Riverside Sounds Series Artists Announced

Celebrate the warm weather as the City of Roswell kicks off the 2018 Riverside Sounds Concert Series on May 5. This series of six free outdoor concerts will be held at Riverside Park, 575 Riverside Road in Roswell, on the first Saturday of the month from May to October, 7–9 p.m.

“We are excited to bring more original artists back to Riverside Sounds this year,” said Beckie Hawkins, Cultural Services Manager of the Recreation, Parks and Historic and Cultural Affairs Department. “This year, we have a great mix of music genres, including Americana, jazz, rock and funk. Our goal is to provide something for everyone!”

Riverside Sounds concerts are produced by the City of Roswell’s Recreation, Parks, Historic and Cultural Affairs Department and generously supported through community sponsorships. The City of Roswell has partnered with Gate City Brewing Company and Carl Black Roswell to present the 2018 concert season.

Gate City Brewing Company will have beer available for purchase at each concert. Bruster’s Ice Cream will be serving select flavors on site. In addition, Riverside Sounds has partnered with Meating Street Barbeque for all six concerts. Meating Street Barbeque will serve sandwiches and select sides until sold out. Guest are also invited to bring their own picnic and chairs as well.

The following are the featured artists for each month:

May 5 – Leah Calvert (pictured)
June 2 – Wild Rivers
July 7 – Joe Alterman Quartet
August 4 – Danger Muffin
September 1 – The Roosevelts
October 7 – Dust Bowl Revival

For more information or to learn more about the artists, visit roswellriversidesounds.com. Follow the series on social media using #RiversideSounds.

Buddy – the Buddy Holly Story

Georgia Ensemble Theatre (GET) will cap its 25th Silver Anniversary Season, with what’s been dubbed as the world’s most successful rock & roll musical, Buddy – the Buddy Holly Story.

Following the huge hit of the Southeastern premier of A Comedy of Tenors, the final show in the 2017-18 mainstage season will be the music and story of Buddy Holly, running April 12–29, 2018 at the theatre’s home in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

Co-Founder and Artistic Director who recently passed had planned to direct Buddy Holly as his last show before retirement. “It was to be Bob’s farewell Valentine to our patrons who loved him dearly,” said Marketing Director Michael Van Osch. Stepping up to take the reins as director and choreographer will be the very talented Atlanta favorite Ricardo Aponte. Mr. Aponte will also reprise his role of Richie Valens from GET’s 2010 production. “Buddy Holly” is generously sponsored by long-term Georgia Ensemble Theatre partner the Malon D. Mimms Company.

About the Show:
The World’s Most Successful Rock & Roll Musical of all time, Buddy has been by far the most-requested show to encore at GET over the span of 25 years.

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story tells the true story of Buddy’s meteoric rise to fame, from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll Be The Day” hit the airwaves until his tragic death less than two years later on “The Day The Music Died.” The show features over 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits including “That’ll Be The Day”, “Peggy Sue”, “Everyday,” “Oh Boy”, “Not Fade Away’, “Raining In My Heart” and “Rave On,” plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.”

Seen by over 22 million people around the world, Buddy will have you on your feet and, “Send you out of the theatre on an unstoppable high!” (The Boston Globe)

Ticket prices for Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story musical start at $33 for Wednesdays, Thursdays, and matinees; Friday nights start from $40, and Saturday nights start from $43. Book early for best prices. Shows will sell out. (Senior/Student discounts available for select performances). Tickets are available now online at www.get.org, or by calling the Box Office at 770-641-1260.


Schedule of Events Announced for First Open Streets Event in Roswell

Bike Roswell! and the City of Roswell will launch the first “open streets” program in the city on Sunday, April 29 with Roswell Moves!. A five-block section of Canton Street in historic downtown Roswell will be used for complimentary fun, games, and demonstrations to promote healthy lifestyles.

The popular tree-lined, commercial section of Canton Street between Woodstock Road and Elizabeth Way will be closed to motorized vehicles on Sunday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting at the south end of Canton Street to North Canton Street. Activities will take place from 11 a. m. to 3 p.m., using Canton Street, and sections of cross streets such as Webb Street, Elizabeth Way, Norcross Street, the New East Alley, Plum Street. Listed below is the schedule of events, with activities for all ages, and all abilities.

