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Tag Archive: Atlanta


Weaver D’s is a 33 year old institution in Athens, Ga. Joe Catanese took me there for lunch before our show at Akademia Brewery that night. And owner, Dexter Weaver, was front and center at the cash register.

You order the meat you want – they all come with two sides. In my case, I ordered the fried pork chop.

“Pork chop fried!” Dexter called out.

“Pork chop fried!” said the woman getting the vegetables.

“Automatic!” Dexter would say.

Dexter took Joe’s order and ran his card. Then he took my card and handed Joe his card, receipt, and a pen to sign the other receipt. He kept talking the whole time without looking at anyone. He turned, supposedly toward me with a receipt and pen. I already had my own pen in my hand. Then he handed it to the man behind me.

I laughed, turned to Joe and said, “I thought he was talking to me.”

“Just killing two birds with one stone,” Dexter said, never looking anyone in the eye while he was talking.

A few moments later, he gave me my receipts, one of which I signed.

Then, when the woman called out, “pork chop,” I told her my two sides – potato salad and collared greens – and she shuffled off to the refrigerator for the potato salad, and the stove for the collared greens. The utensils and so forth are self-serve.

As you can see on the sign in the picture above, and on the walls in the interior, Dexter’s full expression is “automatic for the people.” There are also pictures of R.E.M on the wall. The band asked Dexter if they could name their next album Automatic For the People. Weaver didn’t think too much about it since the band had been pilfering his food at night. But when they “told me who they was” he was pleased and excited. The album won a grammy, Rolling Stone talked about the soul food restaurant in Athens, people came from all over to eat there, and other good fortune came around.

But that was a while back. Now there is a push to get it registered as an historical landmark so they can get additional funding to continue. You can read the full Automatic for The People story and contribute to their crowdfunding page at http://www.weaverds.com.

As for the food, I was not disappointed with the first fried pork chop I have had. The edges of the chop curled up, making a half bowl, as it were. The fat on one side had split into three “fingers,” so it looked somewhat like a crab, with claws only on one side and a big fat thumb on the other. But it was very tasty. The grease had drained off nicely. It wasn’t a very large pork chop, but that happens. The ample potato salad and collared greens filled out the “I’m full” quotient quite nicely. They were by far the best collared greens I have ever had. And that’s saying something.

If you go to Athens, you owe it to yourself to eat at Weaver D’s. The parking can be tough, but it’s worth it. Hell, if you’re in Atlanta even, you might want to make it a day trip.

Automatic!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Automatic!”

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Heading out to Georgia and Tennessee last week I stayed in KOAs when I wasn’t staying with friends. As a member, I get 10% off every night and points for every stay. I got a tent site with hookups, pulled the van into the site, plugged in my power strip, and settled in.

An ill-fated trip to Colorado where I made it no farther than Amarillo in late April began with a stay at the KOA in Abilene. The staff was very nice and helpful. The high temperature of a warm 80 dropped when the sun went down to the 60s and made for a pleasant night.

I was remembering that night with fondness as I pulled into the Toomsuba, Mississippi KOA on Tuesday the 21st. Before I left Farmers Branch, the Weather Channel was announcing a coming heat wave that could possibly set records – the center of which was right around Atlanta, Ga which was where I was headed. What they didn’t say was that the humidity percentage was going to rival the temperature.

Fortunately, it was not yet that humid in Toomsuba, even though it was in the middle of a large wooded area. But it was upwards of 90 when I pulled in about 6:30. The woman in the office/store greeted me and checked me in.

“Nice to have you here. The store closes at 7.” She checked the time again. “Oh good, you made it before the mosquitos come out.”

Well, good. I put the extension cord through the slightly open passenger front window, then stuffed my towel in the crack. Fortunately, mosquitos don’t care for me much, but I’m not immune. I have an Arctic Air that Cameron loaned me. It doesn’t work like they say on tv. It worked okay sitting behind my fan blowing cool air into it, but it wouldn’t have cooled the van by itself. Hell, both together were struggling against the heat before the sun went down. But after the sun went down, I had a peaceful night.

