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Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

2016 is set to be a big year for Atlanta concerts, with visits from Adele, Madonna and the Boss himself scheduled in the coming months. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins WABE host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the most noteworthy acts and artists coming to town in the new year.

Didriks /

New Year's Eve is synonymous with sparkling champagne, and WABE contributor Dr. Scott Stewart has the perfect playlist to accompany the libations. Along with Lois Reitzes, Stewart explored the "oddly specific genre" of the drinking song.

According to Stewart, the drinking song "actually became a standard, formal element" in 19th-century opera. European traditions hopped the pond, and the operatic drinking song became a staple in American songs and musical theater at the turn of the 20th century.

Looking Forward To 2016: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Dec 28, 2015
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski will perform the works of John Williams this weekend.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

We are asking everyone in WABE's newsroom what stories they will be watching in 2016. 

"All Things Considered" host Amy Kiley says the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is planning concerts around conductor Robert Shaw's 100th birthday in April.

"Robert Shaw is one of the most famous choral conductors in the entire world probably, and he lived right here in Atlanta, and has quite a legacy that the ASO is celebrating," she said. 

Gregg Allman performs two nights at Atlanta Symphony Hall, Wednesday and Thursday.
Joe Howell / Associated Press

The post-Christmas concert calendar is full of Americana masters and jam bands taking up multi-night residencies in Atlanta's halls and clubs. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at who's ringing in the New Year on stage.

Matt Arena /

Atlanta officials say rapper T.I. and rock band Sister Hazel will headline the city's "Peach Drop" this year.

Local news media report that the city announced Friday that both will perform at the Underground Atlanta. The city traditionally lowers an 800-pound peach to mark the clock striking midnight on New Year's Eve.

The event, considered the largest New Year's Eve celebration in the Southeast, also includes music and a fireworks show.

Initially, the sale of the Underground Atlanta shopping complex property to a private developer put this year's event in question.

Owen Sweeney / Invision/AP

An indie rock supergroup, a genre-busting brass ensemble and a pair of earthy duos are hitting Atlanta's clubs and concert halls this weekend. 

WABE contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the concert calendar with Mara's Music Mix.

Elizabeth Remy Johnson

The musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) lead professional lives well beyond the stage of Symphony Hall. They teach, compose, mentor, volunteer, perform ... and much more. Now, the ASO's principal harpist, Elisabeth Remy Johnson, has released her latest recording. It's called "A Christmas Collection" and it's an album of carols and holiday songs arranged for solo harp.

Cliff Schiappa / associated press file

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" continues to break sales records three decades after its release.

The Recording Industry Association of America said Wednesday the album has sold 30 million copies in the United States and Jackson is the first artist to receive 30-time multi-platinum status.

"Thriller" has been an even bigger seller overseas, with 100 million copies of the album sold worldwide since its 1982 release.

You Tube

Cooper Carter, 27, of Atlanta wanted to do something big for the Star Wars premiere.

So after two months of tedious listening to find just the right musical sounds, Carter made his own tribute to John Williams’ epic "Star Wars" theme: all 31 orchestral instruments played in unison, except mimicked on the electric guitar.

It resulted in a viral video that made "Star Wars" fans and guitar nerds alike “lose their minds,” according to Carter.

Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

Atlantans will get the chance to say "Hello" to Adele in 2016.

On Monday, the Grammy-winning singer announced her North American tour, which will include two nights at Philips Arena on Oct. 28 and 29.

Tickets for the shows go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday on the singer's website.

Carla Cometto /

Imagine looking out the window at an icy, hostile and frigid landscape. How would you set that scene to music? 

Commentator Dr. Scott Stewart says that is a fundamental challenge for composers attempting to musically represent winter. On the one hand, winter is a season of darkness, cold and dormancy. On the other hand, it hosts some of the most festive holidays, not to mention activities like skiing and ice skating.

Joseph Spence

The staccato twang of the banjo is not just reserved for bank robberies and the rustic outdoors.

That’s what Nashville-based banjo player Alison Brown said about her instrument. Her recent album, “The Song of the Banjo,” attempts to break down these notions of the banjo and to show its musical diversity.

Ray Stubblebine / associated press file

He’s an Academy Award winner. He was married to the most beautiful woman in Hollywood. He was associated with the Mafia. His friends included some of the most influential entertainers of his time, and most importantly, his voice is an American brand.

“In the year 2015, people are still listening to Frank Sinatra’s songs, they’re still talking about Frank, making commercials in which his voice carries the day ... He’s achieved a certain kind of American immortality,” said anthologist and poet David Lehman in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

Amber /

This week, Atlanta plays host to a hometown hero, some indie rock darlings, an elder statesman of bluegrass and much more.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at some of the upcoming concerts in the metro area.

Tim Duffy / Music Maker Relief Foundation

 Southern grassroots music has never come from a place of glitz and glamour.

And now, some of its older practitioners are actually facing acute poverty. The nonprofit group Music Maker Relief Foundation formed to support Southern blues, gospel, bluegrass, and country musicians, while advocating for their music.

As part of that, a photography exhibit celebrating the work of these musicians is now up at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

amanda_munoz /

Seasonal affective disorder. The holiday blues. No matter what it's called, melancholy seems intrinsically woven into the jolly fabric of the Christmas season. 

