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Blue Waltz: Sean Costello Benefit

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When Atlanta blues prodigy Sean Costello slipped away from his earthly life April 15, 2008, a day before his 29th birthday, confusion and sadness gripped his fellow musicians. Outwardly, Sean appeared quite normal. Only after his passing did his family reveal Sean’s battle with Bipolar Disorder and his struggle to stay alive.

“Sean acted professionally and was as normal as a musician could be. I think this factor makes people want to look closer at the circumstances.” says Debbie Ann Smith, Sean’s Mom and President of The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Disorder. “Although Sean obviously was fighting some serious demons, some of his professional friends didn’t even know that he drank. A person like Sean can maintain a professional exterior while fighting to keep themselves alive, literally. Performers often wear a public face that belies their private angst.”

In the years since Sean’s passing, Atlanta musicians have rallied around his family and dedicated themselves and their music performances to raising funds for continued research into Bipolar Disorder and its impact on artists.

“We were very much waiting on the right time to do something unique in honor of Sean for the Foundation.” remarks Kris Gloer, leader of The Last Waltz Ensemble, a group dedicated to progressively playing the music of Bob Dylan and The Band. “When I mentioned the idea of an event for The Foundation, Dan Nolen, owner of Smith’s Olde Bar was adamant that we do two nights and feature lots of special guests to honor our friend.”

“Sean played the Last Waltz as one of the last gigs he did. He came home so full of joy. I know he would cringe at the use of the corny word, but I can’t describe it any other way.” says Debbie. “He loved Levon Helm like family and was thrilled to honor him with his brother musicians, The Last Waltz Ensemble.”

2 Nights! Friday & Saturday August 19th & 20th~ Smiths Olde Bar
They are trying to raise $3,000 or more for the memorial fund in his honor and to help raise awareness of Bipolar Disorder, a very real very dangerous condition that touches us all.

Friday August 19 2011
The Last Waltz Ensemble
Moontower
Jon Liebman
Ike Stubblefield
Reverand Jeff Mosier
David Blackmon
Mudcat
Joe McGuinness
Rod Hamdallah
Aaron Trubic (Sean Costello Band)
Greg Baba (King Johnson)

Saturday August 20 2011
The Last Waltz Ensemble
Turtle Folk
Jon Liebman
Ike Stubblefield
Richie Jones (Donna Hopkins Band)
Preston Holcomb (The Grapes)
Daniel Hutchens (Bloodkin)
Charlie Wooton (Zydefunk)
Will & Lee Haraway (The Sundogs)
Lee Schwartz (Outformation)
Justin Brogdon
Randy Chapman
Skye Paige
Jessica Sheridan

Join The Backstage Beat in supporting this great cause and enjoying two nights of incredible music!

(information courtesy of jambase.com)

Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando

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Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.

 

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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!

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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5

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Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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