Posted on June 4, 2009

Night Drivng In Small Towns

The newest of the Lower 40 family, Night Driving (for short) are taking Atlanta by storm.

What started as a five piece in south Georgia during college has evolved into a three piece with a great deal of education under their belts.

Though their roots may be heavily set in the southern part of the state, they have now set up shop in the thriving city of Atlanta. The band has been through many changes over the years, but one thing that has remained the same is their ability to make music that is simply irresistible.

Hailed by Rolling Stone Magazine as “One of the Top 25 bands on Myspace,” they are focusing more than ever on reeling in fans and industry folks alike with their very own brand of rock. This is proving to be an easier task than expected. People are enamored by “the off-the-cuff swagger [and] the intrigue of Night Driving in Small Towns” thanks to their “lush harmonies, superlative musical support and the adorable/emotive Andrea Rogers’ alt-pop tone”(Ape Quake). And they have no intention of stopping their takeover in their new hometown.

Night Driving recently joined forces with Atlanta’s very own Lower 40 Records in search of greener musical pastures and more opportunities than ever before. Although the band is currently supporting their two previous releases, By the Roadside and Postscript, they are joyously recording new tracks for a Spring 2010 release.

(Photo by Dave W. Batterman)



“Serial Killer”

[audio:|titles=Serial Killer]

Stephen Simmons

Stephen Simmons hails from Woodbury, a small town in central Tennessee that’s known for Sunday socials, tent revivals and palm readings. After ten years in Nashville, Simmons is, in many ways, still that Church of Christ kid––humble, good-natured, but more than a little dark––as a songwriter and a road dog, his revelations are as exhilarating as a Tilt-a-Whirl. On his new record, The Big Show, Simmons combines his trademark insight and dark imagery with the wry humor and irony of a gifted songwriter who’s been around the block and seen more than his share of the true human psyche.

When asked about this body of work, Simmons said that this record was about more than just the life of an entertainer on the road.  “Ninety percent of the time I feel more of a kinship with a truck driver than Dylan or Springsteen.  People mainly see us in that brief window when were on stage and the lights are up, but most of the time were changing clothes in a gas station bathroom, killing time in a hotel or just driving. To me, the idea of a BIG SHOW is much more than that.  It’s also an analogy of our lives here on this World.”

Joining Stephen Simmons on The Big Show is his longtime producer and ringmaster Eric Fritsch (Sheryl Crow, Scott Miller), who also plays guitar and Hammond organ on some tracks. Simmons and Fritsch matched a renowned crew of musicians with songs best suited to each individual’s playing style. Other tracks feature Simmons alone, accompanied only by a beat-up Guild acoustic guitar and a harmonica

The Big Show is Simmons’s sixth record. His previous works (Last CallDrink Ring JesusSomething In BetweenThe Blame’s On U.S. and Girls) have found him compared to the likes of Johnny Cash, Ryan Adams, John Prine and Tom Petty. The Big Show also owes a debt to that songwriting pantheon, but also includes influences as diverse as Van Morrison, Tom Waits and the acclaimed HBO series Carnivàle. Above all, The Big Show is an event––a showcase for a seasoned singer-songwriter who’s got stories, insights and melodies that are unique yet available to all. Step right up.


Wrinkle Neck Mules

Wrinkle Neck Mules hail from Richmond, VA, the bands 3rd full-length, The Wicks Have Met, was Lower 40′s first release in April 2007.   The band’s music has been called “good shit” by Nerve and given more respect in the world of alt country than one could imagine.  With true grit, brilliant story telling, and some of the sickest musicianship you will ever hear, the band released Let the Lead Fly in October 2009.  The 2 plus year wait proved to be worth it as the album takes what the Mules do best and amps it up.  With the opener’s chant of “Don’t just stand there.  Raise your guns and let the lead fly.”, the standard is set and never disappoints.

Check them out on Myspace or at

“Let the Lead Fly”
[audio:|titles=Let the Lead FLy]

“Medicine Bow”
[audio:|titles=Medicine Bow]