Those desolate sentiments are heard in Christmas music as well, with melodies and harmonies written in the minor mode. Songs in the minor key are described as "sad" or even "scary," but "City Lights" contributor Dr. Scott Stewart warns that those reactions are culturally conditioned. 

Jim Burress / WABE

Hartsfield-­Jackson Atlanta International Airport sees more passengers than any other airport on the globe. This time of year is especially busy, but this year, the airport has already broken passenger volume records.

Alyssa Kapnik Samuel / WABE

Musicians Jeffrey Bützer and T. T. Mahoney have created an Atlanta holiday tradition. For eight years running, the two have anchored a jazz combo which faithfully performs Vince Guaraldi's classic soundtrack to "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

The album, along with the TV special of the same name, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Bützer and Mahoney have expanded their show to include performances in North Carolina and Alabama in addition to their regular gigs in East Atlanta and Marietta. 

Shayne Kaye /

The Boss and his band are coming to Atlanta.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band have announced their latest jaunt, "The River Tour."

It's in support of the group's new box set "The Ties That Bind: The River Collection."

The set includes the original 1980 double album and numerous other outtakes and live cuts from the era.

The tour starts Jan. 16 in Pittsburgh and comes to Atlanta's Philips Arena on Feb. 18.

Tickets for the Atlanta show go on sale next week. 

Jim Herrington / Shore Fire Media

One of the U.K.’s greatest pub rockers now has not one, but two Christmas albums to his name.

Nick Lowe is best known for his hits “Cruel to be Kind,” and “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love,
and Understanding?” And he has turned his keen ear for pop music to the holidays. His latest live album, "The Quality Holiday Revue" expands on 2013’s studio album "Quality Street." On both records, he’s put his own spin on some holiday standards as well as penning a pair of original tunes: “Born in Bethlehem” and “Christmas at the Airport.”

Jamie /

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to a rockabilly great, rowdy country punks, a showcase of homegrown talent and more. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the upcoming concert calendar.

Scott Roth / Invision/AP

Grammy-nominated rapper Jeezy went from handing out meals to performing in front of a sold-out crowd in Atlanta.

Jeezy took the stage at the Tabernacle on Wednesday night hours before he helped handout 200 boxes of food. The meals included turkey or ham, corn green beans, stuffing, rolls and cranberry sauce at Mt. Sanai Baptist Church. He held the event through his Street Dreamz Foundation.

Through Jeezy's event, many also received a bouquet of flowers and two tickets to an Atlanta Hawks basketball game.

Alastair Grant / Associated Press

The Beatles.  The Rolling Stones.  The Who.  The list goes on and on.

Producer and engineer Glyn Johns has worked with hundreds of big-name musical acts like these over the past few decades.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.   

Johns's book "Sound Man" describes some of the experiences he's had in--and out--of the studio over the past half-century.

John Lorinc spoke with Glyn Johns about working with the legends of rock and roll. 

Blackberry Smoke

This post-holiday weekend in Atlanta finds some hometown acts playing some familiar venues, and the Atlanta Symphony taking on the works of John Williams. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at shows with Mara's Music Mix.


Adele's career so far has been a story in numbers — and not just the ones in her album titles. Her latest LP, 25, has sold more copies than any other album in its first week of release — more than 2.4 million so far — and the week is only half over. Its first single, "Hello," has been the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since it came out four weeks ago.

U.S. Department of Agriculture /

This Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder that food and music are two of the most powerful forces in our lives, not only for sustenance and pleasure, but also for the recall of memory.

Contributor Scott Stewart joins Lois Reitzes to talk about the music of the Thanksgiving holiday and the way music can trigger memories and emotions as evoked by "O Praise the Lord of Heaven" by American composer Charles Ives.

Stewart brings everything from Bach to the Boston Pops, and of course Aaron Copeland and more as examples of Thanksgiving music. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter Graham Nash performs during the Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in Austin, Texas.
AP Photo/, Jay Janner, Pool

Graham Nash is coming to Atlanta.

The singer-songwriter's new album, "This Path Tonight," is scheduled to come out in April. Nash's show at the Buckhead Theatre, in Atlanta, is scheduled for Feb. 5. Tickets have not gone on sale yet. 

Nash's catalog includes classics from The Hollies, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and his solo career.   

He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, as a member of the Hollies and with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

James Loesch /

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to some New Orleans brass, a local act anchored by a husband and wife duo and the biggest smooth jazz saxophonist of all time ... yes, that one. WABE contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for this week's "Mara's Music Mix."

Chris O'Donovan / The King's Singers

Some travelers send postcards; other travelers collect them. The King's Singers, on the other hand, could be considered world-class collectors of musical postcards.

The group – a six-man a cappella ensemble named after King's College in Cambridge, England, where the group originally formed in 1968 – boasts nearly 50 years of world travels. One of the newest members, baritone Chris Bruerton, told Lois Reitzes that the group's travels around the world inform their repertoire.

TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd./EPK.TV

With less than a month remaining before the Dec. 14 release of "Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens," fan anticipation has reached fever pitch. You can count WABE film music contributor Dr. Scott Stewart among those eager fans — though it's John Williams' soundtrack he'll be standing in line for.

Stewart joined Lois Reitzes for their continuing conversation on Williams and his compositional approach, especially in the "Star Wars" films, ahead of next month's release. Williams is most famous for his epic themes like "The Imperial March," but that's only half the story.