Brian Collins Band
Mon December 31, 2012
Doors: 8:00pm / Show: 9:00 pm
Cost: $25 Adv/ $30 Day Of Show
About the Event:
We get to spend New Year’s Eve with Sonia Leigh! Her shows are always a treat, combining pop/rock, country and even a little punk. Her music is completely honest and her performances are high energy and always fun. Don’t miss this chance to hang out with her and us this New Years!
Loretta Lynn certainly didn’t know she was seeing a future opening act when she spotted a five-year-old girl in the crowd at an Alabama concert. As the story goes, during a quiet moment the enraptured child exclaimed, “now that’s country, dad!” The crowd stirred and the coal miner’s daughter herself spotted little Sonia Leigh, then bowed and waved, laughing, before moving on to the next song.
But nearly 30 years later, that little girl opened for Lynn, winning over audiences with her gritty vocal delivery and bold, disarmingly honest songwriting. Between her childhood concerts and her rising career today as a Southern troubadour were many hard days, battle scars and dues paid. Sonia Leigh has earned every bit of soulful, lived-in authenticity her songs and performances portray. At the same time, an amazing chain of events—and a long list of friends and supporters—has put her on the cusp of even bigger success.
“I’m nothing without all the people who have been there for me,” Leigh notes. “I’ve got keys to just about everybody’s apartment in Atlanta because I’ve slept on everybody’s couch. But I’ve kept at it, because I really do truly feel that this was the calling on my life. I always knew this was what I wanted to do.”
That sense of destiny has always been important for Leigh. She left home at age 17 to pursue her dream. “When I left home I had fifty bucks, a garbage bag full of clothes and my guitar,” she recalls. “And that’s it.”
Determined to make it on her own, the teenager took three jobs—despite not owning a car. And determined to make it musically, she joined a band, which fortunately practiced right across the street from where she worked. Nothing has been handed to Sonia Leigh. Shortly after that memorable Loretta Lynn concert, her parents divorced, and she spent her childhood being passed back and forth between her father and mother. Later Leigh moved frequently with her dad as he took various jobs across the south and Midwest. Leaving home was just another uphill battle in a young life full of them.
“My life wasn’t the easiest, but it made me who I am today and a stronger person,” Leigh observes. “If I hadn’t left home and endured the things I did once I left home, I wouldn’t have written the songs I’ve written.”
Oh yes, about those songs. The songs on 1978 December, Leigh’s Southern Ground debut, range from the boozy barroom sing-along of “Bar”—a throwback redolent of the less well-behaved Nashville of yesteryear—to the soulful Muscle Shoals shuffle of “I Just Might,” the acoustic groove of “Virginia” (featuring Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls) and the keenly observed country-rockin’ “My Name Is Money.” Categorization is futile. Is it country, blues, soul or rock? The answer is yes. Is it southern? Add an exclamation point to the prior answer.
In this Leigh has a lot in common with one of her mentors, Zac Brown, who recently signed her to his Southern Ground Artists label. While he’s now a country chart-topper, at one point many thought Brown was going in too many directions to be successful. But Leigh believed. And she was taking notes every step of the way.
“I was watching what Zac was doing and I loved his music,” she says. “So if he was playing and he wanted me to play, I was there. And even if I wasn’t playing, I would go. Usually he would get me up on stage anyway. That’s just him.”
Leigh has been a part of Brown’s musical family for seven years now, having met the singer/songwriter in Atlanta musical circles. Brown’s right-hand man John Hopkins served as producer for Leigh’s independent outing Run or Surrender. Like everything else she’s done 1978 December is the sound of Leigh expressing her soul. It’s not calculated, focus-grouped or target-marketed. In fact, Leigh wouldn’t have the slightest clue how to do that. “It’s hard for me to just sit down and write and try to write a hit,” she says. “That’s just not me as a writer. I write about what’s happening and what I see.”
That’s something Leigh has been doing from childhood. Blessed with a musical family she picked up her dad’s guitar almost as soon as she could hold it without help.
