind & Fire play several times at City Stages. So I gave into curiosity and ventured over to what has long been known as the singer-songwriter stage, and I was not disappointed.

It was a great performance and I’m glad I got there early. When I say I got there early, I ended up catching the tail end of Marcia Ball’s performance as well. Both of them were incredible. I did venture elsewhere in the festival grounds but I also checked out Icon over at The Tutwiler Hotel.

The crowds were a bit lighter in the afternoon, but it seemed like everyone that was going to come out did after the sun went down. The Birmingham News is reporting that festival organizers think they can break even based on Friday’s numbers. Friday was quite steady, but not crowded, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens based on last night and today.

I think that day 3 will be the “tipping point” and a test to see what can happen in the future. A return of a gospel stage with top flight acts is great, as is the idea of (maybe coincidence?) booking several bands considered to be Christian alternative throughout the stages today. It will be interesting to see what the numbers reveal afterwards.

Today Betsy performs with the Birmingham Community Mass Choir as part of the festivities. She’s looking forward to it. I’m wondering how fast I’ll fall asleep when I finally head on home later on today.

Cheers, and Happy Father’s Day!


The Music of the Magic City takes center stage as 2007 begins

We ended 2006’s normal posts talking in part about music over the airwaves. It only seems fitting that we begin 2007 taking a look at Birmingham’s music scene past and present. Considering that I also made a prediction that this would be the year of culture for the city, I figured I should make sure that I do my part in making this a reality.

Attendees of this year’s Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting were treated to a double shot of what Birmingham means to the music industry; a performance by Ruben Studdard and his old band Just a Few Cats, and to a unique music sampler showcasing musicians, past and present, that have a connection to Birmingham, Alabama.

The liner notes included with the 2-disc collection, entitled “A Magic City Music Samploer,” focus on the city’s reputation as a “shed town,” the influence that City Stages has brought to the scene, and the continued influence of many of our local musical venues, including the Bottletree, The Nick and Zydeco. The playlist that follows has no links to the actual songs. They do link to whatever information we could find about the artist that was most comprehensive. Hopefully you’ll want to learn more about these artists and hear more of their music.


The Temptations – The Way You Do the Things You Do
Emmylou Harris – Boulder to Birmingham
Hotel (featuring Marc Phillips) – You’ll Love Again
Birmingham Heritage Band – Tuxedo Junction
Claire Lynch and the Front Porch String Band – I Found You
Eric Essix – Rainy Night in Georgia
Brother Cane – Got No Shame
Azure Ray – For No One
Chuck Leavell – Tomato Jam
The Birmingham Sunlights – Jesus Have Me Water
Anthony Crawford – Glory Bound
Dorothy Love Coates – You Better Run
Wayne Perkins – Mendo Hotel
Karen Bentley Pollick – Jesse’s Joy
Wayne – Whisper
Odetta Holmes – Yonder Comes The Blues
Lola’s – I Can’t Stand It
Roszetta Johnson – Summertime
Diana Ross – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Eliot Morris – Balancing the World
Eddie Steele – Groove Me Mama
Bobby Horton – Pristine
Birmingham J Featuring Venus – Move Back
The Primitons – Seeing is Believing
Robert Moore – Sweet Birmingham
Baker Knight and the Knightmares – I Want My Cadillac Back
After Class – Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier
The Distortions – Thank You John
Verbena – Junk for Fashion
Backwater – 14th Avenue South
Topper Price – Wade in the Water
Lolly Lee – Perfect World
Larry & the Loafers – Panama City Blues
Mots Roden and Don Tinsley – The Way I Did
Jason Bailey – Butterfly Breakdown
Birmingham Heritage Band – Birmingham is My Home


As the Chamber suggests in the liner notes, this should only want to have us want to learn more about the musical heritage of Birmingham and not to limit the search to the those listed here. Support our local music scene and the cultural offerings of the city in general as we begin the New Year. We’ll see what we can do to help out the cause. You could also always contact the Chamber and make sure that they send that CD to someone that’s on the fence about coming to town. It’s not a slam dunk, but it will get them thinking.

Enjoy the day!