By Harry McNeil
Kris Gloer, leader of the Atlanta group Houndog, is effusive when he speaks about the music he's making with The Last Waltz Tribute Ensemble. His giddiness and love of the project is contagious, and it's obvious he feels a part of something bigger than the music he and his fellow Tribute friends are creating.
"I think every musician dreams of doing The Last Waltz, and I'm in a unique position of being able to call on so many of my friends in the business," says Gloer, speaking of the Tribute act he's organized over the past three years.
Gloer, a music enthusiast as well as a working musician for over fifteen years, nearly glows through the phone as he describes his initial idea from three years ago to pay homage to the ultimate musician's supergroup, The Band. The Last Waltz Tribute Ensemble, Gloer's all-star tribute to the music, spirit, and creative energy of The Band, debuted at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta on the day after Thanksgiving last November.
The show took on the sheen of something akin to magic as the stage progressively filled with some of the finest talent in the land, featuring Gloer's Houndog as "house Band" along with sweet sounds and special appearances by legends like Tommy Talton (Cowboy, Gregg Allman & Friends), Rick Richards (GA Satellites, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds), and E.T. & Kevin from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band as well as up-and-comers like Lee and Will Haraway of The Sundogs and Lee Schwartz from Outformation. The evening sold out, and Gloer's dedication to the project took a firm foothold.
"You've got to respect your roots," said Gloer via phone on a recent fairly-early-for-a-musician Monday morning. "The Last Waltz is the single greatest night in classic rock history. We're striking a really responsive chord with audiences and selling out great music rooms. 2006 is the 30th anniversary of the Martin Scorsese film commemorating the history and music of The Band. We feel like we've got some serious karma flowing."
Each show is specially tailored to utilize the musicians in the city where The Last Waltz Tribute Ensemble is playing and relies not just on veteran musicians but on new and upcoming performers as well. Gloer is committed to exposing new talent to audiences within the confines of The Last Waltz Tribute Ensemble, so the tribute will feature different musicians appearing with Houndog from city to city, as well as a shifting setlist of songs from the historic evening.
The Last Waltz Tribute Ensemble will appear at The Georgia Theatre on Friday March 3rd. Showtime is 10:00, and tickets are $7.00 in advance and $10.00 on the day of the show. The show will feature appearances by Houndog, Rick Richards (of The Georgia Satellites and Izzy Stradlin's Ju Ju Hounds), Greg Hester, The Sundogs, Brad Thomas (formerly of Bluestring), and David Fisch.
LIST OF CONFIRMED DATES:
03.03 | Georgia Theatre | Athens GA
04.07 | Smiths Olde Bar | Atlanta GA
04.27 | The Pour House Music Hall | Raleigh NC
04.29 | The Pour House | Charleston SC
06.03 | Zydeco's | Birmingham AL
JamBase | Worldwide
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