In Tune: Whiskey Gentry

A young band hitches its star to old-time sounds

The Whiskey Gentry may have formed only a year ago, but with a sound that’s equal parts country, punk, and bluegrass, the local band’s concerts are packed with dedicated followers who are as likely to don cowboy boots as Dr. Martens. “There aren’t many [bands] in Atlanta where you can see someone shred a banjo or fiddle or guitar,” says front woman Lauren Staley. Indeed, the Whiskey Gentry—a name derived from a Kentucky Derby reference—has hosted crowded live shows throughout the Southeast and has earned media accolades (it was named a “Best of What’s Next” band by Decatur’s Paste) with its blend of bluegrass banjos, accordions, fiddles, electric guitars, and strong Dixieland vocals. One of the band’s favorites from its new EP is “Eula Mae,” a fast tune spawned from a somber memory: It tells the story of guitarist Jason Morrow’s great-grandmother, who was electrocuted during a Tennessee storm. To hear the Whiskey Gentry rip that song and others live, see the band April 3 at Star Community Bar for an anniversary show and EP release party.

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Photograph by Matt Odom