15 March 2011
UPDATE 2: Looks like all members of R.E.M. (sans Bill Rieflin) are currently in Austin, TX for the SXSW festival – Michael Stipe is screening the 12 music videos/art films for Collapse Into Now, Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey are playing shows with The Baseball Project, and Mike Mills is not the one to miss the party, so he has followed his mates to Austin. Here is a funny recap of their yesterday’s show.
UPDATE: You can download the entire Kevn Kinney set (12 songs) from Southern Shelter!
As mentioned in our previous post, over the weekend, The Baseball Project played shows in Atlanta and Athens. As expected, they were joined by a host of friends, members of R.E.M.’s “extended family”.
The tour icebreaker show took place in Atlanta on 11 March – the same day when Michael Stipe hosted his video screening event in London. The venue where The Baseball Project played is small, it holds about 150 people and it’s standing room only, but a great little venue and bands love to play there. The opening act was Kevn Kinney, singer and acoustic guitar player from an Atlanta band Drivin n Cryin who hit big in the U.S. when R.E.M. released Green; Peter Buck produced Kevn Kinney’s first solo album Mac Dougal Blues). Peter played on every song, he primarily played mandolin, but also 12-string guitar and bass, while Scott McCaughey played the keyboards. Mike Mills joined them for Drivin n Cryin’s big hit called “Straight to Hell”; and then it turned into a jam session. After a 15-minute break The Baseball Project came on, with Mike Mills on keyboards for the entire set.
The next day, the entire extended family played in Athens. This show was a reunion of 3/4 of the original R.E.M. lineup (Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry!); furthermore, they were joined (among others) by John Keane whose studio has served as the band’s favourite workplace for many years. Our own Linda Somerville was in Athens for the entire weekend, and she sent her day-by-day diary, so without further ado, read it here! Linda also met up with my buddy Mark Rockwell and his wife, and Mark has kindly sent his own brief report too. Last but not least, both Linda and Mark took lots of photos at the gig, so enjoy!
Our friend Jordan Stepp aka Athens Music Junkie has also published her impressions, photos and videos from the gig, to be found here, and a few days beforehand she interviewed the awesome Scott McCaughey.
Finally, here you’ll find Steve Wynn’s own insider account on these events! Keep reading Steve’s diary, I’m sure he will be updating it constantly while the band’s on tour!
Tags: 40 Watt, Bill Berry, Drivin n Cryin, Green, John Keane, Kevn Kinney, Linda Pitmon, Mac Dougal Blues, Michael Stipe, Mike Mills, Peter Buck, R.E.M., Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Straight To Hell, The Baseball Project