Came to type up my Bragg Jam review & saw Bill beat me to it, but we did catch different bands, so hopefully a second review isn’t one too many!
I had never been to Bragg Jam before, so upon arriving in Macon, I spent a little time figuring out where all the venues were & reacquainting myself with the schedule. There were a lot of neat venues on display, all easily accessible via walking, & tons of great bands — my only complaint is that it was often tough to decide what bands to miss & what bands to see!
I started off with the New Orleans-based Motel Radio. The young up and comers were playing outdoors at the shady Bearfoot Tavern. They put on a good set. I love their drummer, he often fills in for a lot of other acts (Tedo Stone for one) & he always has a ton of enthusiasm & looks thrilled to be on stage.
Briefly stopped in Gallery West to catch a song or two from Justin Osborne of SUSTO, who was doing a solo acoustic set in preparation for a full band performance a few hours later. He sounded good, but I was a bit distracted by the spiffy little venue — the walls were covered in really cool photos of various musicians.
My travels next took me to the delicious-smelling Taste & See coffee shop for Me and Molly, a low-key singer-songwriter pair from Nashville. They are currently working on their debut album.
My main goal was to catch as many acts as possible on a talent-laden evening, so I headed over to The Thorpe’s Building for the wonderful Alanna Royale. There were some delays in her getting on stage, but the performance was more than worth the wait. She has an incredible voice and really had complete control of the room — everybody in the venue was dancing and having a great time.
Stopped into the tiny 567 Center for Renewal for a solo set by Tedo Stone. He’s good by himself, but I’ve seen him with a full band & definitely prefer the energy of him with other instruments.
Spent my walk to the gorgeous Library Ballroom ranting to anyone who would listen about the promoters’ decision to schedule the excellent Shakey Graves & the much-hyped Rainbow Kitten Surprise at nearly the exact same time. I went with RKS because I’ve really been digging their studio stuff, & was definitely not disappointed. They are a great band to watch or listen to, but sadly not the best for photography — lead singer Samuel Melo has more energy than anyone I’ve seen on stage in a while, and it was just about impossible to nail him down for a photo as he bounced around barefoot all over the stage and grabbed members of the audience to sing. I felt a little sorry for the rest of the band, because they were all talented & everyone sounded excellent, but Melo’s charisma was so intense that it was pretty difficult to look elsewhere.
Ran into Roasted Cafe & Lounge to catch a bit of The Fritz, a dancey pop five piece from Asheville.
Caught the last song by Shakey Graves at the Cox Capitol Theatre (what a gorgeous venue!) — the place was packed & everyone seemed to really have enjoyed his set.
Went into The Mill to catch the tail end of Wrenn‘s set — I live in Athens and wanted to support an Athens-based musician. I had missed her at Athfest the month prior — she’s a lovely girl with a great singing voice, it was a fun show. I’m not much of a night owl but even I was tapping my feet despite the 11pm time slot — her bouncy pop is infectious & the backup horns were a nice touch.
Caught a bit of Josh Thompson at The Crazy Bull’s main room — felt almost like I had gone into a completely different festival, the crowd was so different for the country-based artist. I was disappointed to catch just a few songs, but he sounded good & there was lots of dancing going on.
I was pretty beat by this point but did finish up the night with the super-energetic The Weeks at The Hummingbird. I was too tired to enjoy their set as much as I normally would have, but I’d love to catch the Mississippi-based group at a later date (maybe an earlier time, though!), as they seemed great.