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Bain Mattox: shot in the dark 

Athens singer/songwriter goes for broke

"I was playing in North Carolina last night," Bain Mattox says. "And a girl came up to me after the show and said, 'Yeah, that was OK, but you need to play with more passion.' I play my heart out every time and usually people like it, but then that one comment has stayed with me all day."

Mattox worries because his art is on the line and he's solely responsible for all aspects of his career. Now self-managed, the Athens-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist says he's the only person he can blame for his success or failure. "It's a lot of pressure, and that's making me work even harder."

A recent Internet hack erased his considerable list of MySpace friends and wiped out his online presence, yet he doesn't seem too upset about the intrusion. "It's like starting over completely," he says, "But it was the right time to clean the slate." Now calling his project Bain Mattox and Shot from Guns, he's been busy working up a batch of folk-rock songs for a new album and eagerly anticipating the upcoming Atlanta debut of the band, which includes Christopher Skogen, Michael Lamond and Chris Wilkes.

"Everything feels really new right now musically. And that, of course, brings new things to deal with." Even more responsibility comes from the fact that he and his wife, Amanda Kapousouz of Tin Cup Prophette, recently purchased a home in Athens. "I was shoveling dirt behind the house the other day and I thought, you know, this is my dirt," he laughs. "It sounds funny, I know, but sometimes it's good to start from that dirt and grow."

Bain Mattox debuts Shot from Guns Fri., May 18, at Smith's Olde Bar. Rick Brantley Revival and the Bridges open. $12. Doors open at 8 p.m.

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