This innovative experience encourages people to explore the community by walking, pedaling, rolling, and even playing. A majority of the activities are free. Attendees are encouraged to experience and savor the offerings provided by local merchants in the Historic Roswell corridor as well.

“Roswell Moves! is a great community event showcasing so much of what makes Roswell unique, and encouraging our residents to enjoy the outdoors and move. Both of these activities contribute to the health of our residents and to the health of our city in general,” said Roswell Mayor Lori Henry (pictured), who will participate in the annual Roswell Mayor’s Ride, a recreational cycling event to benefit Bike Roswell. “We encourage residents and visitors alike to explore Roswell. There are so many places to see in Roswell…you can learn a little history, do some shopping, and enjoy a wide variety of outstanding restaurants. I am looking forward to the Mayor’s Ride and meeting all who come to experience Roswell Moves!”

11 a.m. Family Bike Parade & Opening Remarks – All wheels are welcome as Bike Roswell! leads a bike parade along the route from the Heart of Roswell Park to Woodstock Road and back. Bring your own pedal-powered vehicle, skateboard, scooter or wagon, and don’t forget to wear a helmet!
11:30 a.m. Korsi Yoga will lead “Yoga in the Street” at the south music tent near Heart of Roswell Park
11:30 a.m. Core Matters will lead fitness classes outside of its studio at Long Circle and Canton St all afternoon, with this first class an Introduction to Kettlebells
12 p.m. Registration begins for Kids Bicycle Safety Rodeo held by the Historic Roswell Kiwanis. Bring a bicycle and a helmet, with rodeo skills taking place from 1-3 p.m.
12 p.m. Core Matters fitness class – Chi Running Intro
1 p.m. Core Matters fitness class – Why Diets Don’t Work
2 p.m. Core Matters fitness class – Train Your Brain, Fix Your Body

12-3 p.m. Atlanta Plays it Forward presents two stages of live music. Featured bands are 120 East and Atlanta Dance Party. One stage will be positioned at Canton Street near Highway 9 on the south end of the festival, and the second stage will be placed on North Canton near Woodstock Road.

Bike Roswell! Mayor’s Ride
Roswell Moves! begins earlier in the day with the Bike Roswell! Mayor’s Ride, an 8 a.m. start at Roswell Area Park. This full-supported, recreational bike ride will offer distances of 18, 42 and 64 miles. Lunch will be provided for all participants, sponsored by Lucky’s Burger & Brew and Red Hare Brewery. The Mayor’s Ride is the largest fundraiser of the year for Bike Roswell!. Online registration is available through Wed., April 26 for $45 per rider; event day registration is $50 (www.bikeroswell.com/rides-maps/mayorsride). T-shirts will be provided to the first 500 pre-registered riders. Early packet pick ups are available on Fri., April 27, 6-8p.m. at Luckys Restaurant, 1144 Alpharetta Street in Roswell and on Sat., April 28 at Roswell Bicycles, 670 Houze Way in Roswell.

Close Enough to Touch

Join Atlanta Authors on Saturday, April 21 at 2:00 pm to hear local author Colleen Oakley discuss her newest release, Close Enough to Touch, at the Roswell Public Library, 115 Norcross St., Roswell. The event is open to the public at no charge, but seating is limited.  The author will talk about her writing, answer audience questions and will be available to autograph books on sale at the event.

In Close Enough to Touch, we meet Jubilee Jenkins, who has a life-threatening allergy to human touch, and Eric Keegan, a good guy whose life isn’t going according to plan. Colleen Oakley expertly weaves Jubilee’s and Eric’s stories together, ensuring we laugh a lot and cry a little. Heart wrenching and humorous, this out-of-the-ordinary love story is witty, inventive and bittersweet, with steady quips and endearing characters. Close Enough to Touch has been selected as the March 2017 Indie Next List Pick, a Real Simple #1 Best Book and a Romantic Times Top Pick.

