The Grass is Dead, Ralph Roddenbery, Donna Hopkins at Live Oak This Weekend!

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Let’s see. Great music, magnificent location, intimate music hall, great food.

Southern Soul BBQ and Purple Hat Productions LLC must be up their old tricks again. Last weekend, they had a great showing for the Lee Boys and a sold-out Music Hall for Lettuce at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak. And that one followed A Feast of Funk and Soul Food in November, another magical weekend.

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This weekend offers more music in a different direction. Tomorrow (Friday, January 20th), The Grass is Dead headline the show with Albert Simpson opening. Saturday’s music features Ralph Roddenbery and Donna Hopkins, with Simpson again on the bill.

The Grass is Dead have been performing bluegrass versions of the music of the Grateful Dead ever since 1998. The South Florida quintet are: Billy Gilmore, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, guitar, pedal steel and vocals;  Jack Schueler, guitar, mandolin and vocals; Nico Swarley, upright and electric basses and vocals; Brian Drysdale, drums, percussion and vocals; and Jared Womack, dobro.

The Grass is Dead have performed all across the country and at festivals such as the recent Suwannee Roots Revival and the Dead Grass Festival in Ohio.

Ralph Roddenbery is one of Atlanta’s treasures, a fine singer-songwriter who could probably do stand-up comedy as well. He performs solo, with other artists, and sometimes with the fine Ralph Roddenberry band. During the course of a set, you’ll hear folk, Americana, roots, blues and more.

Donna Hopkins mines the same rich tradition as Roddenbery: blues, American, roots, folk… and funk. On electric guitar, she kicks major ass with the best in the business, and she can dial it right back to lovely acoustic music as well. The Donna Hopkins Band is excellent, too. Hopkins is another Atlanta exponent.

We first saw Albert Simpson at A Feast of Funk and Soul Food, and he was a delight. The Alabama singer-songwriter plays a delightful mix of originals and covers. We heard great takes on “Bertha,” “Fat Man in the Bathtub” and more.

Expect more of these great intimate weekends from Paul Levine and crew!


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