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The Lovell Sisters Band

With their winning combination of bluegrass, traditional folk, country and contemporary acoustic songwriting, Calhoun, Georgia’s Lovell Sisters Band is making quite a name for themselves.

Many alert fans of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion may recall that the group recently won that radio show’s Teenage Talent Contest, and it’s worth noting that despite their relatively (no pun intended) young age, they’ve been performing together for more than a decade.

With musical heroes like dobro legend Jerry Douglas – and several years of classical training in piano and violin under the girls’ belts, they seem prepared to make the most of their newfound notoriety, and embrace the Americana genre fully.

Backed by Josh Miller and Andy Nall, Jessica, Morgan and Rebecca Lovell incorporate mandolin, dobro, fiddle, bass, guitar and banjo into their arrangements of standards, and they are now beginning to pen their own original tunes in preparation for cutting a debut album sometime this summer.

In addition to their Lucas Theatre show, the group will also be appearing live at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in the Oglethorpe Mall on Friday evening at 7 pm. That show is free for all ages. Tickets to the Lucas concert range from $10 to $15 and are on sale now at the Theatre’s box office. Call 525-5050 for more info. Sat., 8 pm, The Lucas Theatre.


This Irish rock group recently signed to the miniscule NYC indie imprint 10-34 Records on the strength of their DIY single “Alarm,” which cracked the Top 20 in their homeland on the back of constant touring (to rave reviews) and a smattering of live radio concerts.

The group, made up of 3 brothers, a childhood friend, and a kindred spirit from Milan was formed in Dublin, and has just relocated to The U.S. in anticipation of their first American tour. Musically, their ringing, distorted guitars recall straight-up emo, but the gallons of noisy conviction have led some to liken them to post-hardcore avatars Fugazi and fellow countrymen Kerbdog.

It’s a safe bet that this group could strike it big with the right marketing push and bankroll. This will likely be a loud and raucous show, the likes of which have probably never been seen at this venue in the past. Wed., July 6th, B & B Billiards.


The Little Country Giants

This duo of Cameron and Russell Cook (on upright bass and guitar and mandolin, respectively) hails from Rome, Georgia, and plays everywhere from barrooms to church basements to coffeehouses. They’re known for a captivating mix of Appalachian mountain music and classic female crooning.

The two used to call Athens home and played there in groups like the bluegrassy Hollywood Ramblers. Now, however, like many retro acoustic acts on the scene, there’s a fistful of jazz and a jigger of blues and country in their sound as well to keep the crowds on their toes.

Their 2nd LP runs the gamut from love songs to murder ballads, one of which was included on a volume of NPR’s noteworthy All Songs Considered anthologies. Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL AGES.


Shawn Mullins, Larry Jon Wilson

One of the shining lights on the Atlanta contemporary folk scene that flourished around The Indigo Girls, in the late ‘90s, previously indie songwriter Mullins signed a major deal with Sony based on regional chart success for his almost sickeningly catchy amalgam of drum loops and acoustic guitar grooves called “Lullabye.” That breakout hit’s corresponding CD went on to sell over 2 million copies and earn him a Grammy nomination, and since that day, he’s has been careful to walk the nefarious line between mass-marketed one-hit-wonder and lifelong career artist.

He’s never achieved that kind of mainstream success since, but he has continued to run the same indie label he started before the windfall – signing like-minded artists when he can afford it, and nurturing the nascent careers of those peers he respects most. He also returned to the spotlight a while back as part of The Thorns, an acoustic supergroup which also included cult artists Pete Droge and Matthew Sweet.

To my knowledge this is the first time he’s played in our area for almost 2 decades, and he’s joined by Georgia native Wilson, a flat-out great storyteller who was a key part of the original Outlaw Country movement that included Texans Townes Van Zandt and Guy Clark. Some will recognize Wilson’s from his appearances on Turner South’s Live At The Bluebird Café (where he’s swapped tunes with fan and friend Mullins), or from his hosting of GPTV’s Georgia Backroads.

This is the first time Randy Wood has booked a contemporary artist of this type at his pickin’ parlor, and if turnout is good, it may lead to more folks of Mullins’ stature dropping by. Advance $25 tickets to this ALL AGES show are available, and suggested – as it will likely sell out. Charge them by phone at 748-1930. Sat., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 East Hwy 80, Bloomingdale).