Colleen Oakley is an Atlanta-based writer and author of the novel Before I Go. Her articles, essays, and interviews have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Before she was a freelance writer, Colleen was editor in chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor at Marie Claire.

For more information and to register, go to http://atlantaauthors.eventbrite.com.

Alive in Roswell Starts April 19

Roswell’s much-loved monthly street festival, Gate City Brewing Company and Carl Black Buick-GMC’s Alive in Roswell, returns to energize downtown Roswell once again starting Thursday, April 19.

Organized by the City of Roswell in partnership with Atlanta Plays It Forward, Alive in Roswell is held on the third Thursday of each month from April through October, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. The festival features live bands, hundreds of interactive vendors, and kids’ games and entertainment—and it enjoys participation from the surrounding boutiques, small businesses, and restaurants.

Alive in Roswell runs concurrently at four distinct venues in downtown Roswell—on Canton Street and at Historic Roswell Town Square, as well as at:

The Brand-New East Alley Artisans Market: The newest and among the most unique destinations in downtown Roswell is the East Alley, a welcoming brick-lined pedestrian promenade intersecting the west side of Canton Street and the south side of Norcross Street. For Alive in Roswell, the East Alley will provide a unique art market experience with live music by acoustic-rock trio Eloquent Stranger. At the Canton Street entrance to the East Alley (between Roswell Provisions and Go with the Flow), event-goers will find Gallery Alley, a collaboration with the Roswell Art District, which will feature pieces from all seven local Roswell art galleries. Local artisans with unique wares, patio dining, a beer/wine tent, local school artists, and face-painting and balloon artists for the kids can also be found at this vibrant new destination.

• The Newly Improved and Enhanced Interactive Zone behind City Hall: First introduced during the 2017 season, the Interactive Zone is back and bigger and better than ever! Held on the grounds of City Hall (38 Hill Street), the Interactive Zone will feature live music from The Deep Cuts, live class demonstrations from local gyms and fitness centers, a variety of health and fitness vendors, and interactive fun from area entertainment companies like Jump ATL, Area 51/Aurora Cineplex, and Platinum School of Performing Arts. In addition, enjoy an app-powered trivia challenge all around the Interactive Zone, presented by Trivnow Live Trivia Events. Food, beer, and wine will also be available in the Interactive Zone.

• Live music at all venues! In addition to Eloquent Stranger in the East Alley and the The Deep Cuts in the Interactive Zone, Men in Blues will be performing from the bandstand in Roswell’s Historic Town Square, and GLOW the Show Band will take the stage in the Heart of Roswell Park on Canton Street.

Free regular trolley service, sponsored by Wellstar North Fulton Hospital and Gas South, connects all the venues. Download the Ride Systems app at www.ride-systems.com/livemap to track the location of the trolley in real time on the night of the event. Event-goers are encouraged to park at City Hall, 38 Hill Street, where they can either use the “Walkway to Canton” to travel the short distance to Canton Street on foot or take the trolley to any of the four venues.

For more information visit www.AliveinRoswell.com. To see which vendors and bands will be present at Alive in Roswell events throughout the season, visit the Alive in Roswell Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AliveinRoswell.

Andy Browne Brings Lou Reed To Life

By Tripp Liles

Last fall I introduced you to Roswell resident Andy Browne. Browne was part of a band called Nightporters back in the 80s and today he heads a group called the Andy Browne Troupe and they have been busy.

During the 80s, Atlanta had an active punk rock scene that centered around 688 Club and the Metroplex and even famously hosted the Sex Pistols’ first U.S. show and in fact, Nightporters were the opening act for the The Clash. Today, the Atlanta musical landscape is as varied as its population and Browne is changing with the times as he has been busy in the studio working on new material and hooking up with old friends.

One of those old friends was famed Rolling Stone magazine feature writer and rock critic/author Anthony DeCurtis. DeCurtis has a new book out called Lou Reed: A Life that focuses on the life of famed rock icon Lou Reed. Browne has been in the studio with his band The Andy Browne Troupe and with both having new material out, some cross promotion is on hand.

Together they will team up for a special concert on May 12 performing the songs of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. They will do two sets with DeCurtis on lead vocals doing his best Lou Reed impersonation. While the stage is a natural place for Browne, for DeCurtis it will be new territory.

