It’s Saturday in Atlanta and live music illuminates the nightlife scene.  Tonight’s choice of where to go is easily made.  I hit the road with a friend and head to  The Original Tin Roof Cantina located in the heart of the city.  Hank Barbee and Michael Johns are playing on stage.  I know as I walk from my car to the front door of the bar I am entering a session of auditory delight and I will see great skill as Hank Barbee plays a guitar like it is a natural extension of his body.  His fingers move like butter across the instrument’s strings.  Michael Johns stole our country’s heart on American Idol.  Although he speaks with an Aussie accent, he claims Atlanta as his home away from home and truly possesses the gift of a wonderful  lyrical performer that can capture the attention of any group.  Observing Hank and Michael play together  resembles a  musical Laurel and Hardy show as they crack jokes with the crowd and entertain with a spectacular concert.  Tin Roof is far from unfamiliar to the entire Atlanta scene. As I walked through the doors, I hope you can imagine my excitement when my eyes lay upon a full band and  Georgia homegrown artists in the crowd.  Seems to me when people who play damn good tunes show up to sit in an audience that exceptional melodious skill and unexpected wonders will definitely ensue.  Man oh man it  sure happens tonight.  Dave Anthony sits on stage behind his drums tapping out rhythms and rocks to every song in the set. Have you seen Dave live on percussion? Wow!. He makes me throw up imaginary drum sticks and I feel the rhythm in my bones.  Sean McIntyre stands with his bass guitar directly to the left of Dave and strums the melody with boom and awesome sound. I scoot closer over towards him so I can admire his groove. These two make Bob Marley’s famous quote pop into my head : “The one good thing about  is that when it hits you feel no pain.” Others jump on and off the stage all evening and include awesome Atlanta players such as Chris Price, Jon Morrison, and Ben Denigen. At one point Jon Hopkins of The Zac Brown Band appears like a mystery from the mist and sings for the house.  Jon is not someone I would expect to see off of television or tour due  to  his  lack of time to dedicate to other ventures as he concentrates on the huge success of ZBB.  It is nice  to see him back  in one of his first true elements as he entertains us with all that makes Jon shine.  Harmonious camaraderie clicks among the circle of friends and glows from the stage which in turns adds that extra special “sauce”  that makes this show dynamic. The clock keeps ticking away and the  sounds flow and  remain pure  until the late hours of the night. Those who stay until the unwanted end get a wonderful treat as Jon Hopkins closes the show with The Tin Roof’s own, Arie, and they rap us out to Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s Baby’s Got Back. The people sing out the words and visions of  silicon butts made for toys is laughter inducing.  Oh baby! The microphones cut off and I pay my tab and walk out the door.  I turn and see close buddies extend goodbyes and slowly disperse. This reiterates to me that life is all about the relationships we build with all the people whom we come in contact. I want to thank each and every one of the band for allowing me to share, sing and dance with them on Saturday night.  I feel these   moments are the ones you wish to stumble upon any time a night in Atlanta is planned and when discovered should be treasured like a gem.  I was lucky enough to be a very welcome uninvited guest at a party of a longtime fold of friends who  simply got together to jam,  and boy did they jam hard. Very well done.

Pictures and Review sent in by April Bumpus