eTown, the popular radio variety show broadcast weekly across the country and worldwide, travels to Athens, Georgia for a special road show taping at the Georgia Theatre on Friday, April 7. Hosted by radio personalities Nick & Helen Forster, each eTown show features live musical performances by (and ‘up close and personal’ conversation with) several visiting musical artists; the Athens show will include influential and soulful singer-songwriter and acclaimed touring artist JJ Grey, as well as Georgia-based modern folk duo Cicada Rhythm. Also performing that night will be the Forsters along with the eTones (eTown’s talented ‘house band’).
The special two-hour taping begins at 7:00pm. Tickets are $28 for general admission and $50 for VIP and are available here or by phone at 706-850-7670. Stay tuned to WUGA for further details.
This event is one in a series of 25th Anniversary eTown Roadshows taking place in select music cities across the country. The roadshow is presented by WUGA FM, the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Georgia Tourism.
Nick Forster, eTown’s founder and host says “eTown is excited about coming to Athens—we’ve had a great partner in WUGA for many years, and it’s always fun to connect with our radio listeners in person, even if they say things like, ‘I thought you’d be short and bald with a beard!’” Nick also noted “Athens is a famous music town, a place that has such a vibrant and creative music scene; in all my years playing bluegrass with Hot Rize, I’ve never played in Athens—this is going to be fun!”
Jacksonville native JJ Grey has been leading the funk/soul/swamp band Mofro since the late 90s and is a perennial festival favorite across the South. When naming his earliest musical influences, Grey singles out the country-soul of Jerry Reed and Otis Redding, both Georgia natives. One review of his latest album, Ol’ Glory, says he “does his idols proud,” turning out a “country record where the stories are all part of one great mystery; it’s a blues record with one foot in the church; it’s a Memphis soul record that takes place in the country.”
Both born and raised in Georgia, Andrea DeMarcus and Dave Kirsli of Cicada Rhythm imitate and modernize folk music to a rejuvenating degree. Named the Best Local Americana Act in 2016 by Athens’ Flagpole magazine, the talented pair exhibits skilled and articulate guitar picking honed in the dive bars of Atlanta over rolling Julliard-trained bass lines. A recent NPR review notes, “What Cicada Rhythm offers is roots music that’s unassuming, expertly played and sung by two clear as glass voices,” while American Songwriter calls their music “hypnotic.”
In addition to music, eTown will present its signature eChievement Award live on the air to one extraordinary Athens individual who is making a positive difference in their community. This two-hour eTown taping will be edited to a one-hour broadcast to air in May on 300 radio stations nationwide. A complete list of stations and broadcast times, podcast access and video segments will be available at www.etown.org.