“When I launched my book in New York last October, Suzanne Vega, Richard Barone, and Jeff Ross (who played guitar with Lou in the Seventies) performed some Lou Reed songs with me, and it was a real thrill, said DeCurtis. “Just in the little bit I’ve done already, I’ve learned a lot about performance, a subject I’ve been writing about for close to forty years. I am nervous, because I want our shows to be genuinely good, not just a curiosity. But one of Lou Reed’s great virtues was fearlessness, and I’m acting in that spirit. There will be an immediacy and an intensity to our performances—I can guarantee that. Everyone will have fun; if I wasn’t enjoying this, what would be the point?”

For Browne, these shows provide an opportunity to spread his wings and perform with a author who is an icon in the rock world.
“I’ve been reading Anthony’s interviews since I was ’bout 15 years old; personally I think he’s the greatest musical analyst in modern times, he understands the ‘artiste’ perspective better than anyone I’ve ever seen,” said Browne. “We will give Anthony a band even Lou Reed would be proud to have behind him… it’s the least we can do.”

Andy Browne and Mike Mills of R.E.M.

The two connected through social media as Browne was in the studio working on new material. Recently they released a new EP called Elephants and they plan to go back into the studio after the shows with DeCurtis in May. The new material has a much more mature feel than Browne’s earlier work as he expands his musical horizons and takes in the diverse musical culture that exists in Atlanta. It’s fitting, however, to be paying tribute to Reed as the punk rock roots run deep.

“Just like David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, and The Clash, Lou Reed changed the course of Modern Music… love them all. Lou took chances, and did what he wanted to do. I push The Andy Browne Troupe to follow in those steps,” Browne stated.

Together they will perform two shows in the area. On Saturday, May 12 they will be at the 529 Club in Atlanta and on Sunday, May 13 at Cine in Athens. In addition to the shows, DeCurtis will read and sign copies of his book Lou Reed: A Life on May 12 at A Cappella Books in Atlanta at 2 p.m. Tickets for Saturday’s show are $10 and available at 529 and online at www.freshtix.com/events/anthony-decurtis. The Andy Browne Troupe’s latest release Elephants is available through all major platforms.

Roswell Has Great Food But Where Do We Park?

By Frank Mack

I’ve been your local food writer for eight years. With my eyes open and head up I have been driving from place to place. Often more than one place a night. You can’t be me and hold still on a stool anywhere for long. That equals thousands of miles and who knows how many hours that I have spent looking right at the restaurant business in Roswell, East Cobb, Alpharetta and all our surrounding communities. Every article takes me to the place and allows me to look all around. Couple that with the fact that I grew up in the business… that’s the research.

So I can say without a doubt that I am now some self-proclaimed know-it-all on both restaurants and the areas they are in. I have come to two conclusions.

Number one is a good Italian red meat sauce is darn near impossible to find outside of the highest of the high end joints. I love Osteria Mattone and the others but that white linen thing can be off-putting when you just want a casual meal that doesn’t require a credit check.

We could argue for days about the hint of what herb makes a sauce hit your sweet spot. But what makes the top quality is unalterable. I’ll start with no water in my dish, that’s sloppy, distasteful, unforgivable and harder to achieve than you think. When I part the sauce at the bottom of my dish it should shimmer and sparkle. There should be nothing but the natural oils of the ingredients themselves and proof of the hours in reduction. And the pasta? Al dente my eye. Just cook it right and drain it really well.

Number two is that no restaurant, retail, or business can survive without proper access to it, which includes both streets up to it and free parking at or near it. All of this is leading to ZuZZu as a perfect example of both a great sauce but a lousy parking situation. The food pictures speak for themselves. Those are photos of my actual dinner. It was amazing and honest, you must go. They feature authentic Sicilian fare highlighted by pizza from a wood-burning oven and a variety of handmade pastas and sauces that are superb and delightfully simple. ZuZZu is located at 42 Oak Street in Roswell. For more visit them online at zuzzuroswell.com.

