DRIVIN’ N’ CRYIN
Celebrating their 32nd Anniversary together, Atlanta-based folk rock act, Drivin N Cryin, have spent most of 2017 on tour. In October 1985, Drivin N Cryin played their first show at Atlanta’s famed 688 Club. The band quickly gained attention for its blistering live shows and amassed a rabid fanbase in the fertile soil of the late-1980s Southeast music scene.
Now, 32 years later and releasing four full length albums on Island Records and one on Geffen Records, founding members Kevn Kinney and Tim Nielsen find themselves enjoying a milestone anniversary for the band, having survived the pressures of fame, a shifting musical landscape, multiple lineup changes, and miles of backroads and highways to arrive here.
With a gold record, 10 full-length albums, and a handful of EPs to their credit, the band still refuses to rest. In 2012, a documentary about the band entitled Scarred but Smarter: Life n Times of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ was produced. In 2015, a collection of 10 choice cuts from the band’s 4-EP Songs series, entitled Best of Songs, was released on Nashville’s Plowboy Records. Additionally, the band was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame the same year. The following year, Drivin N Cryin released a vinyl-only album, entitled Archives Vol One, with a collection of basement recordings from the years 1988 to 1990.
With Dave V. Johnson as their drummer and the band’s newest member Laur Joamets (originally Sturgill Simpson) now being added to the lineup, Drivin N Cryin is continuing to tour the U.S. to great acclaim. Island Records will be re-releasing their acclaimed record Mystery Road through Universal Music Group later this year. Darius Rucker has cut “Straight to Hell” on his new album slated for this October with guest vocals appearances of Luke Bryan, Charles Kelley and Jason Aldean.
A quote from the band’s lead singer, Kevn Kinney, gives a little insight into what Drivin N Cryin is all about: “We are a band that’s like your record collection.” Drawing influence from a wide array of musical elements, Drivin N Cryin has developed a unique sound over the years. Their name derives from the eclectic nature of this sound: a little drivin’ rock n roll and a little country twang. Comfortable with their past and confident in their future, the band has an arsenal of songs, a full tank of gas, and no plans of stopping any time soon.
RICH MATTSON & THE NORTHSTARS
Rich Mattson is a Minnesota singer-songwriter and musician recognized for his work leading rock and roll/Americana bands the Glenrustles (1988-1999), Ol’ Yeller (2000-2012) and the Tisdales (2008-2014). He is also quite well-known for his studio work at Sparta Sound in northern Minnesota, and Flowerpot (1991-2005, Minneapolis), where along with producing his own albums, he has recorded literally hundreds, if not thousands, of musical artists.
One of these artists is Germaine Gemberling, with whom he formed a special bond in around 2009, when he played guitar and harmonica on her folky debut. The two continued to play shows and record music, eventually living together and collaborating on albums with Junkboat and Ol’ Yeller (as of this writing, they have made 7 full-length albums together).
In the winter of 2014, Rich and Germaine decided to augment their folk-rock acoustic duo by adding drums, bass, and violin. Rich’s nephew Curtis Mattson was chosen for the drum seat for his no-frills, deep-in-the-pocket style, not to mention his familiarity with his uncle’s musical catalog. With the Northstars, Rich intended to dust off some old tunes, and honor requests. The man is known as a human jukebox with a songbook of epic proportions.