The Green Light Council was originally formed in 1999 as a fantastic conglomeration of everything. They mesh together a blend of styles ranging from bluegrass, reggae, and hip-hop to trance. In the beginning, it was their intention to form a band that fused together the diverse styles of their favorite influences, including Bob Marley, Medeski Martin & Wood, Phish, Grateful Dead, countless bluegrass legends, and the more modern musicians on the drum-n-bass and electronica scene. In doing so, they create a distinctive urban sound that only they can produce. Inherently improvisational, their music is unfettered by conventional standards for performance and seeks to establish new creative precedents. At any given show, one might detect the rhythmic lilt attributed to the music of the Caribbean or the melodic dissonance that has come to characterize contemporary jazz. Thus, the intensity and pure exuberance of The Green Light Council’s performances is hinged upon a spontaneity that applies to the style and actual content of the music performed.

Photo by Adam Gulledge
In June of 2002, the band added percussion player Jon McCoy, packed up their instruments, and made the move from Atlanta to Athens, where they currently reside in, appropriately, a green house. Living together has provided them with the opportunity to play frequently and continue improving and developing their music. As is made apparent by their instrument catalog alone, the Green Light Council is no commonplace ensemble. With multiple instruments on hand, each member not only contributes to the composition of the music, but the energy and fervor of every live show. The band’s driving rhythm section is made up of drums, percussion, and electric bass manned by Nathan Bartlett, Jon McCoy, and John Fountain, respectively. Lead guitarist Halem Albright, formerly of BandolJ, leads the band’s melody makers. He is supported by Josh Bartlett on acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboard, and lead vocals. The Green Light Council’s ability to switch between all styles of music, from bluegrass to hip-hop, creates the perfect blend of jam-oriented compatibility, making the band as a whole more than the sum of its parts.

The Green Light Council has set solid roots in the state of Georgia and is branching out across the Southeast, as far as Asheville and Memphis. They have played at such well-known venues as the Variety Playhouse, Georgia Theater, and The Cotton Club. Special guests have included banjo great Reverend Jeff Mosier, percussion guru Count M’Butu, and Cecil "P-Nut" Daniels. They have opened for such national acts as Oteil and the Peacemakers and Deep Banana Blackout, as well as had two live full-set performances on Atlanta’s favorite grassroots radio program: Z93’s The Dunhams. The GLC has also shared the stage with Moonshine Still, Ghost Trane, Perpetual Groove, Basement, and Ancient Harmony, to name a few. They have recorded a three track EP at Atlanta’s renowned Sonica Studios, archived a catalog of live recordings, and have booked studio time to record a full-length album in the spring of 2003.

With eclectic songs such as "Fergulous," "What About the Rain," and "Snailey’s Adventure," these new Athens residents are sure to become a staple in the diets of the many music hungry fans that this scene has to offer. Each time they perform, The Green Light Council presents to the audience a genuinely rich mixture of anything for which the listener might crave.

Upcoming Shows:
11.20.02 | BrandyHouse | Atlanta, GA
11.23.02 | BrandyHouse | Atlanta, GA (Opening for Iratowns)
11.29.02 | BrandyHouse | Atlanta, GA 11.30.02 | One Love Music Hall | Athens, GA
12.06.02 | Shakedown Street Outfitters | Cartersville, GA
12.11.02 | Last Call | Athens, GA
12.12.02 | BrandyHouse | Atlanta, GA (w/ The Rev. Jeff Mosier, Count M'Butu and Rex)

Thomas Laws
JamBase | Georgia
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[Published on: 11/20/02]

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