Decatur’s Music Festival Returns April 13

Since 2011, Amplify My Community has produced more than 70 concerts and directed more than $300,000 in unrestricted gifts to community organizations helping the homeless and impoverished, including $190,000 to Decatur Cooperative Ministry.

It’s Back! Decatur’s music festival returns Saturday, April 13 with its most acclaimed line-up yet. Join us for a day of music and fun, outdoors on the downtown square. This year’s artists include Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Mavis Staples and two-time Grammy award winner Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, as well as the critically acclaimed songwriter Julien Baker, Kevn Kinney of Drivin N Cryin, and the Atlanta-based jam-rock band The Bitteroots. Doors open at 3:30 p.m., and the show will close at 11 p.m. Tickets are available at AmplifyDecatur.org and through Eventbrite.com. General Admission tickets are $45. VIP tickets are $149.50, and Premium seating is $249.50. See page 16 for more information. All funds raised—including ticket sales—at the fourth annual outdoor music festival will be directed to Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM) to support its efforts to prevent and alleviate homelessness in Decatur and DeKalb County.

“Amplify’s mission is to celebrate the incredible work of DCM through the joy of live music,” said Amplify My Community board president Drew Robinson. “We are truly honored to assist in DCM’s efforts to eradicate homelessness here in Decatur and DeKalb County.”

To date, Amplify Decatur has raised $190,000 for DCM. Amplify Decatur will also feature shows at Eddie’s Attic, Friday, April 12, Saturday, April 13, and Sunday, April 14. The concert series is again presented by Lenz and produced in partnership with Eddie’s Attic.

Band Profiles

Mavis Staples

Staples, an incomparable R&B and gospel legend, continues forging a career that began nearly 70 years ago. Staples holds a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and her many awards include being a Kennedy Center Honoree, and a Grammy and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. As a member of the Staple Singers, she recorded a volume of timeless tracks, including “I’ll Take You There,” “Respect Yourself,” and “Freedom Highway,” the latter a civil rights-era anthem. Her solo career collaborations feature a who’s-who of music royalty, from Prince to Bob Dylan and George Jones to Ray Charles. Staples’ influence spans generations, and contemporary artists such as Nick Cave, Neko Case, and Merrill Garbus (Tune-Yards) have penned songs for her. Modern rockers Arcade Fire, Gorillaz, and Hozier have worked with Staples, and she has recorded multiple critically-acclaimed albums with Jeff Tweedy from Wilco. Staples continues performing nearly 200 nights a year, and is currently supporting her latest release, “Live in London.” 

Jeff Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy is the co-founder of Uncle Tupelo, founder and leader of Wilco, and a two-time Grammy Award winner. He recently released a solo record titled “WARM” and the memoir, “Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back).” “WARM” was produced and recorded entirely by Tweedy at Chicago’s now legendary studio, The Loft (with help from some of his usual collaborators – Spencer Tweedy, Glenn Kotche, and Tom Schick). In “Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back),” Jeff writes candidly and compellingly about his past, his songs, and the people who have inspired him. It’s a portrait of an artist in his most reflective and creative state.

Julien Baker

At only twenty-three years old, Julien Baker has received national attention with her emotive and haunting lyrics and vocals. The Memphis-based singer/guitarist released her second album, Turn Out The Lights, to critical acclaim in 2017. Baker also co-founded the supergroup, “boygenius,” with Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers in 2018.

Kevn Kinney

Kevn Kinney is the lead singer-songwriter of the Atlanta rock band, Drivin N Cryin, which has a gold record, 10 full-length albums, and a spot in the Georgia Music Hall of Fame to its credit. Since the band’s 1985 inception, he’s also released several solo acoustic albums, including 1990’s “MacDougal Blues,” produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck for Island Records. Darius Rucker cut Kinney’s song, “Straight To Hell,” on his album “When Was The Last Time.” The documentary film “Scarred But Smarter: Life N Times of Drivin N Cryin” was released in 2012.

The Bitteroots

The Bitteroots are an Atlanta-based, jam-rock band that draws comparisons to the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, Melissa Etheridge, and Janis Joplin. The band has released five albums of original music, most recently, “Derailer,” which features the single, “No Demands.”

Schedule
Estimated Times

3:30 p.m. – Doors Open
4:00 p.m. – The Bitteroots
5:15 p.m. – Kevn Kinney (and his band)
6:30 p.m. – Julien Baker
7:30 p.m. – Jeff Tweedy
9:15: p.m. – Mavis Staples
11:00 p.m. – Festival Ends

General Admission tickets: $45 advance, $50 week of show. Includes access to local food, beer, wine, and restrooms.

VIP tickets: $149.50 in advance, $155 the week of the show. Includes preferred seating—behind Premium VIP seating (first come, first served), complimentary beverages (4 per guest), and access to dedicated VIP bathrooms.

Premium VIP tickets: $249.50. Only 100 available. Includes premium seating at the front of the stage, complimentary beverages with service at seats during intermissions, and dedicated bathrooms.

Tickets available at AmplifyDecatur.org and Eventbrite.com. Proceeds go to support Decatur Cooperative Ministry’s work helping the homeless in Decatur and DeKalb County.

No chairs provided for general admission; attendees may bring their own chairs: there will be a section in the back of general admission where chairs will be permitted. Children 8 and under are admitted free; no more than two children 8-and-under per adult.

The festival will take place rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable in the event of severe weather conditions.

The 2019 Amplify Decatur Concert Series will also feature three nights of music at historic Eddie’s Attic. See page 17 for details. Tickets and more information are available at EddiesAttic.com.

Events

Friday, April 12

David Lowery: Songs of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven (early show)
Var, with Mike Killeen (late show)

Saturday, April 13

“Let’s Go – A discussion of music and other topics with Jeff Tweedy and Jon Hamm” (afternoon show)
SOLD OUT

Saturday, April 13

Liz Vice (early show)
Charlie Mars (late show)

Sunday, April 14

Vs. series tribute night:
Nirvana vs. Pearl Jam (mostly) unplugged

Fifty Years of Community Impact at Decatur Cooperative Ministry

According to Marlene White, the Executive Director of Decatur Cooperative Ministry, the face of homelessness is not what you might expect. Among those seeking DCM’s help include individuals with advanced degrees and good jobs.

“The problem is that families who find themselves without housing in this economy have such a difficult time because there are challenges to getting a living wage and there are challenges to identifying affordable housing,” says White, whose organization works to alleviate the problems of homelessness in the City of Decatur and in DeKalb County.

Founded in 1969, DCM has been serving local residents for 50 years. The organization offers several different housing and prevention programs all along the continuum of homeless service. Its main programs include:

  • A transitional housing program, providing housing and supportive services to move families from homelessness to self-reliance in six months.

  • An emergency shelter and assessment center, providing up to 90 days of night shelter for families with children.

  • A homelessness prevention program providing emergency assistance (in the form of rent/mortgage and utility assistance) to at-risk families, seniors, and Veterans in danger of eviction, foreclosure, or disconnection of services.

Combined, DCM’s programs served over 1,600 individuals in 2018.

DCM has been the beneficiary of the Amplify Decatur Concert Series since the concert’s inception in 2011. Since that time, Amplify has raised over $190,000—including a record $40,000 gift in both 2017 and 2018.

White wishes to thank this year’s festival attendees. “By joining us at Amplify Decatur, you are making a real difference in people’s lives,” she says. “I see it every day.”

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