Little Richard. Ray Charles. Curtis Mayfield, Gram Parsons, the Allman Brothers Band, REM and even Whitney Houston.
Kevn Kinney and his “underdog band,” Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, will take their place alongside those illustrious names when the band is inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on Sept. 26 in Atlanta.
“The state of Georgia is fortunate to be the birthplace of a lot of amazing people,” said Kinney, who will warm up for his Hall of Fame appearance with a solo show at Palmetto Brewing on Thursday. “The Georgia Music Hall of Fame is pretty awesome.
“For me, I think it validates our band. Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ has always been kind of an underdog band, and a lot of people have been rooting for us for a long time. We are a Georgia band, an Atlanta, Georgia, rock band, and we’re proud of that.”
The Hall of Fame induction, which will include an introduction from REM guitarist Peter Buck, coincides with the 30th anniversary of Drivin’ N’ Cryin’, which had its national moment in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Songs like “Fly Me Courageous” and “Build a Fire” earned national radio play, and others like “Straight to Hell” and “Honeysuckle Blue” are part of the Southern rock canon.
The Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ jam at the Hall of Fame induction promises to be a wild affair, with as many as 12 current and former members on stage. The lead guitarist role, occupied in the past by the Lowcountry’s own Sadler Vaden, is now filled by Warner E. Hodges of Jason and The Scorchers fame.
Alongside his Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ career, Kinney has maintained a thriving solo act, with six solo albums to his credit. His solo show at Palmetto Brewing promises to be a mix of Kinney songs and “deconstructed” Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ tunes.
“I’ll do Kevn Kinney songs, and then I’ll deconstruct or reconstruct Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ songs,” said Kinney, who plans a solo record and a Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ EP with Hodges for next year. “I’ll do them in a different key or slow them down. It’s just trying to have a more intimate conversation with the audience.”
Canadian singer/songwriter Colter Wall, who just released his EP “Imaginary Appalachia,” is slated to open the show.