Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024

8:00 pm Doors, 8:30pm Show

$15 ADV | $15 DOS

Presented by:
Triple D's

  • Cowboy Curtys

  • Cowboy Curtys

    Cowboy Curtys is a southern garage-psych outfit led by LaGrange, Georgia-born-and-bred singer/songwriter Josh Parsons. After several years of teasing the project with a slew of live shows and releasing a single here or there, the band is poised to step into the spotlight with its debut album Commotions. Named for a derelict strip club in Parsons’ hometown, the album’s moniker serves as a southern-gothic effigy evoking the feelings and memories Parsons simultaneously loved and hated about his middle Georgia upbringing; a feeling undoubtedly familiar to many of those raised well outside of the city limits south of the Mason-Dixon line. From the ethereal, quasi-love letter "Nantahala" (named for the street Parsons lived on during his initial foray into the Athens scene) and "To Be Alone" documenting the pain of loss — specifically that of Parsons' beloved dog, Tyson, the collection of songs that make up Commotions serve as time capsules documenting different periods of Parsons' life. The raucous debauchery of "Double Dang" and "Redneck Fighting Lessons" recall wild nights with friends, while the crooning of “withoutYou” reminds us that introspection will meet us right where we’re at. "We were the punk kids in LaGrange," he says with a smirk. "So we really didn’t belong to anything, and were always a little bit out of control." Hitting emotional highs and lows across the album, closing track (and album standout) "Trick Lie" is an epic slow burn that builds into a climactic wall-of-sound, and is the perfect summation of the album's influences captured in a single package. "I don't want no feelings of a future dragging me down," Parsons sings as layers of distorted, reverb-laden guitars fade away into a nostalgic dreamscape. Camaraderie is a major theme across Commotions, and the motif extends well beyond the songwriting itself. Recorded mostly live-in-a-room in Athens’ Gift Horse Studio, Commotions boasts a wide range of local players lending their hand to Cowboy Curtys’ communal vision. With Drew Beskin on guitar and keyboards, Frank Keith IV (Great Peacock, Tedo Stone) on bass, and Jeremy Cosper on drums comprising the core of the studio band, the album also features contributions from Matt “Pistol” Stoessel (Faye Webster, Cracker) on pedal steel, keyboard parts by Andrew Shepard (Lo Talker, Roadkill Ghost Choir), and further guitar work from Modern Skirts’ Phillip Brantley. Prior to his current endeavors with Cowboy Curtys, Parsons founded the band Man Made Sea while still living in LaGrange, tapping close friend Jeremy Cosper (now Curtys' primary drummer) and a slew of other local friends to round out the group. "Jeremy and I spent our formative years in the hardcore scene idolizing bands like The Chariot, Poison The Well, and mewithoutYou," Parsons notes. "The first few bands we formed in high school were hardcore bands that did more squealing than playing. The breakdowns eventually turned into cowboy chords, and we formed Man Made Sea — a party-driven, heavy-folk-rock quartet. After the band broke up, I moved to Athens and began writing songs that would ultimately come to be Commotions." Cowboy Curtys first began playing shows in and around Athens, Georgia in the summer of 2017, and it was clear from the start that their unique genre-blending style was well-received on the legendary college town’s club circuit. An attendee of one of these early shows dubbed them as "the most well-rehearsed band in Athens" — a term that was initially shrugged off with a laugh, but undeniably inspired the group to press on with this new creative venture. They knew they were doing something right to generate that sort of feedback. Commotions sees Cowboy Curtys melding past lived experiences and a slew of diverse musical influences into a triumphant debut — the culmination of early exposure to 90s country, the sweat of the mosh pit at hardcore shows, and a love of the guitar-driven indie rock of the 2000s. As much as it is a journal of Parsons’ own personal reflections, it’s also a readily-accessible call to friends and listeners everywhere to not sweat the small stuff, enjoy life as it comes at you, and never be afraid to crack open a cold one with the blehs.

  • Elija Johnston

  • McKendrick Bearden

    When the stay-at-home order was issued in the spring of 2020, McKendrick Bearden cashed in his savings on recording gear, set up a home studio, and got to work. To avoid the despondence that gripped so many during the pandemic, he put himself up to the challenge of creating music all his own. His debut solo album Bright As The Mines Out is something of a musical calling card. It nods not only to what the prodigious guitar player and songwriter can do, but also what he likes, who he is, where he’s coming from. Stirring swells meet tender relief, symphonic arrangements are countered by familiar song structure—as an artist, McKendrick finds home among a broad array of influences. A lifelong student of music, he treated the album as an assignment—an experiment to prove his credibility to himself. He tested his expansive abilities on guitar, as well as his sensibilities as a composer and producer. The result is as vast as his skills are varied. It felt like recording music for the first time. After two albums with his band Grand Vapids, much work as a sought-after collaborator in his local Athens, GA, and touring with the likes of Eric Bachmann and Roadkill Ghost Choir, striking out alone was unfamiliar. With no one else’s expectations to meet, he discovered satisfaction in his own musical intuition. The album features contributions from homegrown talent, including Jeremy Wheatley (Eric Bachmann), Ryan Engelberger (Reptar), and Jojo Glidewell (Of Montreal). Ingenuity was required to remain safe while recording, but the mixed fidelity of different environments and gear added texture. Most tracks, however, are McKendrick alone—singing and playing guitar, bass, keys, synth, and drums—further testament to his musical breadth. McKendrick witnessed 2020 as a year in which the world was held up to mirror, revealing both fragility and beauty. Bright As The Mines Out is similarly reflective. It offers glimpses into the people and places that make him who he is and the fault lines in his own reality. These observations, steeped in an overwhelming sense of gratitude, offer a tonic for despair. The magic of music is that it starts as your own and then transforms; it becomes a thing to be shared. McKendrick Bearden sought comfort and captured its sound. And now, after a year of music made in isolation, he’s ready to let it go.