Friday, February 3, 2012

Protect Downtown Athens - Patterson Hood and the Downtown 13

If you don't know who the Athens, GA based Drive-By Truckers are by now, you need to. For over 17 years, they have been one of the best bands in the land, singing songs about life, love, criminals, the joy of family, and the blessings of rock and roll.

This week, chief songwriter Patterson Hood released a new song recorded with some friends (including Mike Mills, formally of R.E.M.) in honor of a cause to stop a new downtown development project in his hometown of Athens. The song is truley touching and a wonderful reminder of the potencial power of music. The music world needs more folks like Patterson!


As some of y'all might know, an out of town developer is attempting to build a huge mixed use development right next door to our beautiful downtown Athens. The location is a prime piece of land nestled up between our historic downtown and our river, greenway and planned Rail to Trails development.

I'm not going to get into the ramifications of all of that here, except to say it presents a tremendous set of missed opportunities and poses a host of negative implications for our beloved downtown and the local businesses that reside there.

I have written a new song about my love for this town that has given me so much and the threat that I see to our very way of life here. That might sound overly-dramatic, but I travel around this country a lot and I can tell you that what we have here is very unique and can not be taken for granted. Many of our friends who travel every year to Athens to see our annual 40 Watt / Nuci's Space Homecoming can vouch for what a special place this is.

I recorded the song at The 40 Watt Club during our weekend there backed by members of DBT. Then some very special friends from our music community pitched in and came to Chase Park Transduction to contribute some magic. 13 players, ranging from over 30 years of Athens Music history joined in and our friend Jason Thrasher filmed it.

Patterson Hood, Athens GA-2012

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