Music | WABE 90.1 FM


Laura Roberts / Associated Press

Amanda Shires' story sounds like an old country song, with a childhood divided between parents in Lubbock and Mineral Wells, Texas. She's a violinist who joined the legendary Western swing band The Texas Playboys when she was just 15 years old. More recently she played in Jason Isbell's band, The 400 Unit, before dating and eventually getting married – though that hasn't necessarily meant settling down.

Rich Fury / Invision for Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation/AP Images

A pair of female rock and roll legends will share an arena and the "Highway to the Dangerzone" leads right to the Marcus JCC Book Festival this weekend.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at metro Atlanta's upcoming concert offerings with Mara's Music Mix.

Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

One of the most successful singers in the world makes her long-awaited return to Atlanta tonight and a faceless songwriter takes to the arena.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at this weekend's upcoming concerts with "Mara's Music Mix."

David Goldman / Associated Press

A successful endowment campaign for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is fulfilling a promise two years early: to increase the number of musicians.

In 2014 contract negotiations, management at the Woodruff Arts Center promised the players to restore their complement to 88 by 2018.

An endowment campaign to raise the needed $25 million beat the deadline, and ASO says hiring is now underway. The Delta Air Lines Foundation contributed 10 percent of the needed amount.

Pianist William Ransom's latest album is a tribute to love he has lost. 

Called "Listening to Memories," he dedicates the album in total to his father, but each individual track is linked to someone who has left a profound impact on him. 

"This is really the most personal disk I ever made because I wasn't worried about anything except expressing my love and memory of these extraordinary people in my life," Ransom said. "And they are still very much a part of me every day." 

Phish performs during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn., Sunday, June 10, 2012.
AP Photo/Dave Martin

This weekend brings surfer-songwriters, country rebels and the quintessential jam band to Atlanta. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead with "Mara's Music Mix."

Al Such / WABE

Richard Thompson has been performing professionally and writing songs for nearly 50 years.  Starting with his work with the seminal British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, Thompson has assembled a long line of critically-acclaimed albums which feature his unique songwriting style. Rolling Stone ranked him as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time, and his albums regularly appear in best-of lists.

Courtesy of Trey Clegg Singers

Eight months ago, Atlanta choir director Trey Clegg set out on a new venture. He had noticed that choirs were rarely culturally mixed, and he wanted to change that. His new choir, the Trey Clegg Singers, seeks to represent the true diversity of Atlanta through music.  

Clegg said that having a diverse group of singers promotes conversations that people might not be having.

Mark Allan / Invision/AP

A "Messenger" is arriving in the west side of town and alternative black culture is taking over Mechanicsville.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss to unpack the weekend's concert offerings on Mara's Music Mix.

John Davisson / Invision/AP

If you spent any time near a radio in the 1990s, there is a good chance you are already familiar with Emily Saliers. She’s half of the Grammy Award-winning duo The Indigo Girls, along with songwriter Amy Ray. Now, over three decades into a professional music career, Saliers begins recording her very first solo album this winter, and she’s getting a hand from her fans.

Joel Ryan / Invision/AP

With acoustic guitars to the north and turntables to the east, Atlanta has a variety of festivals and concerts going on this weekend.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at what going on this weekend with "Mara's Music Mix."

Stephanie Mackinnon / Oxingale Records

Matt Haimovitz had a big idea with the passion and the work ethic to see it through; all he was lacking was the funding.

The inventive and ever-evolving cellist wanted to commission six composers to write six overtures to J.S. Bach’s famous cello suites. It was an untraditional proposal, but it’s the sort of challenge that intrigues seasoned composers like Philip Glass.

Courtesy of Cordis

On its website,the members of cordis describes the band's sound as if Igor Stravinsky and Sigur Ros started a band together. Each group member is classically trained, but they are able to meld that method of musicality with rock sensibilities.

“Classical music is a very disciplined thing. When we were in school, it was hours and hours of practicing,” said Richard Grimes, founder of the group. “Rock has more of an emotional immediacy.”

Jack Plunkett / Invision/Associated Press

If Music Midtown didn’t leave you all festival'ed-out, two more music festivals are hitting the metro Atlanta area this weekend. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a preview of upcoming concerts for "Mara's Music Mix."

Daniela Vesco / Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images

Beyoncé honored a late Atlanta rapper at the Georgia Dome on Monday.

During a moment of the pop star's Formation World Tour, Beyoncé and her backup dancers danced to a remix of the singer's "Diva" and rapper Shawty Lo's popular song "Dey Know."

Shawty Lo's Twitter then tweeted "Thank you @ Beyonce #longlivelo."

