Mother’s Finest & Wet Willie in concert

August 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Zac Brown's Southern Ground Amphitheater
301 Lafayette Avenue
Georgia 30214
Joyce Waits

Fayetteville will be jumpin’ Saturday night, Aug. 24, with a concert lineup featuring both Mother’s Finest and Wet Willie.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 20, tickets were still available at

Below are press releases from both bands.

Atlanta-based Mother’s Finest still representing ‘Funk Rock Georgia’

Music which goes straight to the gut and into your legs, which aims for your heart and soul and always finds its target. There can be no question that Mother’s Finest is among the most energetic and charismatic rock groups on this planet. With their virtuoso vocalist Joyce Kennedy at the epicenter of their soundquake, a tight rhythm section which leaves nothing to be desired, and masses of spirited guitar fusillades to make listeners go weak at the knees, this band has long made a name for itself in the annals of rock history.

Because, long before the Red Hot Chili Peppers & Living Colour there were the Mothers. Based in Atlanta but hailing from a place of their own creation, they put Funk Rock Georgia on the world map and created the genre that fused funky, rock-solid grooves with an explosive power and high-energy, in-your-face-vocals.  The bands earliest recognition came from the CBS albums Another Mother Further (1977), Mother Factor (1978), and the much acclaimed Mother`s Finest Live (1979). These recordings yielded the iconic “Baby Love”, “Piece Of The Rock”, “Love Changes”, “Truth’ll Set You Free”, and “Mickeys Monkey”, that still reign as fan favorites.

In the Seventies, this musical hybrid signaled a new direction for the industry that was met with a fierce opposition, not only from radio stations, but the record companies themselves. Mothers Finest met this challenge head on, powered through, and gave the fans the wall of sound they’d eagerly been searching for.

Though veterans of the music business and inductees into The Georgia Music Hall of Fame, if you are fortunate enough to catch them in concert, you will not experience a band you would consider “old school”, though you will get schooled by the raucous blend of high energy vocals, soulful modern grooves, funky rhythms, and pure power! The sound is undeniably theirs, and whether you have caught them live or were one of the million-plus that witnessed their life-altering broadcast of the Rockpalast performance in Germany, you will keep coming back for more.

The current lineup includes vocalists Joyce Kennedy and Glenn Murdock, bassist Wyzard and guitarist Moses Mo, all four original members of the first line-up dating back to 1970. Guitarist John Hayes and drummer Dion Derek have proved to complement Mother’s Finest perfectly since their comeback in 1989. This band has rocked for more than 40 years and still sounds as if they had just undergone their first baptism of fire.

Mid-state neighbor Wet Willie to share the amphitheater stage with Mother’s Finest

Wet Willie formed in Mobile, Alabama in 1969, when brothers Jack and Jimmy Hall teamed with drummer Lewis Ross, keyboardist John Anthony, and guitarist Ricky Hirsch to form a group originally called Fox. They relocated to Macon, Georgia in 1970 and joined forces with songwriter Frank Friedman, before signing a contract with Capricorn Records. Soon after, Fox was reborn as Wet Willie.

“What the band was all about was energetic, funky, greasy, bluesy, R&B-based rock,” bassist Jack Hall explained. In its review of their self-titled debut album, Rolling Stone magazine declared that Jimmy had “a voice strut and an air of raucous elegance not unlike Jagger.” Guitarist Wick Larsen replaced Friedman before the first album was released and, after a second studio LP, performed with the group on 1973’s live album, Drippin’ Wet. It was the first of their releases to appear on national sales charts.

Wet Willie’s major breakthrough came with 1974’s “Keep On Smilin’,” which reached the Top 10 on the Billboard singles chart. The accompanying album officially introduced the Williettes, the two-woman backup vocal team that included Jack and Jimmy’s sister, Donna Hall. Donna was joined, in succession, by Ella Avery, Elkie Brooks, and Leslie Hawkins, who would later work with Lynyrd Skynyrd.

After five albums with Capricorn, Wet Willie relocated to Atlanta. By the time they signed with Epic Records in 1977, Jack and Jimmy Hall were the sole original members. Along with keyboardist Mike Duke, who had joined the previous year, the Halls rebuilt the band with Marshall Smith, T.K. Lively, and Larry Berwald. They carried the singles “Street Corner Serenade” and “Weekend” to the Top 40, but after two albums with Epic, the band members went their separate ways.

After a hiatus in the 1980s, Wet Willie regrouped, released “Miles of Smiles,” a live album on Hittin’ the Note Records, and continues to perform.



Mar 14, 2019 3:05 pm |