On an unusually cold night in Florida, me and about 20 or so of my closest friends (total strangers) managed to get out to Dave's for Dahlonega, Georgia's own Smokestack and the Foothill Fury. It's a real shame so few people came out 'cause it was one hell of a show.
I walked in just as the touring opener, The Corduroy Road, was starting. What an amazing little surprise they were. A four piece with two singers, banjo, harmonies and harmonicas. The band plays a mix of bluegrass and country and they play it well. Unfortunately, the EP they're selling suffers from less than stellar studio production but they are looking to release a full-length sometime this summer. Hopefully they'll have the studio kinks worked out and their recorded efforts will came across as well has their live show does.
Smokey hit the stage next and you wouldn't have known if there were 20 or 200 people in Dave's from his performance. Despite having had a long night the night before, every bit of that "Tasmanian devil with a guitar" energy hit the the stage and started running through songs at a completely blistering pace. The sparse crowd showed their pleasure all night, making numerous trips to the tip jar. While there was an occasional song played at a slower pace, I'd imagine that the average BPM for Smokey's set was about 180. For the longest time Smokestack suffered from the same fate that The Corduroy Road did, a cd with crappy recording quality, but he has solved that problem with Ain't Gonna Pine and you can look for a full review in the coming week or so.
Smokey plays in this area 4 or 5 times a year. Do yourself a favor and catch one of his shows, you won't be disappointed.