I know these little places inside and out. I know how they work. I’m fourth generation restaurant. And at the ripe old age of 60, I know a few things about development, infrastructure and what grows and what dies. In Roswell, ZuZZu is the example, while Canton Street is the larger problem. And I think Roswell’s last chance is here and now.

Nearly a decade ago, several hard working innovative restaurateurs like Ryan Pernice of Table & Main and Hicham Azhari of Salt Factory changed the culture of Roswell. But the city has done little over the past few years to support them and now it’s time to invest in Roswell. Build parking, manage parking, and accept that it’s the proper function of your city to step in and take this over. Or watch it drain off and away. With whatever replaces it being less, for everyone.

That’s my opinion anyway. How I see it. I love Roswell’s little hometown feel to death. It’s history, trees, creeks, and for the most part… all y’all. But this infrastructure talk has been analyzed to death and the restaurants in the area cannot sustain a long-term business model without a common solution to poor parking. This has been debated in Roswell politics for several years and over many elections with zero done about the problem. In the time Roswell has spent JUST contemplating the parking problem in the historic district, the city of Alpharetta held community meetings, voted on and built a parking deck.

For those of you in search of a great little spot please check out ZuZZu. It’s a gem for us locals. I want to see it do well. And for those of you who live in Roswell please take a look at the parking problem. I know its kind of like politics… shiver. But it’s even more important than that. This is about dinner. And darn it all. That’s where I draw the line.

42 Oak St Suite B,
Roswell GA 30075

Roswell Blooms with Fun During the Fourth Annual Roswell Azalea Festival

The Roswell Azalea Festival is a month-long event throughout April with a multitude of activities for everyone. Throughout Roswell you’ll find beautiful azaleas coloring the landscape. In honor of all this glorious color, a month of celebratory events and activities is planned. There is fun for everyone and most of the events are free of charge. “The festival is a great source of local pride,” were sentiments expressed by Dotty Etris, Executive Director, Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The opportunity to purchase native Azaleas will kick-off the event on April 6 and 7 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Spring Plant Sale. Stock up and help beautify your yard and Roswell’s landscape.

The Azalea Festival Gala will be held April 7. The fun evening event is presented by The Cottage School and this year’s honoree is Roswell Historical Society. The Azalea Festival Invitational Art Exhibition will run all month but a special Meet the Artists Reception, open to the public free of charge, will be held April 12, hosted by Synovus Bank’s Roswell Branch and Roswell Arts Fund. ArtAround Roswell’s opening celebration on April 14 exhibits works from ArtAround Roswell sculptures past and present, including David Landis, Michael Dillon, Chris Rothermel, Fred Ajanogha, with other artists to include Ann Bailey and Joan Hilliard. (Art will be available for purchase.)
Don’t miss the Azalea Pops Music Series on April 22 at Bulloch Hall and on the 29th at Smith Plantation. The Pops is a series of outdoor band concerts at the Southern Trilogy Historic House Museums. Bring a lawn chair and picnic to enjoy the music in a historical setting. On April 28 there is The Garden Faire also at Bulloch Hall that will feature plant and garden art vendors, vintage fleatique, bake sale, food vendors, and live music.

There is so much more such as: Theatre, art stroll, brewery celebrations, bicycle rides and festivities, cooking classes, a Pop-up Shop to benefit Mimosa Hall, hikes, Run the River 5K, 10K and Fun Run, fishing derby, scavenger hunt, garden tours, farmers and artisans markets, the Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 6.0, a pancake breakfast, Beyond My Stone, and A Taste for Art. This list could go on but you get the point. For more info and a full list of activities visit www.roswellazaleafestival.com.

Farmers Markets Are Back In April

By Fred Mills

The farm-to-table movement has never been stronger and there is no better way to build a direct line from a local farm to your table than by visiting one of our great local farmers markets. There are a multitude of markets in our area and this month we will focus on the big three in our area with highlights from each.
The Roswell Farmers & Artisans Market is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. ’til noon at Roswell City Hall, located at 38 Hill St. From the start, the market was called the “Riverside Farmers Market,” so named because the first location was a dirt parking area in Roswell’s Riverside Park. Excitement always followed the ritual ringing of the cowbell signifying the start of the market. The market quickly outgrew the parking facilities and moved to a sunny parking lot behind Roswell City Hall. They feature a wide array of fresh fruits, vegetables, and unique baked goods from a variety of local farmers and bakers. They average over 1,200 people each week and there is plenty of parking. For more info visit roswellfam.com.

