Last night, one of my favorite Southern musicians played a show at one of my favorite venues in Atlanta - Smith's Olde Bar. Cary Hudson (of Blue Mountain fame) was in town for a night after playing a few gigs in South Carolina. He played in the Atlanta Room, which is downstairs at Smith's and is a smaller, more intimate setting. But with that came minimal lighting, which made snapping a few shots of the show pretty difficult. In terms of the music, however, it was one hell of a night. The opening act was Ken Will Morton, a singer/songwriter from Athens, GA. This guy is amazing! Great sense of humor, amazing voice and he can play the hell out of a guitar.
For the first three songs, Chuck Gatz, who was there to play upright bass during Cary's set, sat in and played with Ken. I chatted with Chuck between sets, and he's from Laurel, Mississippi. If my memory serves me correctly, he teaches school there and plays with Cary whenever he gets a chance.
Ken sang quite a number of songs from his latest album, True Grit, to include the title track. Like I said, he's got an amazing voice and being able to throw-in some harmonica from time to time made things really interesting. One of his songs stood out more than others. "Muscadine Wine" took me back to my days growing up in Corinth, Mississippi. There were lots and lots of muscadines in and around Corinth, and I can remember conversations around Muscadine Wine. I've personally never tried it, but after hearing this song and reflecting back on my younger days, I'd be more than willing to try it now!
After Ken played his set, it was time for Cary to hit the stage. Chuck came back up and they played an awesome set. Cary lives in Sumrall, Mississippi these days, but for a good while he lived in Oxford, so a number of his songs referenced Oxford and some of its local hangouts and town characters. Being a Mississippi boy, he also referenced Mississippi in many of his songs. They definitely made me miss "home!"
The Atlanta Room is definitely not known for it's spectacular lighting. Although I like its cozy feel, it certainly doesn't make taking photographs an easy thing to do. Due to the low light, I was forced to use my prime lenses. I switched back and forth between my Nikon 50mm f/1.4 and my Nikon 85mm f/1.4. For now, I use Aperture Priority Mode with Auto ISO turned on. I haven't quite mastered the ability to use Manual mode, and I probably won't until I have a chance to dive into it and really be able to choose ISO and Exposure quickly and with little error. Fortunately, my D700 performs amazingly well in low light situations, so even an ISO of 6400 looks good, in my opinion.