Beyonce performs during the Formation World Tour at NRG Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Houston.
Photo by Daniela Vesco/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images

This weekend, a pair of beloved singer-songwriters hit the Fox and Queen Bey returns to the Dome. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at upcoming concerts in "Mara’s Music Mix."

A3C Festival and Conference

In just a couple weeks, Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward will turn into a hot bed for hip-hop heads and music enthusiasts, drawing fans, burgeoning talent and some big names.

It’s A3C, the annual hip-hop festival, now in its 12th year. But it’s also a conference filled with panels, workshops, meet-ups and interviews about just about everything in the hip-hop industry.

ASO Music Director Robert Spano
Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra begins its 2016-2017 season this week, starting off with John Adams, Jean Sibelius and Sergei Rachmaninov.

This is the first of several John Adams pieces the Symphony will perform, as a tribute to his 70th birthday and many years of collaboration between the composer and the orchestra.

Courtesy of Matthew Kaminski

Matthew Kaminski’s largest audience is at Turner Field. He is the organist for the Braves games, but he is also three albums deep into his jazz organ career. This week, he releases the Matthew Kaminski Quartet’s album “Live at Churchill Grounds,” which also features renowned vocalist Kimberly Gordon.

It can be a risky move to record live instead of in the studio, but Kaminski said it’s that riskiness and performativity that makes it a more interesting recording.

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/Associated Press

Music will be absolutely taking over Midtown this weekend, and for a look at the acts descending on festival crowds and tiny clubs alike, contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for "Mara's Music Mix."

Matt Sayles / Invision/Associated Press

Music contributor Mara Davis attends dozens of shows every year and she is always consuming new music, looking for the next big thing. So when she told "City Lights" that Gaby Moreno's recent performance in Atlanta had her in tears, we knew there was something special about this artist.

Bill Phelps

Renowned violin virtuoso Joshua Bell has joined his collaborator and friend Steven Isserlis, the renowned cello virtuoso, on a new recording. The two have been playing together for more than 30 years, and the same mutual admiration they feel for each other is also shared with the composers featured on the album: Johannes Brahms and his mentor Robert Schumann.

“It’s really about pieces that I happen to love tremendously that I’ve always wanted to record,” Bell said.

AP Photo/Bob Galbraith

The groundbreaking sci-fi property "Star Trek" recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and amid the tricorders and red-shirted ensigns, there is a wealth of great music to be found.

The first episode of "Star Trek" aired on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966. While this original series ran for three seasons, it has flourished with spin-off television series and thirteen feature films. The "Star Trek" music universe is no less impressive, with some of Hollywood’s most noted composers bringing us five decades of brilliant music for this highly successful franchise.


It’s the 400th death year of playwright William Shakespeare. Organizations around Atlanta are celebrating with unique performances celebrating the Bard. Emory University’s Carlos Museum will also host Shakespeare’s first folio in November.

Music contributor Dr. Scott Stewart says, though, the Bard’s influence isn’t just limited to the theatrical stage. Shakespeare’s work has also inspired musicians and composers.

In this Sunday, May 17, 2015 file photo, Kanye West performs at the Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File / Associated Press

Is Atlanta about to get a complete Dungeon Family reunion?

Contributor Mara Davis and host emeritus Steve Goss speculate on whether Andre 3000 will make his rumored appearance at the ONE Music Festival and discuss other highlights of the weekend's concert calendar on "Mara's Music Mix."

Chris Sullivan

Atlanta is getting very heavy in September, and we're not talking about weight. Each month, we check in on the local independent music scene for a preview of some of the new albums coming from our homegrown artists, and for that, producer Myke Johns sat down with Guillermo Castro, editor of Immersive Atlanta.

Owen Sweeney / Invision/AP

This holiday weekend's packed schedule of festivals and events will have an eclectic evening soundtrack, featuring everything from German electronic pioneers to a cult internet cartoon character. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the weekend's concert calendar on Mara's Music Mix.

Wahid Khoshravani

Here’s a mental exercise: Try speaking in verse, out loud, off the top of your head. Be sure to rhyme, maintain a rhythm and be clever.

Sound easy?

Now do that to a beat and that is what is popularly known as freestyle. One group in Atlanta has dedicated itself to the art form not only to keep its members lyrically on their toes, but as an educational tool.

Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend, Atlanta is playing host to both some 80s junior prom throwbacks and a pair of hip-hop super stars.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for the look at the wide spectrum of artists coming to town.

John Davisson / Invision/AP

This weekend, local musicians are banding together to pay tribute to a classic of Atlanta R&B, and a breakout 18-year-old rapper takes Center Stage. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at concert offerings.