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Mike Killeen with Chris Stalcup and Nathan Green

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Eddie's Attic

515 B North Mcdonough Street

Decatur, GA 30030

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Mike Killeen with Chris Stalcup with Nathan Green at Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA!

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Mike Killeen

Originally from Athens, Georgia and now calling nearby Decatur home, Mike Killeen has released five full-length albums and an EP—and shared the stage with alt-country luminary Jay Farrar, Grammy Award winners The Blind Boys of Alabama, and southern rock legends the Marshall Tucker Band. He counts Bob Dylan, Nirvana, Vic Chesnutt, and Uncle Tupelo among his formative influences.

Killeen’s most recent effort, “Ghost,” was produced by Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) at his Cartoon Moon Studios in Nashville and released in 2019 on Saturn 5 Records to worldwide distribution. “Ghost” features Killeen’s strongest set of songs to-date, and his collaboration with Coomer builds on his Americana roots, with a collection of tracks that straddles the lines between genres, including folk rock, pop rock, indie rock, and alternative rock. Killeen penned and contributed lead vocals for all nine songs, and played electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica, and piano. Coomer said of Killeen: “Mike Killeen can take you to that place, the place of a lost love, that yearning we all have for someone, or he can paint the picture of human loss, that deep line that runs between life and death.”

On “Ghost,” expert accompaniment from Joe Garcia on lead guitar, Ted Pecchio on bass, and Coomer on drums—as well the textural presence of keyboards, mellotron, mandocello, loops, and well-placed harmonies by Kristen Englenz and Nathan Beaver—give the album its hard-to-label, but easy-to-embrace vibe. The lead single, “She Called Me Last Night,” kicks off the album and points to Killeen’s active return to writing, performing, and recording new music after a long gestation, with the closing lyric, “If you believe in this thing, and all that it means, it will follow you wherever you will go.” Other highlights include “Siren Call,” “You Ain’t Settling Anymore,” and “Decatur Cemetery (Section 14).”.

Killeen’s immediately previous work, “Poverty is Real,” was also released on Saturn 5 Records. Produced by Will Robertson, the record is a more muscular presentation of Killeen’s songwriting than found previously, with crunchy electric guitars and raucous crash cymbals appearing throughout. BeAtlanta.com called Poverty is Real, a collection of “beautiful arrangements and meaningful lyrics.” The title track was included in Salvatore Alaimo’s documentary, “What is Philanthropy,” alongside songs by Patti Smith and Ziggy Marley.

Chris Stalcup

Passion meets purpose—it’s a good way to describe the essence of what’s driving Chris Stalcup and the Grange’s sophomore record Downhearted Fools. Theirs is a sound like a bonfire raging behind some small-town dirt-road shanty, of a band valiantly laying bare its soul while everyone dances wildly, moonshine drunk in the Southern night. Stalcup and his band channel Gram Parsons-influenced Stones tunes like “Honky-Tonk Women” and “Wild Horses,” occasionally coming off like a collaboration between Son Volt’s Jay Farrar and Drive-By Truckers’ Mike Cooley. The songs are deeply authentic and unapologetically Southern.

Downhearted Fools is Stalcup’s second solo release on DirtLeg Records, and it has become evidently clear that the Atlanta native knows how to write a song, and more importantly, knows how to write a song about what’s real. Case in point, the new record’s “Pete and Clyde,” a nod to Stalcup’s two grandfathers—one of them, Pete, a veteran who lost his arm in the war, but “learned to shoot a pistol left-handed better than most men can write their own name.”

Stalcup’s stint with his old band Chase Fifty Six, and his debut solo record, Dixie Electric Company, led the hard-charging singer/songwriter to open shows for artists like Lucero and Shooter Jennings, piquing the interest of the Americana press, from No Depression and Nine Bullets to Routes & Branches and Bucket Full of Nails.

Downhearted Fools explores life on the road, metaphorically naked and staring into the void of uncertainty. It’s as if Stalcup is looking in the mirror and seeing for the first time with clarity the man staring back at him. The mistakes he’s made, the triumphs he’s celebrated. And now, with the highway beneath him and a seasoned band behind him, he’s found the courage to be vulnerable, to plumb the emotional depths, both ego and fear be damned—as he sings on the album’s opening track, “Deliver me to the shores of St. Catherine, where the devil don’t dare stay.”

Instead of falling back on old habits and cutting and running for the bottle, Stalcup faced the music. Literally. He turned challenges and obstacles and heartache into something positive, the band working through his new songs at soundcheck and in front of packed barrooms on tour. And he tracked them the very same way—live, raw and spontaneous—while working on Downhearted Fools with producer and engineer Ben Price (Little Tybee, Hello Ocho, Faun and a Pan Flute, Book of Colors) and producer Bret Hartley (Sugarland, Eliot Bronson, Sonia Leigh). Listening to the record, it’s as if you’re hearing Stalcup and the Grange from the front row of a smoky dive bar, kickin’ and gouging in the mud, blood and beer—the band is tight, the songs are real, and Stalcup’s potent yet wounded drawl reaches out, grabs you, and pulls you along for the ride.

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Eddie's Attic

515 B North Mcdonough Street

Decatur, GA 30030

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