Soak up Spring and Summer Sounds

One of the many things I love about living in our area is there is rarely an evening that live music can’t be found. I absolutely love live music. There is nothing that can immediately take me back to a certain place or time like the first few notes of a song. Music is such a mind manipulator. When I hear jazz, I think of New Orleans and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mardi Gras parades, and the younger years of my kids—bouncing up and down eager to catch beads while sitting atop their homemade ladder seats as they watch the musicians go by. There’s that slow song you awkwardly danced in a mummy-like fashion with that guy or girl in middle school, and later one of you called the local radio station saying, “I’d like to dedicate this song to…” Or how about the song from college you and your friends screamed at the top of your lungs at the local bar or frat party? We all have them. Songs that evoke memories, some better than others, but regardless, music can hugely affect our moods and moves. Music is a huge part of most of our lives, and the abundance of great venues in our area make it even more desirable for many of us to live here.

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, for instance, is conveniently located basically in our backyard. Providing a spring and summer lineup with a little something for nearly everyone. This venue happens to be one of my favorites. Prior to concerts, I tailgate in my red, 1971 Ford F-100 where my friends gather to share ice-cold beverages and whatever yummy appetizers we have prepared. The Jimmy Buffett concert has become an annual tailgate for us.

Tara and crew at the Jimmy Buffett concert, Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, Alpharetta

I went early to set up for the tailgate at 2:oo p.m. Surrounded by a sea of Parrotheads in the parking lot, I put up my tent and then noticed the other tailgaters who had arrived at the same time as me already had grills fired up, beverages poured, and music blasting. My crew didn’t show up until two hours later, but it was perfectly fine because the party goers behind me kindly “adopted” me with an invitation to join them.

This group had two Big Green Eggs fired up?! It was so impressive. They had pineapple soaked in Fireball and tequila, perfectly spiced, then grilled to perfect yumminess. Everything they grilled was fantastic and I learned why. They’re the owners of Deep South Sauce Co. (If you like grilling, you should follow them on Instagram.) So “thank you” to Bruce, Billy, and their fantastic crew. Once my crew showed up, we spent several hours in the parking lot. Then we gathered our herd and entered the venue to claim the plot of land that became our home base for the remainder of the evening. Watching the crowd is entertaining in itself. People navigating their way through the mass of spectators—drinking, laughing, and recognizing friends and neighbors as they eagerly await the lights to dim and the show to begin. Although you may have missed Jimmy Buffett on April 25 you still have plenty of options for upcoming shows this spring and summer. Ameris Bank Amphitheatre 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta.

Florence + the Machine at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre on June 6 Photo: Vincent Haycock

May 11 Bryan Adams
May 16 Chris Young
May 25 Rascal Flatts
June 6 Florence and the Machine
June 14 Dierks Bentley
July 10 Train & Goo Goo Dolls
July 12 Luke Combs
July 23 Dave Matthews Band
July 25 KoRn & Alice In Chains
Aug 10 KIDZ BOP Live
Aug 11 Peter Frampton
Aug 15 Breaking Benjamin
Aug 19 Heart
Aug 21 The Smashing Pumpkins & Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Aug 23 Brad Paisley
Sept 3 Slipknot
Sept 14 Lynyrd Skynyrd

If you enjoy live music and are looking for a unique
experience Matilda’s is a must. Once located on Alpharetta Highway, the popular venue has moved to Milton. Matilda and I spoke about her move, and she revealed it was not as easy as she had envisioned. She assumed she would be able to have the house from the original location moved to Milton, but the fact that the developer did not have the Land Disturbance Permit prevented it. However, Matilda was able to relocate the stage, which she referred to as “the identity” of the original venue.

Lovers Leap, by the band of the same name is a debut album with songs that are a healthy mix of all four member’s backgrounds; beautiful, tight three-part harmony, dobro acrobatics, easy groove, and galloping bluegrass. They perform at Matilda’s on May 11.

She seems optimistic about the new venue and is pleased the May 3 concert is sold out. She also added she has sadly been turning customers away due to the capacity limit of 250 attendees for this first concert and the 200-capacity limit for regular concerts. If you weren’t fortunate enough to obtain tickets for May 3, make reservations for her upcoming events. Bring your own chairs, cooler (BYOB), and bug spray to enjoy the entertainment under the pine trees in this southern backyard atmosphere where the shack’s original front porch becomes the stage as patrons dance beneath the tent or relax in their own loungers. Local art, both funky and unique, can be purchased in the cottage. A truly southern experience in the ’burbs of the ATL, this down-home venue will make you feel like you are at your family reunion (or maybe not) depending on where you are originally from. Think the movies Steel Magnolias meets Sweet Home Alabama who introduces O Brother Where Art Thou?. Matilda’s, 850 Hickory Flat Road, Milton.

May 3 Farewell Angelina (Sold out)
May 11 Lovers Leap
May 18 The Skeleton Krew
May 25 BJ Wilbanks

The Velvet Note
Looking to jazz things up? Designed by musicians, this listening room has been crafted to provide the purest vocal and instrumental reception available to a live audience. The Velvet Note provides an intimate atmosphere, up-close-and-personal conversations with the artists, and outstanding food and spirits, giving its patrons the impression of a private concert. Can you imagine having met Louis Armstrong or Nat King Cole in this fashion? Very classy, yet not pompous, with guest attire ranging from smart casual to polished. Every detail of this place is well-thought-out down to the palm leaf, wooden plates (wooden to avoid the sound of utensils hitting the plates). Even if you don’t know the first thing about jazz, the impressive board of advisors is there to ensure your experience is a memorable one. The Velvet Note just sounds sexy, doesn’t it? The Velvet Note, 4075 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta.