The Alpharetta Farmers Market, opening on Apr.14, is one of the finest places in the area to enjoy fresh, locally sourced farmers’ products, delectable treats, and experience the Alpharetta community. Each week, the market offers locally grown produce; natural meat; gardeners with fresh flowers and plants; hand-crafted gifts, jellies, sauces, and soaps; homemade bread, desserts and baked goods; local raw honey; food vendors; and other Southern food producers.

Downtown Alpharetta merchants, wanting a place where residents could conveniently purchase fresh local produce, created the market in 2006. The first market was held under the old oak tree in the city parking lot. Since then, the Alpharetta Farmers Market has literally blossomed into a Saturday morning destination not to be missed. Their hours are each Sat. 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. from mid-April through mid-October. At the corner of Milton Avenue and Old Canton Street in Downtown Historic Alpharetta, it is open to the public and admission is free. For more info visit alpharettafarmersmarket.com.

The Marietta Square Farmers Market is open all year on Saturdays but in May they add Sunday to the mix giving you an extra day of freshness. They average 65 vendors and hundreds of customers each week with a wide variety to choose from including heirloom tomatoes, fruits and vegetables that are rarely, if ever, available from the grocery store. They also have lots of the staples such as potatoes, onions, tomatoes, squash, and beans, in addition to patty pan squash, heirloom salad mix, amazing cut flower arrangements, local honey, herbal soaps, whole grain breads, jelly, jam, and preserves. They are open Sat., 9 a.m. to noon year ’round and Sundays, noon to 3 p.m., May through October. For more info visit

One Competitive Beer Festival

By Tripp Liles

There is an area of Milton that the locals refer to as Crabapple. It’s a little enclave of a community and at the heart of it lies a small mixed-use concept that is home to Olde Blind Dog, which is a great authentic pub. Those guys along with Pinnacle Beverage will be hosting the Big South Beer Festival at the Milton City Hall plaza on April 14 in support of Children’s Charities.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the craft beer movement is more than a passing fad and there are numerous beer festivals all around including the Roswell Beer Festival we highlighted last month. But the Big South event will be unique in that it will feature a competition style format featuring AHA/BJCP (American Homebrewers Association and Beer Judges Certification Program) certified judges. They will judge beers from fifteen categories with each brewery able to enter three beers, one per category. The breweries participating will be from throughout the Southeast with many local favorites like Gate City Brewing and Abbey of the Holy Goats. This event came about as a general effort of local leaders to increase the awareness of the growing vibrant area.

“This all started with (Milton) Mayor Lockwood saying we need a festival and you guys are going to do one… I said uh, okay,” stated Chuck Squires of Pinnacle Beverage. “We also knew we had to make this beneficial to everyone and we have Children’s Charities. They do great work… it’s a great charity.”
For those of us not judging, all we have to do is enjoy the great spring weather and world-class beer. At the event they will feature beers from 50 breweries from throughout the Southeast where you can sample as much as you wish, responsibly of course, in a customized tasting glass.

Of course you cannot have beer without food and the event will feature samples from some of the best restaurants in the area. And let’s also not forget the entertainment, as there will be live music from Jack’s River Band (pictured) and Process of Elimination. Jack’s River Band plays Southern Rock favorites and music from their latest album Woodland Creatures. Process Of Elimination plays hits from the 80s and 90s.

Another unique aspect to this event is the fact that you will be able to purchase many of the beers available. All beers that have an appointed distributor in the Atlanta market will be available for sale. Purchases are facilitated through their mobile website www.bigsouthfestival.com. Open the mobile friendly site on your smart phone and purchase your free samples favorites, which can then be picked up at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe located at 12280 Houze Rd. in Alpharetta.

Tickets to the event are $40 for the first 1,000 and $50 for all else. For more information visit www.bigsouthbeercompetition.com and for more info on Children’s Charities see our article.