Blacktop Rockets 

Digging up the roots

For more than 20 years, Atlanta musician Dave Weil has been carrying the torch for roots music through numerous personnel changes with the Blacktop Rockets. Weil and company were one of the first bands to glorify the rockabilly tradition and shake the walls when the band originally formed as the Paralyzers around 1986. Since then, folks such as John McGowan (formerly Johnny Knox), Chad Proctor and Jeff Bradley have worn the badge.

Though some may view it as a throwback vibe, rockabilly still thrives as Weil sees it. "There will always be a contingent who dig the various forms of Southern American music – country, hillbilly, blues, R&B – and they probably arrive at it from lots of different angles," he says. "For [some] it starts with the look, the clothes and cars, and then the music follows. The bottom line is that it is truly great music with this level of energy and urgency that, at least for me, is irresistible."

BTR returns for an engagement at one of Atlanta's original hot spots for roots music, the Star Bar. After booking more garage and indie acts over the past five years, Star Bar seems to be on a redux kick. According to Weil, the timing may be right for a roots revival. "Like all clubs, and the music scene in general, the Star Bar vibe ebbs and flows. I know that when I've played there, it's almost always been big fun. I hope they can recapture the roots vibe because the city sure as heck needs it."

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