“When I was 10 I really started being serious and asking him to show me chords, so I’d come home every day and practice after school and use his guitar,” she recalls. “Finally he saw I was getting good and he was actually tired of me using his guitar… because I’d be playing and he’d be wanting to play. So that’s when I got my own guitar. Then I started writing—I was writing songs as soon as I could make chords—lyrics and everything.”
At age 14, a song she’d written for a friend led to a chance encounter with a major-label producer—which, at age 17, turned into a management deal. And though that was now half a lifetime ago for the indefatigable performer, Leigh has taken encouragement from each connection and from each hard-fought rung up the ladder.
For her, it all comes together on “Ain’t Dead Yet,” 1978 December’s lead track, which delves into the influence her musical peer, blues artist Sean Costello, had and continues to have on her, even after his unexpected passing. The entire Atlanta musical community mourned the loss of such a promising young artist, but few more than Leigh, who still visits his grave regularly to hold one-sided conversations. “When he died I pretty much made a vow that I was gonna keep this going for both of us,” she says. “That’s basically that. I’m not dead yet, so let’s go out there and do it.”
Brian Collins Band
Brian Collins was born and raised in West Georgia. The soulful quality of his voice gives meaningful expression to songs that bends the lines of genre between Country, Southern Rock and Soul Music reflecting the life of a son of two truck driving parents and American Military Veteran father and loving mother that is relevant in the timeless classic tune “Good Bye Man”.
Brian Collins captures the heart of every listener with sentimental and honest lyrics. Brian Collins Band (BCB) is best known for songs like fan favorites “She Will Ride” a song influenced by Brian’s sister Karen and her courageous battle with Leukemia to the always fun lake party anthem “Cocktail Cove” that will have all fans welcoming longer and louder encores at every show!”
Stemming from the pines of the Carolinas to the swamps of South Georgia, members of The Deadfields converged in Atlanta Georgia in early 2011 for a simple, honest mission: have fun, write, and perform meaningful music.
The Americana/Folk-Rock outfit’s founding members knew they had something special from the get go. Geoff Reid and Jeff Gardner began booking and performing shows before the lineup was complete and immediately started work on writing, selecting, and recording songs that would soon become the groups Feb. 2012 debut full-length release, “Dance In The Sun”.
After an effortless search for like minded musical souls, Corey Chapman, Brandon Markert, and Chase Alger came on board to complete the line up. The boys then began a self-booked, all out touring schedule to spread the word of The Deadfields. Performing as an opening act for major touring artists, but mainly seeking out venues where the masses gather, the group began recruiting a solid fan base of loyal music lovers and Deadfields fanatics.
The independently released ”Dance in The Sun” and mainly the single “Carolina Backroads” has since and so far climbed to #99 on the AMA (American Music Association) charts, reached #8 on the FAR (Freeform Americana Roots) charts, and achieved #61 status on the Roots 66 (The Alternate Roots) charts. Reviews for the debut poured in as well. Some say the best release they heard all year.
The Deadfields’ “Dance In The Sun” has also received quite a bit of love overseas through reviews, radio, CD and download sales. A second radio campaign is underway to reach a larger audience backed by the immediate and fast paced response from “Dance in The Sun”. Stay tuned…
While the recorded music lives on in the CD players, Spotify, and iStuff around the world, nothing really compares to an actual live Deadfields show. It is full on, honest energy from start to finish. Whether performing to a packed house or just the lucky few that happen to discover the room, no matter, The Deadfields’ show is something you can’t forget and has demanded repeat performances. The audience grows with every show…
Case in point: A recent performance as the opening act for the #1 Billboard Country charts act, Love and Theft, The Deadfields were asked to join the group on their upcoming 2013 US tour. While The Deadfields are not a Pop Country act, their Americana, Alt-Country styling definitely seems to crossover to a mass audience as well as maintaining the Roots Country heritage that the band sought out to begin with. The sky’s the limit…
The reach has spread so far beyond the southeast region that Texas based booking agent Trey Newman from The Lee Crosby Agency discovered and contacted the band to acquire booking responsibilities. 2013 will be an onslaught of shows throughout the US and internationally backed by continuous radio support.