Originally created 05/06/04

Augusta festival rocks, pops and swings through musical diversity



This weekend, the Greater Augusta Arts Council will present the Garden City Music Festival, a celebration of the city's and region's diverse musical heritage.

The music begins Friday night with a free concert at the Augusta Common featuring Augusta acts Daze of Haze, Tony Howard, the Josh Pierce Group, the Hellblinki Sextet and Jemani, and closes with a 14-venue club crawl late Saturday. The main event, though, is the festival itself, featuring 15 acts on two stages at the common on Saturday. Here's who is playing:

NOON TO 1 P.M., NOT GADDY: This Augusta-area percussion fixture opens the festival by leading a drum circle, a rhythmic start to the day.

1-1:30 P.M., CHELSEA LOGUE: A relative newcomer to the Augusta music scene, this high school junior has made a name as a live favorite with quirky, heartfelt songs sung simply with an acoustic guitar.

1:30-2 P.M., THREE SIXTY: Selling itself as Neo-Soul, the funky, guitar-driven act features James Brown guitarist Keith Jenkins and a highly polished set of infectious tunes.

2-2:30 P.M., PARK BENCH TRIO: If Led Zeppelin had not been saddled with screamer Robert Plant, and perhaps laid off the psychedelics, it might have sounded like this. Powerful, punchy blues played with big, loud abandon.

2:30-3 P.M., THE SHAUN PIAZZA BAND: Augusta performer Shaun Piazza could have easily survived in the solo singer/songwriter set, just on the strength of his impressive tunes. But he has taken it a step further, recruiting some of Augusta's finest to give his rootsy rock an electric kick.

3-3:30 P.M., REDBELLY: This jam band has been playing in and around Augusta for several years. Now with a trimmed-down lineup (At one time, it seemed like there were double-digit Redbellies), the band continues to explore all things expansive in rock.

3:30-4 P.M., WAYNE-C: Although New York and the West Coast, and to some extent Atlanta, are considered the hotbeds of hip-hop, this Augustan has developed his own, Augusta-centric style.

4-4:30 P.M., PAT BLANCHARD BAND: A gifted singer and songwriter, Mr. Blanchard has retired his guitar to play bass in this all-star act. Like Three Sixty, the Pat Blanchard Band also includes Mr. Jenkins among its numbers. Busy boy.

4:30-5 P.M., THE GOSPEL ORIGINALS: As the name implies, this Aiken act practices traditional gospel music.

5-6 P.M., THE DARK CORNER BLUEGRASS BAND: Straight from the South Carolina foothills, this traditionalist ensemble plays bluegrass using authentic instrumentation and arrangements.

6-7 P.M., CADILLAC JONES: Not exactly funk and not exactly jazz, this big-beat act includes horns and turntables along with traditional band instrumentation. Booty-shaking improv artists.

7-8 P.M., STEWART & WINFIELD: Distinguished by close vocal harmonies and an affection for American rock, this five-piece band with a duo's name (it started as a two-piece) are regional favorites.

8-9 P.M., THE REGGAE COWBOYS: Operating with the understanding that all music, in some way, is related, the Cowboys incorporate elements of reggae, jazz, rock, blues and country into their original, unexpected sound.

9-10 P.M., COL. BRUCE HAMPTON AND THE CODETALKERS: Atlanta's answer to Jerry Garcia, Bruce Hampton might easily carry the crown of high priest (or officer in charge) of Southern psychedelia. He has previously fronted the Hampton Grease Band and Aquarium Rescue Unit, and is currently performing with the lean, mean Codetalkers.

10-11 P.M., WYCLIFFE GORDON: One of Augusta's favorite sons, this jazz master's horn skills have earned him slots in the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

WHEN: Noon to 11 p.m. Saturday; club crawl 11 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday; preview concert 6-11 p.m. Friday

WHERE: The Augusta Common, 800 block between Broad and Reynolds streetscost: $10 advance, $15 day of festival; 826-4702

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.