Ramblin’ Rhodes: Whiskey Gentry fans can catch the group at Sky City

The Whiskey Gentry returns to Augusta’s Sky City for a show this Friday night, March 3. SPECIAL


Members of The Whiskey Gentry band of Atlanta don’t need online directions to Augusta since they have kept Interstate 20 pretty hot almost since their founding in 2009.

They have performed at Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que four times, opened for Kid Rock in 2015 at Evans Towne Center Park and been frequently in and out of downtown Augusta bars like Stillwater Tap Room and Sky City.

Their growing legion of local fans can catch them again at Sky City, 1157 Broad St., on Friday night, March 3, with guest band Bethany Davis &the Southside Boys opening at 10 p.m. Admission is $7 advance or $10 day of the show.

Lead vocalist Lauren Morrow and her husband, Jason, formed the band in 2009 with recent members having been Sammy Griffin, Chesley Lowe, Michael Smith and Rurik Nunan.

Novelist Hunter S. Thompson was the inspiration for the group’s unusual name in describing patrons of the Kentucky Derby as “the whiskey gentry” comprised of “a pretentious mix of booze, failed dreams and a terminal identity crisis.”

The group is a blend of rural and city music most notably bluegrass, country, punk rock and folk.

Jason Morrow said it was a trip to Chattanooga, Tenn., that led him and Lauren to form The Whiskey Gentry.

“We were in separate bands then,” he told Jess Graves for the online site thelovelist.net. “I kept telling her that we should start (a band) together, but she wasn’t having it at first. Then we went to see Old Crow Medicine Show play in Chattanooga, and that kind of changed things.

“We looked at each other and thought, ‘We can do this.’ So we formed The Whiskey Gentry pretty soon after. Six months later, we were opening for Old Crow at (Papa Joe’s) Banjo-B-Que.”

Lauren told Atlanta architectural photographer Blayne Beacham Macauley for her blog thisphotographerslife.com that the couple (married since September 2010) have never argued about how the band should be run.

“We’ll argue about how much milk to put in Kraft Mac and Cheese (he puts way too much), but not about the band,” Lauren said. “We are both very passionate about its success and we want the best for ourselves and everyone else involved.”


MY HOW THE YEARS HAVE CHANGED: The live broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night vividly showed how the years have been good for actress Viola Davis and singer Janelle Monae.

Just three years ago in 2014, Davis was seen in a very brief role as James Brown’s mother, Susie Behling Brown, in the movie Get On Up. She already had been nominated for and lost the Oscar as Best Actress for The Help in 2012 and as Best Supporting Actress in Doubt in 2009.

But Monday night she picked up the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress playing opposite Denzel Washington in Fences. She previously won a Tony Award for playing the same role in August Wilson’s play on Broadway.

Davis, by the way, was born on a farm near St. Matthews, S.C., north of Orangeburg, but grew up in Rhode Island.

And singer Monae in 2012 was performing on a temporary stage on the lawn of the Old Richmond Academy building on Telfair Street for the Westobou Festival. But Monday night, she was on the Dolby Theatre stage in Hollywood as part of the cast of Moonlight accepting the Oscar for Best Picture.


ROCK FOR THE COPS BENEFIT: North Carolina-reared rising country singer Chris Lane will be the featured artist for the Rock for the Cops benefit at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, at The Country Club Dance Hall &Saloon.

Opening with be the new country music act LANco.

Proceeds benefit the Georgia Post Critical Incident Seminar through The Police Benevolent Foundation that provides officers with education on trauma, patterns of resolution and field-tested coping strategies to promote recovery and resilience.

Tickets at $25 are available at etix.com. VIP tickets $100 plus $6.49 fee at http://bit.ly/1oISZDT include early admission, open bar from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and heavy hors d’oeuvres from the French Market Grille West.


CODY WEBB IN NORTH AUGUSTA: Look for Nashville, Tenn.,-based country singer Cody Webb performing at the Shamrocks N Sirens event being held 6-10 p.m. Friday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, at Jackson Square, 326 Georgia Ave., in North Augusta. Admission is $10. The event benefits North Augusta FORWARD.

Webb, who studied mechanical engineering at Clemson University but has been pursuing a country music career, grew up in Ridge Spring, S.C.