May 1 The David Gerald Blues Band
May 5 Latavius Mulzac
May 10 Madoca Kawahara
May 11 The Bosman Twins
May 12 The Bosman Twins
May 17 The Joe Gransden Quartet
May 18 The Joe Gransden Quartet
May 25 Candace Divine
July 20 Larry Carlton: Steely Dan 1978
July 21 Larry Carlton: Crusaders Remembered
Aug 30 The 2019 Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute
Aug 31 The 2019 Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute
Sept 1 The 2019 Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute

Newtown Park
Newtown Park in Johns Creek is a fantastic spot to spend time with your family on any beautiful day. From the playgrounds to the playing fields, one of the best dog parks I’ve ever seen, and specialty evenings like free movie nights, this park is a gem. It also hosts the free Johns Creek Summer Concert Series at Mark Burkhalter Amphitheater which begin this month with Chicago Rewired, a Chicago Tribute Band. I love Chicago. They were one of the first concerts I attended, the first being “the King” himself… Elvis! Unforgettable! Anyway, this is a lovely venue to see a concert complete with food trucks and beer and wine available for purchase. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and shows start at 7:00 p.m. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Mark Burkhalter Amphitheater, Newtown Park, 3150 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek.

May 3 Chicago Rewired (Chicago Tribute Band)
May 31 Uptown Funk (Bruno Mars Tribute Band)
Aug 3 Edwin McCain
Sept 7 TRIBUTE, a celebration of The Allman Brothers Band & thE Core: Clapton Live
Oct 5 Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra

Brooke Street Park
Alpharetta announced their free, summer concert series comprised of family-friendly performances by various Alpharetta-based entertainment groups. The Brooke Street Park Summer Concert Series kicks off this month with the Alpharetta Symphony Orchestra. Brooke Street Park, 2 Park Plaza, Alpharetta.

UGA Alum Kyshona Armstrong has a natural gift for using music to tap into emotion. Her latest album, The Ride, shows off vocal stylings that are reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, and Al Green.

May 18 Alpharetta Symphony Orchestra
May 25 Home By Dark featuring Jill Paquette DeZwaan & Jason Hoard
June 8 Home By Dark featuring Rebecca Correia & Emily Shackelton
June 15 Alpharetta PopFest
June 22 Home By Dark featuring Kyshona Armstrong & Jenn Bostic
July 6 AlphaJazz, The Alpharetta City Band
July 13 Home By Dark featuring Marcia Ramirez & Caeland Garner
July 2 Home By Dark featuring Danny Mitchell & Ernie Halter
Aug 10 Home By Dark featuring Victoria Banks & Jesse Terry
Aug 24 Home By Dark featuring Beth Wood & Nathan Angelo
Sept 14 Home by Dark featuring JP Williams & Sabrina

Sundays on the River
Live music fills the stage and nature will provide the perfect backdrop during Sundays on the River at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. This is a rain or shine event and table seats are under a covered pavilion. Lawn seating is also available. Bring a picnic, blanket or seating and plenty of food to share. CNC grounds are available to enjoy until the show starts; concerts run from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Online ticket sales close the day prior and will only be available at the door day-of. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell.

May 12 Lindsay Lou
June 9 Freddy & Francine
July 14 Joe Alterman
Aug 11 Sam Lewis
Sept 8 Shemekia Copeland

Roswell Riverside Sounds
Get carried away at Roswell Riverside Sounds free summer concert series at beautiful Riverside Park. Bring your blanket, chairs, beverages, and food, or keep it simple by purchasing the beer, wine, and food from the amazingly awesome vendors like Spiced Right Barbecue, Ceviche Taqueria, and Bruster’s Ice Cream. Riverside Park, 575 Riverside Road, Roswell.

May 4 Seth Walker
June 1 Stephane Wrembel
July 6 Moves
Aug 3 Family & Friends
Sept 7 Birdtalker
Oct 5 Front Country

Strolling the Neighborhood
Living steps away from Downtown Roswell and Canton Street, I find myself frequenting places like The Grub Gastro Pub, Tap & Six, Gate City Brewing Company, Lucky’s Burger & Brew, Standard at Roswell, Variant Brewing Company… who all have live music at various times. I enjoy walking to these places, having a beer, a bite to eat, and relaxing to the entertainment.

Located on Alpharetta Street, The Grub Gastro Pub, or Grub as I call it, has a great deck, well actually two great decks—­­one in the front and the more intimate one in the back. Dave and Terry, the owners, have live music either on the front deck, weather permitting, or inside near the bar. It’s typically my starting point for the evening. A quick stroll later, I am in Downtown Roswell and can wander into Gypsy Rose, which recently opened and has top-notch entertainers. This place is passionate about providing high-quality music and is a must for music lovers.

Standard is also a great place to go, especially if I have a furry friend with me. I can sit outside on any given weekend, and enjoy live music and a slice of pizza. One of my favorite places to go is Tap & Six on Oak Street. With over forty beers on tap, the hummus, pretzel, and flatbread complement one another perfectly. I follow Tap & Six on Instagram so I know when they are having live music.

Another one of my favorite hangouts for live music is a short distance from me, From the Earth Brewing Company on Holcomb Bridge Road. The Big Green Egg on the patio is a sure hint that good food is inside. Great beers on tap, fantastic food, and an impressive list of live entertainment make it the perfect stop for an evening out. I have to admit, I feel a little spoiled having all of these amazing restaurants, bars, breweries, and venues near me, but I’m not about to give them up. 

When not writing, Roswell resident Tara Gary is busy making industrial furniture, charcuterie boards, and local art. Most nights she can be found with her friends at local breweries and pubs drinking craft beer.