Atlanta Rhythm Section / Firefall
Formed from the cream of Atlanta’s studio musicians, the Atlanta Rhythm Section (actually hailing from nearby Doraville, Georgia) came together in 1970 after working on a Roy Orbison recording session. Keyboardist Dean Daughtry and drummer Robert Nix had been members of Orbison's backing group, the Candymen, and Daughtry and guitarist J.R. Cobb had been members of the Top 40 hitmakers Classics IV (“Spooky,” “Stormy,” “Traces”). Rounding out the original ARS lineup were vocalist Rodney Justo (replaced after the first album by Ronnie Hammond), guitarist Barry Bailey, and bassist Paul Goddard. The group recorded two albums for Decca Records in 1972, neither of which made an impact, before signing to Polydor Records in 1974. Their first album for that company, Third Annual Pipe Dream, only reached number 74 in the U.S. The next two albums fared worse. Finally, in 1977, “So In To You” became the band’s breakthrough single, reaching the U.S. Top 10, and the album from which it came, A Rock And Roll Alternative, went gold. Their platinum followup album, Champagne Jam, broke into the Top 10 in 1978, together with the blockbuster single “Imaginary Lover” (“I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight” was another major hit from the same album). Nix left after that, replaced on drums by Roy Yeager. During this magical timeframe, ARS performed at the White House for President Jimmy Carter, another notable Georgia product. After an extended break, the band got back together in the mid-‘90s and re-recorded some of their best and best-known songs. The live-in-the-studio sound of Atlanta Rhythm Section ‘96 presents a different, less polished take on some classic tunes and captures the sound of their live performances from that period. Three original band members returned: singer Ronnie Hammond, guitarist Barry Bailey and keyboardist Dean Daughtry. They were joined by Steve Stone on guitar, Justin Senker on bass and Sean Burke on drums. The group also cut a second version of these songs with the same lineup except for new drummer R. J. Vealey. It was around this time that ARS was elected to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. The band was honored at a September 1996 induction ceremony at the Georgia World Congress Center. In the first part of 2001, lead singer Ronnie Hammond made a commitment to perform with the ensemble touring group Voices of Classic Rock and this led to a parting of ways with ARS. Original singer Rodney Justo and original bassist Paul Goddard returned to ARS in 2011 after lengthy absences from the group. Sadly, Goddard passed away April 29, 2014 of cancer in Atlanta. Nonetheless, Atlanta Rhythm Section will carry on, continuing to make concert appearances showcasing their many classic hits and outstanding musical abilities.
The genealogy and musical roots of FIREFALL run deep into the fertile soil of American rock and folk rock music. It began with Woodie Guthrie and later, Bob Dylan, evolving into the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield. The genre established by these luminaries continued with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Manassas, The Band, Neil Young, The Eagles, Poco, Loggins and Messina, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris, Dan Fogelberg, America and FIREFALL. Many of these participants mingled in the studio and on tour. Individually and collectively they created a sound that changed the world's musical landscape. FIREFALL is one of the few surviving bands of this genre, remaining true to its founding vision and roots despite personnel changes over its 40+ year history. The band transcends and embraces many industrial labels- rock, soft rock, country rock, contemporary country, easy listening and Americana. "I think it's great that in this day and age of trends that change overnight, a kind of music we helped create 40+ years ago is still around and growing in popularity" -----Jock Bartley---- For co-founder Jock Bartley, FIREFALL has not only represented an opportunity to make quality music over the course of 4 decades, but also represents a personal, heartfelt commitment to maintaining the tradition of a contemporary musical genre he and his peers helped create. From 1976 through the early 1980's, the Boulder, Colorado-based rock band, FIREFALL; Rick Roberts, Jock Bartley, Mark Andes, Michael Clarke, Larry Burnett and David Muse, saturated the nation's radio air waves and toured the world over, selling millions of records and earning two platinum and three gold albums. They shared stages with other top bands of the day - Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, Peter Frampton, The Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, Chicago, The Beach Boys, Loggins and Messina, America, Bob Seger, Heart and many others. The band dazzled audiences with their exuberant and rocking performances - this was no 'light rock' band. FIREFALL is a group of exceptional musicians and singers, with a repertoire of recognizable songs few bands can match. Their many hits - "You Are The Woman," "Just Remember I Love You," "Strange Way," " Cinderella," "Mexico," " Livin' Ain't Livin'," " So Long," " Goodbye I Love You," " Sweet and Sour" and others - are faithfully recreated with a freshness rare in live performances of such classics. In the 1990's, Rhino Records began releasing their original albums on CD, including the compilation, FIREFALL's GREATEST HITS. These classic albums reveal a successful sound that many bands strive for. With the combined ingredients of band members: Rick, Jock, Mark, David, Larry and Michael a fresh new sound was born. With contributing guest appearances by such greats as Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, David Sanborn, Bill Payne (Little Feat) and Timothy B. Schmidt (Eagles), these recordings set a new bar. With lead guitarist, singer/songwriter, Jock Bartley as the common thread and FIREFALL's 1994 CD release, "MESSENGER," the band continues to expand upon their distinctive sound. It is filled with passionate lyrical incisiveness, with great melodic range and diversity. "When The River Rises" was written for and dedicated to the 1993 Midwest Flood Victims, with a portion of the proceeds from this song going to disaster relief. Jock Bartley's uplifting song of 1998, "Call On Me," became an anthem of sorts for Suicide Prevention. As a spokesman for the cause and the first ever national crisis hotline network, 1 (800) SUICIDE, he helped to put on three fund raising benefits around the country featuring such musical luminaries as Michael McDonald, Wynonna Judd, Journey, Steve Winwood, David Pack of Ambrosia and Rusty Young of Poco. "Call On Me" is included on Jock's first ever solo CD, "BLINDSIDE," released in late 2006. Throughout the years, FIREFALL has nurtured their faithful and growing audience through their dynamic live concert performances, which have continually brought in new generations of fans. The "experience" of FIREFALL's live concerts leaves their fans, old and new, thinking that they've just attended one of the best concerts they've ever seen. With the wealth of old and new songs, FIREFALL demonstrates the depth and diversity of the band's lyrical and musical excellence. Their tight harmonies and intricate vocal arrangements are a fresh reminder of what melodic music is all about. The excellence of musicianship is intensely felt and appreciated by audiences. The response to the solos and many extended "jams" in concert, is an overwhelming infectious helping of fun and spontaneity in the highest degree. FIREFALL was one of the first bands to bring the creative and musical richness of the Rocky Mountain area to the forefront of the industry. The resurgence of this diverse musical hotbed has since given way to the likes of Big Head Todd and the Monsters, The Samples and The String Cheese Incident. And so, the band has come full circle. In 40 + years of making exceptional music, FIREFALL has distinguished themselves as one of the top bands from the genre of music called Americana. They helped spearhead the birth and continuation of the country rock / folk rock sound of the 70's. FIREFALL is as vital as ever, standing out as one of the few remaining torchbearers for harmony laden rock; a welcome blast from the past focused firmly on the future