Andrea & Mud: “Hard Life”

Preachers of the “surf-western” gospel, Atlanta’s Andrea Colburn and Kyle “Mud” Moseley are back with another entry to their canon of vivid storytelling with a cinematic spice. Their latest tune is about, well, hard times — a point in one’s life when everything seems to be going wrong. “There’s no money in my pocket, there’s water dripping from the faucet” and “There’s nothing but gray in the sky.”

As you might have guessed, this song was heavily inspired by living through the pandemic. The duo lived on a farm outside Atlanta, and the song reflects the beauty, and isolation, of that experience.

Originally from St. Louis, Colburn came of age listening to blues musicians like Robert Johnson and blues-influenced rock like Led Zeppelin. She moved to Georgia in 2012 and released a solo album, Sad Songs & Switchblades, in 2015. A year later, she met Moseley (who earned his “Mud” nickname as an art major who liked to work a lot with clay) at Star Bar in Little Five Points. Two years later, they produced the full-length album Easy, Sleazy and Greazy. Then, two years after that, Bad News Darlin’, co-produced by Damon Moon. Two more years have rolled around, and lo, we have been graced with this compelling new work. You can catch them playing at the Inman Park Festival on April 24.

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small pockets: “Heads or Tales”

A recent transplant to Atlanta from Nashville, singer-songwriter Joe Kirby moved here with his now-wife when she landed a job opportunity in the city. But he said he quickly fell in love with our local arts community, bike clubs, and  — of course — the many offerings of Buford Highway. Kirby, who grew up in Ohio, launched his latest musical project small pockets, releasing its debut single earlier this year. Working with producers Daniel Gleason and T.J. Elias at Big Trouble Recording, this tune is his third new song drop in less than six months.

It’s all building toward a six-song EP that will keep rolling out in 2022. (A new single is already queued up to roll out at the end of the month.) Its first single, “Mavalene,” was penned as a personal tribute to his late grandmother, who he said “made sick days feel like vacation days. who gave me my first guitar and encouraged me to ‘keep up the music’ every time we spoke.”

The family theme continues with this tune, “heads or tales,” which he describes as “about a sister and brother struggling to stay in touch as the ‘adulthood’ monster is causing havoc.” It features some classic ‘90s childhood references to Capri Suns and Jumanji. For the imaginative Claymation video accompaniment, Kirby said he worked with animators Lee and Eliška Oz of Oz Animation. Kirby said he’s embarked on a different collaboration with another local Atlanta artist, so keep an eye out for more to come.

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Van Hunt: “Down Here in Hell (With You)”

Before he was known simply as Halle Berry’s boyfriend (which understandably earns him a lot of press these days), Van Hunt got his start as a fresh, inventive new voice on Atlanta’s R&B music scene at the turn of the millennium. A multi-talented instrumentalist, he began playing drums and saxophone while still in elementary school in Dayton, Ohio, then graduated to bass, keyboard and guitar.

Although English studies at Morehouse College originally brought him to Atlanta, Hunt wound up setting aside his studies to pursue music professionally, signing on with manager Randy Jackson in 2002 (a professional relationship that has continued ever since). In 2004, he released his debut album, which includes “Down Here In Hell,” our Vintage Track of the Week.

Though this album did earn a nod from the industry, he wouldn’t win his first Grammy until 2007, when he landed Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for a remake of Sly & The Family Stone’s “Family Affair,” featuring John Legend and Joss Stone. Though he’s continued to steadily record over the years, he performed with his band for the first time in a decade last May at ATL’s St. James Live. And thankfully, the bond between Berry and Hunt seems to be the complete antithesis of this particular song’s dynamic — the couple, who went Instagram official in the summer of 2020, still appear to be going very strong.





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