I stayed with friends, Joe and Lisa Catanese, while in Athens. Joe and I played at Akademia Brewing Company on Thursday. On Wednesday and Thursday in Athens, the temperature was in the 90s and the humidity was 89%. Fortunately, on Friday afternoon when I pulled into the KOA in Cartersville, Ga, the humidity was only about 50%, but at 92 degrees at 6 p.m. the Arctic Air and fan had more work to do. I worked on the computer and watched a movie sitting in front of the fan(s) moving as little as I needed to. It’s the only time I wear shorts. And again, after dark it got cooler and relatively pleasant.

You never can depend on the weather. But you can depend on KOA camps. It costs considerably less than a hotel room, it has a bathroom, shower, and sense of community. Keeping costs down is essential to any possible monetary success for a touring artist. I utilize travel centers and rest areas as well. I couldn’t stay every night in a KOA on a two week tour. But it’s nice to know they’re there when I need a break, electricity, and a shower.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Back in September of last year, I had a week long tour to the east, ending in a show at Akademia Brewing Company with my friend, Joe Cat in Athens, Georgia. The day before our show, I had some time in Atlanta before my show that night. I couldn’t be in the land of Waffle House and not go by the Waffle House Museum where the first location stood. I also went by the Waffle House Headquarters which is a campus in every sense of the word.

Here is a video of my song, Waffle House (Is a Mighty Fortress), about the Waffle House Index.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

I headed for Chattanooga two weeks ago Monday. I stopped over in Memphis and drove on in to Chattanooga on Tuesday. I played at Tremont Tavern Tuesday night. Then Wednesday night at Abbott’s Bar and Grill in Atlanta. I had a show on Thursday at Akademia Brewing Company with my friend, Joe Cat. So I was playing open mics on my way down. Hopefully setting up future shows.

Open mics are pretty much the same any where you go. The host is usually a popular member of the local music community. In the case of the Tremont Tavern, the host is Mike McDade. He’s pretty much a staple of the local scene.

I intended to get there when the list went out at 7 p.m., but I screwed up on the time change. Yeah, I know, but I did. When I got there, some of the local performers had already signed up. I added my name to the list, not all that concerned about the time. Check out was at 11 a.m. and I only had a two hour drive to Atlanta.

I got a beer at the bar and found a place to stand to watch the show and be out of the way. I missed Mike playing to open the show. But I only missed one or two on the list. I don’t know if it started on time or not.

There was the usual assortment of people playing the open mic. From those who don’t really have a lot of talent, but have friends who will show up and make noise to those who actually have a little talent and are working to get better. Needless to say, the latter had the most talent. Then there are those who think they are significantly better than they actually are. Yet they still need support, so I clapped too – but not too hard.

With the exception of those who showed up late because they only wanted to play for their own little group anyway, most of the performers stayed to hear other performers. Of course, two or three people played their set and left. Which is pretty standard for open mics.

I opened the out door for a guy coming in with a bag and a guitar case. His wife, I assume, followed him. He said hello to Mike, who told him he was next. Either the guy had showed up early to sign up and leave – which I doubt, or he had Mike put him on the list. Either way, he almost overshot his starting time.

He pulled his guitar out of its case. Then he opened the big black case he had. He pulled out three dulcimers. Then he pulled a stand out of the bag.  The third case – a bit smaller – held his pedal board, with looper. In the time it took him to get everything on stage and get it set up, someone else could have played. On the final of his three songs, he played all four instruments, two of them more than once, setting the loops up, and playing the one song – which took somewhere around six minutes. I understand that he had a show there that Friday and wanted to advertise. But all of that for three songs?

The girl pictured above was a regular who had a new song to try out. She was one of the performers who stood out from the rest. She was one of those people who make open mics interesting. As was another young man who played his songs in a practiced manner. He was playing a couple of places around town.

I played after the two people who followed the dulcimer player. I woke the place up to a degree with three songs from my Hello Out There cd in rapid fire delivery. After waiting to play – and having driven a good part of the day – I was fairly pumped. The crowd certainly seemed to enjoy my songs.

After a few more acts, I headed for the hotel. Next morning, I headed for Atlanta…

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

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