The Atlanta Rhythm Section has been one of my favorite bands since I first heard A Rock and Roll Alternative back when I was a teenager and driving my mom’s Trans Am. She had a bunch of eight track tapes. A Rock and Roll Alternative was one of those tapes I listened to constantly. I remember catching a bus and going through questionable neighborhoods to get to downtown St. Louis one fourth of July to watch the band play at the VP Fair. I stood right in front of the stage. It was a blast. While A Rock and Roll Alternative remains one of my favorite albums of all time, there’s another ARS album that comes pretty damn close to matching it. That album is The Boys from Doraville. It doesn’t quite nudge A Rock and Roll Alternative out of the number one ARS album spot, but it comes pretty damn close.
It’s Christmas, 2016. I hadn’t heard this album in two decades at least. I got it as a gift this year and eagerly played it, remembering the greatness of the songs on this album as I listened to them again. The Boys from Doraville is truly an awesome album. The songs are tight and to the point. It’s a dose of southern rock and roll at its finest.
- “Cocaine Charlie” (Buie/Hammond)
- “Next Year’s Rock & Roll” (Buie/Daughtry)
- “I Ain’t Much” (Buie/Cobb)
- “Putting My Faith in Love” (Buie/Daughtry/Cobb)
- “Rough at the Edges” (Buie/Daughtry)
- “Silver Eagle” (Buie/Cobb)
- “Pedestal” (Buie/Hammond)
- “Try My Love” (Buie/Hammond)
- “Strictly R & R” (Buie/Nix/Daughtry/Walker)
The album opener, Cocaine Charlie, is a killer character study with an awesome groove. Pedestal is one of my favorite ARS ballads and Silver Eagle matches Georgia Rhythm from A Rock and Roll Alternative as a definitive life-on-the-road song. Rough at the Edges is another cool character study and Strictly R & R is a tribute to what the band does best. Simply put, there is not a bad song on this album. In fact, I think it’s one of their underrated masterpieces. There’s a great balance of mid tempo, uptempo, and ballads here. The songwriting is top notch and the production is killer. I’ve missed this album over the years. It was a great Christmas gift this year and a reminder of just how great the Atlanta Rhythm Section are as a band. While the members aren’t all the same today, they are still doing shows and doing justice to this music, which is why they remain one of my favorites.