Originally created 12/21/06

Tobacco Roadkill concert will honor Georgia musicians



Augusta musicians Jamie Jones, Patrick Blanchard and Keith Jenkins have spent a lot of time lately with Georgia on their minds. On Saturday, they will perform as Tobacco Roadkill at The Mission. The one-off performance will feature tunes made famous by Georgia artists.

Roadkill plans on performing songs recorded by Little Richard, James Brown, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, R.E.M. and Otis Redding, among others. Mr. Jenkins said the purpose of the Peach State party is to highlight the contributions Georgia artists have made to popular music.

For that reason, each song performed will be a hit.

"We didn't want this to be a bunch of obscure tunes," he said. "The whole point is to say, 'Look at this familiar music.' It's all from Georgia. This is about doing the obvious."

Mr. Jenkins said that although many regions spend a great deal of time touting their musical heritage, Georgia has always seemed a state whose contributions have gone unheralded. Reeling off names - Blind Willie McTell, Johnny Mercer, Mr. Brown, R.E.M. - he said that Georgia has proved as important as any other city or state.

"If you could show someone from another country what American music is about, you could show them Memphis or California or New York," he said. "Or you could bring them to Georgia. It's all right here."

Faced with a wealth of material, Tobacco Roadkill found song selection a daunting task. Mr. Jenkins said part of that process took care of itself.

"What whittled it down is that there is stuff that we just can't pull off," he said. "We can't do Outkast or Brenda Lee. We can't do the Dixie Dregs. We have to do what is in our range and our abilities as a three-piece."

The band was also wary of selecting songs they felt might be too distinctive. Though the band felt comfortable putting its personal stamp on Little Richard, it conceded that Collective Soul, a band it admires, had to be cut.

"It's real hard to do what they do and not sound like a parody," Mr. Blanchard said. "You run that risk with some songs, and we were afraid that's what would happen."

Although the band has set certain criteria for songs selected - artists must have been born and bred in Georgia, and each song must be instantly recognizable - members agree that a successful show will mean people embracing the tunes whether or not they are aware of their pedigree.

"We want to keep this accessible to someone that doesn't care about that," Mr. Jenkins said. "Some random John Q. Barfly should be able to get into it. It should be good without beating people over the head with the concept."

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

GEORGIA ON MY MIND

WHAT: Tobacco Roadkill

WHEN: 10:30 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: The Mission, 1157 Broad St. Call (706) 722-1233