Amped!

Richard Goodsell darts about his English Avenue–area workshop, past the piles of speakers and vacuum tubes he uses to create his boutique guitar amps. (Vince Gill and Big Boi are just a few of his fans.) He grabs a guitar: “Do you want to strap on the other Telecaster?” asks the fifty-two-year-old. “That way we’re both holding an instrument and relating on that level. I’m all about that kind of thing.”

In Tune: Bryan-Michael Cox

Songwriter, producer, and four-time Grammy Award–winner Bryan-Michael Cox—aka B. Cox—is the man behind some of R&B’s biggest hits, including number ones for Usher (“Burn”), Mariah Carey (“Don’t Forget About Us”), and Mary J. Blige (“Be Without You”). The single thirty-one-year-old is based in Atlanta, but you’re just as likely to find him in L.A., Houston, or New York, writing for artists such as Toni Braxton, Ron I

Nursery Rhymes: MattyB

 Eight-year-old Matthew Morris confesses to having a fear of coyotes and a loathing of spinach, and he answers questions with a focused, “Yes, sir.” But give him a beat and put him in shades and a leather jacket, and he becomes MattyB—a “chyeah”-saying emcee who agilely chirps that he’s hotter than gumbo.

Festival style from TomorrowWorld 2013

TommorowWorld, the U.S. sibling to Belgian music festival Tommorowland, made its debut at a horse farm south of Atlanta last weekend. The event drew an estimated 50,000 revelers a day, drawn by the 300 artists and fantastical stage settings. But festivalgoers put on a show of their own, in looks that ranged from whimsical to scandalous. Here's a sampling of some of our favorite looks.

Former R&B artist Montell Jordan takes to the pulpit

On a drab Saturday evening inside the 1,500-seat auditorium of Victory World Church in Gwinnett County, a boom-mounted camera sweeps the crowd. Six screens glow blue above the stage, each ticking with a countdown clock. Finally the lights dim, the crowd rises and sways, and a towering figure in a checkered cardigan and baggy leather pants takes center stage, flanked by four singers, four guitarists, a drummer, and a keyboardist. Behind him is a massive white cross, built of wavy tiles.

The Biebs in the ATL

The flock of shrieking preteens (and a few shamefacedly excited adults) attending Justin Bieber’s January 23 Philips Arena show will undoubtedly be well versed in the moppet’s history. After all, the eighteen-year-old has already published two (!) memoirs. For the rest of us: a primer on the pop star’s past—including his tutelage under Atlanta impresario and Emory dropout Scooter Braun—courtesy of his mom Pattie Mallette, who wrote a memoir of her own, Nowhere but Up.

In Tune: Warren Hudson, owner of Decatur CD

After Decatur CD owner Warren Hudson had sent a dozen customers to Walmart for the new DVD from local country sensations Sugarland because of their exclusive distribution deal with the big-box retailer, he made his disapproval public by penning an open letter to the band. It stated, “By shutting the door on independent record

Doria Roberts nurtures an Odetta-inspired batch of new songs on “Blackeyed Susan”

Atlanta singer-songwriter Doria Roberts' new album, "Blackeyed Susan" is designed to engage all your senses. When you slide up the lid on the wooden "Blackeyed Susan" box created out of scraps from a guitar manufacturer, the scent of loose tea perfumes the air. There are blackeyed susan seeds for planting, honey to accompany the tea, a piece of Atlanta designer Kathleen Plate's Smartglass recycled jewelry and, after a five-year wait, Roberts' latest song cycle, inspired by and featuring songs long associated with her late mentor and civil rights folk legend Odetta Holmes. Roberts will introduce fans to the project this week at Decatur CD on Tuesday night at 7:30 with an album release gig (a massive reproduction of the album cover is now displayed on the side of the building) and Thursday at 5 p.m. at the East Atlanta Farmers Market. For the first time, Roberts says she has no plans to issue a digital version of the project ("I want people to enage all their senses with the keepsake box," she says. "You can't achieve that with a download.").

The Mad Violinist

When Ashanti Floyd, twenty-six, was a fifth grader in Tallahassee, his classmates laughed at him for playing the violin. With Tupac Shakur cranking out multiplatinum records, there were few young African American violinists, let alone ones traveling to Europe for classical music competitions. But by high school, Floyd’s gym performances inspired such bedlam that the principal had to shut down student assemblies.

Stomp and Stammer’s Jeff Clark may be the most hated man in Atlanta today

On a day with a -5 wind chill, the temperature throughout the city managed to plunge even further south on Tuesday once Atlantans got a look at the January issue of Stomp and Stammer magazine. The 17-year-old monthly ‘zine published and edited by veteran Atlanta writer Jeff Clark, is a self-described hodgepodge of “news, music, noise, opinion and garbage.” Across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr posts, friends, family and fans of Atlanta chef and restaurant owner Ria Pell are using the latter term to describe Clark’s 2013 In Review wrap up in the new issue.

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