(Photo by: Jami Buck-Vance)
Tommy the Tomcat is back. Jade Lemons, the mastermind behind the Underrated Records label and studio, debuted his new act at 529 in the East Atlanta Village. A few spots around EAV had decent crowds, as a weekend summer night down South buzz was in the air. My sister, Anna and photog friend, Marc were on the scene with me as we stopped in for a quick one at the newly-reopened Glenwood. Then Mr. Lemons appeared crossing the street in Captain’s hat and his signature skinny jeans, blonde beauty in tow all dolled up. He was headlining, and his mom was on hand. His friends and fans were on hand. His new material was ready for its first public consumption. He delivered to the full venue with the help of a band totaling five pieces, counting Jade, and you should because the dude rocks. Sallow, gauntly thin, tall and intensely transposed on guitar and lead vocal against a punk-looking black girl playing bass, a classic-in-delivery accompanying singer, also of color, white dudes wailing on sax and pounding on drums – this is real now Atlanta music. Yet, Ziggy Stardust meets T-Rex’s Marc Bolan again is what I most hear in obvious classic influence. Familiar and good songs, the first time heard. Though this group is worthy of a bigger venue soon and Jade clearly couldn’t hear his monitors well on stage, the short performance came off as well-rehearsed and of crystal clear quality. This band is only a key hit song away from being at least a minor household name, as this new formula for Jade works. I predict a big future for them.
(Photo by: Wizard Smoke)