Chattahoochee Chatter: The sound of summer

June 11, 2014 

Maybe it's the summer. Or maybe it's the sound of a music festival around the corner.

Either way, this week's Chatter sure has a lot of sound to it …

Anyone looking to get a feel for the type of performers that Buddy Nelms and Mike McMillen might bring to their newly acquired Rivermill property might want to check out CutBait Music Festival downtown this weekend.

Saturday in particular will be telling. Nelms, also a CutBait organizer, said up-and-comers will be a major focus in the Bibb City mill venue just north of downtown.

And Maggie Rose, who will play Broadway Saturday, fits that description perfectly. "I Ain't Your Mama" is a pretty good song and video, available on YouTube, that shows that sass and attitude Nashville is desperately seeking at a time when males now are overly dominating.

And then there's Vintage Trouble, a Los Angeles rock-blues band fronted by Ty Taylor, who gives a high-energy performance reminiscent of James Brown in a David Letterman performance of "Blues Hand Me Down." They play the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee Friday before sliding into Columbus as the Broadway closer Saturday night.

"When you get good music, it spans lots of different generations. But this isn't going to be old timers," said McMillen of the acts he and Nelms looks to bring to town at Rivermill. "I'm hoping that we can get this thing kicked off and really get some top names."

Nelms mentioned neo soul/indie pop group Fitz and The Tantrums as a great fit, while popular bluegrass band Nickel Creek is also the type of act the partners want to see performing locally.

"I told Buddy I had met Billy Joel before, and I said people like that are out of the question," McMillen said. "He said you don't ever know. If you have a unique venue, there's no telling who you can get to come."

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Continuing the music and money theme …

Art, chorus and music teachers made a presentation to the Muscogee County School Board during Monday evening's work session. After they gave board members thank-you notes and sculptures from Allen and Double Churches elementary third-graders, Robbie Holt, the school district's arts and humanities director, explained why they gave a special gift to Sharon Adams, the district's chief financial officer, who received a Hardaway High student's sculpture of a s'more.

"Anytime you have some more," Holt told Adams, in charge of the district's money, "we'll gladly take it."

After the laughter settled down, District 2 board member John Wells read the quote from Pablo Picasso on the thank-you card he received: "The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."

"I don't understand his art," Wells said as he sparked more chuckles, "but I sure understand his quote."

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Artsy people usually are interested in recycling. They'll really enjoy this item …

During Columbus Council's discussions Tuesday about requiring residents to use paper biodegradable bags for yard waste, rather than the eco-unfriendly plastic bags, Councilor Glenn Davis was urging caution.

Saying that people need more information about the issue before Council acts on it, Davis pointed back to the media table in the rear of council chambers and said, "I would really like to ask Mr. Owen, if you would, to write a nice article about this. Because most people I talk to about this subject, they don't know much about it."

"Emphasis on 'nice,' Mike," Mayor Teresa Tomlinson interjected.

Owen turned to a fellow reporter and said, "That's a first. I've never been assigned a story by a councilor."

Later, Owen said he will consider writing such a story as soon as council votes on the RiverWalk restroom.

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