Music By Turner: Concerts, like rain, are pouring in

Robert Plant will perform in Alpharetta, Ga., with his group the Sensational Space Shifters on July 19.

Gee whiz! The summer concerts are coming as fast and furious as this relentless rain. Many good choices abound, but here are a few that stand out among the bunch. (Don’t forget your rain gear and umbrellas!)



July 19: Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters: Verizon Wireless in Alpharetta

Opening with the Led Zeppelin classics Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You and closing with Rock and Roll just about says it all. Solo hits such as In the Mood and a haunting cover of Uncle Tupelo’s Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down make this a must-see (and hear) concert.


July 21: Yes: Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta

A prog-rocker’s delight! The band is playing three of its classic albums in their entirety: The Yes Album, Close to the Edge and Going for the One. Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Geoff Downes, Alan White and Jon Davison comprise the band these days, with nary a Wakeman or Anderson in sight.


July 21: Various Artists: Chastain Park in Atlanta

Remember ’90s faves Soul Asylum, The Wailers, Matthew Sweet, and Big Head Todd and the Monsters? These one-, two-, and three-hit wonders will take you back to pre-Internet days in a show that would’ve made Dick Clark squeal.


July 23: Cheech and Chong, Tower of Power, and WAR: Chastain Park in Atlanta

And the “hits” just keep on coming! Bong-rock with a huge dose of comedy. What is Hip about The Cisco Kid? Everything! (Just ask Sgt. Stedenko!)


July 24: Dave Matthews: Verizon Wireless in Charlotte

Dave’s still Under the Table and Dreaming and counting his money as his shows do stellar business. The band will play faves from its aforementioned debut and Crash, Some Devil, and material from last year’s well-received Away From the World. Yes, ants will be marching as usual.


July 30: Black Crowes and Tedeschi Trucks Band: Verizon Wireless in Alpharetta

A terrific doubleheader of blues and rock. The Black Crowes keep breaking up and making up, but hey, those Robinson boys do understand sibling rivalry … and paying the bills. Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi and their eight-piece band never fail to impress in a live setting as their excellent in-concert offering Everybody’s Talkin’ from last year indicates. Party night!


July 31: Train: Aaron’s Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta

It’s the Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour from Pat Monahan and company. Be ready to sing Hey, Soul Sister, Mermaids, and Calling All Angels as Pat always encourages audience participation.


Sept. 7: Steely Dan: Verizon Wireless Park in Atlanta (also Sept. 17 at Charlotte’s Time-Warner Uptown Theatre)

The Atlanta date for the Dan will feature Donald Fagen and Walter Becker (and the best musicians money can buy performing their landmark album Aja in its entirety. The Steely Dan Orchestra (especially drummer Keith Carlock) would have pleased the late Charlie Parker all the way to Birdland.


Aug. 9 -10: Number 9: Get Back to the Beatles: Imperial Theatre in Augusta

OK, this is the ninth one in my list, right? How can you say no to the music of the Beatles played by 21 great local musicians? More than 37 Fab Four classics with the Number 9 Strings and horns in tow, and the proceeds will help local children’s charities, too! Tix are almost sold out, so hurry to get yours at



Pop Rocks: Augusta, my Christmas wish list has one thing

My family often accuses me of being a difficult person to Christmas shop for. While it is true that my tastes run toward the particular and tend to lean heavily on easy-to-wrap standards such as books and records, I believe that as I get older, I’m less concerned with the item than the idea. Give me something I believe you have thought about and carefully considered, and I’m happy. The present clearly purchased at the drug store the day before is met with considerably less enthusiasm.

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