Live Review: Benefit for Ruthie Morris @ The EARL, December 15 w/Amy Ray, Warm In The Wake, & Tim Lee 3

[ 0 ] December 21, 2009 |


By Scott Roberts; photos by Sue

“It sucks to lose your stuff.”
Headliner Amy Ray succinctly proclaimed this during her rocking solo set at The
EARL last Tuesday at the benefit for Magnapop guitarist/all-around swell person
Ruthie Morris who lost, among other things, thousands of dollars worth of
musical/recording equipment, the entire first pressing of the brand new
Magnapop CD, and irreplaceable photos and personal memorabilia in the
torrential flooding that hit Atlanta last September. And while the show may not
have been able to actually replace what Morris lost, it served as a positive
step toward her financial and emotional recovery, and allowed the giving spirit
of Atlanta’s
musical community to shine brightly. And rock!

The evening began with Knoxville’s Tim
Lee 3
, old friends of Ruthie’s and a favorite of Atlanta stages for years. Their unique brand
of swampy, Southern pop, propelled by the often X-like harmonies of guitarist
Lee and his bass playing wife Susan Bauer Lee (especially on “When The Roof
Caves In”), pleased the steadily growing crowd and established the good vibe
feeling of the evening.

Their set was punctuated by two huge highlights: Amy
Ray joining them for a sweltering version of Neil Young’s “Cortez The Killer”
and Morris herself, along with fellow Magnapopper Linda Hopper, coming up to do
their own “Open The Door” ably backed by the trio.



Next up was Warm In The Wake, the once ubiquitous Atlanta quartet whose appearances have been
more of a rarity these days. Their gentle, breezy, sometimes
psychedelic-leaning acoustic guitar/electronic keyboard driven melodic pop was
a perfect follow-up to the grittier Tim Lee 3. The band’s pleasant set closed
with a reverent version of The Waterboys’ “Fisherman’s Blues” with Danny
Barker’s keyboard filling on for the distinctive fiddle part of the original.

Amy Ray opened her set with a spine-tingling, acoustic guitar/harmonica
version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Racing In The Street” that hushed the full EARL
audience in two seconds flat. The veteran rocker continued to command attention
throughout her selection of solo recorded material whether playing acoustic
guitar, electric guitar, or mandolin, or whether alone or joined by newcomers A
Fragile Tomorrow on several songs. Ray has always had that rare ability to
exude equal parts superstar and next-door neighbor simultaneously and the crowd
was more than appreciative. As was Ruthie Morris: “It feels like such an
embrace from the music community in Atlanta.
To be a musician and feel such support from your community is a very profound
and touching feeling.”

Category: Live Reviews

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