Ramblin’ man: A conversation with Butch Trucks

art_fr(Smoky Mountain News)  For 45 years, The Allman Brothers Band took rock-n-roll and stretched it into the unlimited possibilities of blues and jazz. They were an empty canvas of melodic influences that encompassed broad, rich paint strokes of English hard rock pioneers Cream, jazz improvisation maestro John Coltrane, and Chicago blues master Muddy Waters.

At their core, the Macon, Georgia, based Allmans represented the “human condition,” the good the bad and the ugly of what America stood for — and also wanted to stray away from as the 1960s and 1970s ticked away — while the layers of an aggressively oppressive country peeled away like an endless onion of change and national dialogue. It was bridging the societal gap between the stifling, racist culture of Jim Crow laws within the southern states and the progressive mindset set forth by those who ventured beyond the Mason-Dixon Line for the better part of a century.

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Local comedian Grayson Morris reflects on opening for Louis C.K.

04131619371-1100x1467(Mountain XPress) By day, Grayson Morris is a preschool teacher, by night, a standup comedian. For the last five years she’s honed her craft. Most of her material comes from her everyday life: being single and poor and working with young children. This past Wednesday night, her hard work paid off. Morris found herself the opening act for Louis C.K.’s surprise benefit show at the Orange Peel.

The day before, Morris, along with a handful of other local comedians were told by the Orange Peel management that tickets would be going on sale for “someone famous.” Early Wednesday, they learned it was C.K. That afternoon, Morris discovered her name was in consideration as the opener. “I was very excited about the prospect, but I didn’t want to get too excited because I knew it could go either way.”

Read the full interview HERE>