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Atlanta Music Examiner Presents: Georgia Local Artist of the Week – Rod Hamdalla

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If you have not heard of Rod Hamdallah then you need to introduce yourself to his music. The guitar virtuoso has been a permanent fixture in the Atlanta music scene for years now playing anywhere and with anyone that will have him. Honing his skills by ingesting music from blues, rock, punk and soul he has incorporated it all into his music to create a fresh sound that has a familiar feel. You could compare him to many musicians out there but that would be unfair to Hamdallah.

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Throughout his career he has been a regular at blues joints around Atlanta (Northside Tavern, Nik’s, Darwin’s and many more) and has spent time opening for and playing with some of the most well respected musicians around. Establishing himself as one of the most well respected artists around Atlanta by critics, peers and fans, Hamdallah has become a fixture of Mr. JD Wilkes' Dirt Daubers starting another chapter in his musical venture.

You used to only be able to partake in his music live, but with the recently released EP – Think About It – you can now take his tunes with you wherever you want. (Don’t stop seeing him live though that is where he is at his best.) The new EP is a brilliant sample of what Hamdallah and his band, Gabriel Pline (drums) and Adam Holliday (bass, organ) do; offer up chunky melodies, blistering guitar licks and pounding rhythms as Hamadallah belts out the vocals. Firing out of the gate with the scorching punk flavored track “Think About It”, they grab listeners by the throat and don’t let up until the final buzzing of the swampy “Take Me Back” fades from their ears. Growling about a woman he can’t shake the bluesy “I Don’t Mind” elicits the classic blues sounds that Hamdallah has perfected. Short and sweet, “Carry You Home” takes on a Stax Records flavor as he sings about winning the love of beautiful lady. The soulfulness of this song is what makes it one of the best on the record. The track “Heartbeat” is my favorite track on the EP. They strip it down creating a raw bare bones sound that focuses on Hamdallah’s haunting vocals. Utilizing a plethora of instruments it has a bit of a Tom Waits flavor to it. This record deserves to be played loud and over and over again. After multiple listens it just keeps getting better with the only weakness being it is just five songs, but five great songs beats ten mediocre songs any day.

Take my word for it, you cannot go wrong with music from Rod Hamdallah so I highly suggest you catch him live and pick up Think About It. Not only do you get to hear some damn fine music, but you get to support Georgia local music.

(If you would like to be considered for Georgia Local Artist of the Week please contact me at galocalmusic@gmail.com )

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