Ramblin’ Rhodes: Events to pay tribute to James Brown, Sharon Jones

The late Sharon Jones, seen performing with the Dap-Kings at the 2014 Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville, Ky., will be honored during her birthday week at events in Augusta, as well as Greenville, S.C., and Asheville, N.C. AMY HARRIS/INVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Augusta’s late super-soul legends James Brown and Sharon Jones not only are sharing birthdays this week but both are being paid tributes Thursday, May 4, at Sky City, 1157 Broad St.


There will be music videos and disc jockey-played recordings beginning at 8:30 p.m. and a birthday cake at 10 p.m. Admission is free.

Brown was born in rural Barnwell County, S.C., near Snelling and Elko on May 3, 1933; Jones was born on May 4, 1956, at the old University Hospital in Augusta.

Each traveled the world repeatedly and yet proudly called Augusta, North Augusta and Beech Island their homes.

Brown died at 73 in an Atlanta hospital on Christmas Day 2006 and Jones died at 60 almost 10 years later on Nov. 18, 2016, at a medical center in Cooperstown, N.Y.

This also is a special month for Brown and local music fans as it marks the 45th anniversary of when Brown recorded his classic single Get On The Good Foot on May 9, 1972, at Soundcraft Studios in North Augusta at 646 East Buena Vista Ave. The metal building now houses the Community Ministry of North Augusta, an outreach service of Fairview Presbyterian Church.

Brown is credited with co-writing the song along with Fred Wesley and Joseph Mims.

Besides Brown singing lead vocal and playing the organ, other musicians included Wesley on trombone, Russell Crimes and Ike Oakley on trumpets, Jimmy Parker on alto saxophone, St. Clair Pinckney on tenor saxophone, Hearlon “Cheese” Martin and Bobby Roach on guitars and John “Jabo” Starks on drums.

Besides the Sky City memorial celebration, Jones is being honored this week with birthday shows in Greenville, S.C., and Asheville, N.C.

Shannon Hoover, a jazz musician known for his multiple musical skills, is organizing and hosting the tributes featuring local artists. Tickets are $12 for the Sharon Jones Birthday Tribute beginning 9 p.m. Thursday, May 4, at Gottrocks nightclub, 200 Eisenhower Drive in Greenville.

Hoover will be playing bass with Jamie Wright, Darby Wilcox, Audrey Hamilton and Kelly Jo on vocals; Phillip Howe and Evan Jacobi on horns; Troy House and Matt Dingledine on guitars; Jeff Holland on percussion and Tez Sherard on drums.

Tickets are $10 for the Sharon Jones Birthday Bash beginning 9 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at New Mountain AVL music venue and community event space, 38 North French Broad Ave., in Asheville.

Hoover again will be playing bass with vocals by Hamilton, Peggy Ratusz, Michelle Lucas and Millicent Monte Butler; Chris Mitchell and Tom Wright on horns; Duane Simpson joining Dingledine on guitars and Jaze Uries on drums.

Hoover is an adjunct bass instructor at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, S.C., and fronts The Shannon Hoover Trio featuring also Lovell Bradford on piano and Adam Snow on drums.

And, of course, here is a heads up for some great music coming your way:

Fifth annual Little Roy &Lizzy Music Festival: Hosted by nationally famous entertainers Little Roy Lewis and Lizzy Long takes place May 4-6 at Elijah Clark State Park, Georgia Highway 378, east of Lincolnton, Ga.

24th Annual Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival: Saturday, May 6, one mile north off Exit 172 off Interstate 20, at Thomson, Ga., with gates opening at 11 a.m. and music starting at noon.

Dixie Echoes: Southern gospel group Dixie Echoes back in area with performances at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4, at Silvercrest Baptist Church, 3431 Peach Orchard Road, in Augusta and 6 p.m. Saturday, May 6, at Hopeful Baptist Church in Blythe, Ga.

The Malpass Brothers: Traditional country music duo back in area at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at the Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center located inside the main Evans library. Tickets are $35 at augustaamusements.com or by calling (706) 726-0366.

Ninth Annual Jeff &Sheri Easter Homecoming Mother’s Day Weekend Festival: 7 p.m. May 11-12, and 6 p.m. May 13, The Lewis Family Home Place, 1935 Lewis Family Road/Washington Road northwest of Lincolnton, Ga.

11th Annual Aiken Bluegrass Festival: May 12-13, Aiken (S.C.) County Fair­grounds, 1566 Columbia Highway North; aikenbluegrassfestival.org

Eighth Annual Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival: May 26-27, Evans Towne Center Park; banjobque.com



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.

Read more