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Atlanta's Shaky Knees Festival unveils 2014’s participants

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With a mighty fine collection of bands the quality of music at 2013’s Inaugural Shaky Knees Festival far outweighed the crap weather. With a weekend loaded with torrential rains, frigid temperatures and mud as far as the eye could see festival goers could have cared less as they danced and grooved along with the likes of Gary Clark Jr., Shovels & Rope, The Lumineers, Band of Horses, Jim James and a wealth of others. With a successful festival in the can the next logical step was to make it bigger and better. Hence today’s announcement of 2014’s Shaky Knees Festival line-up.

The multi-day festival has been expanded by a day to squeeze in more tasty tunes as well as moved across town to Atlantic Station so they can squeeze in even more people. For three days in May, the 9th-11th to be exact, music fans will flock to Atlanta to hear their favorite bands and discover new ones. They will come for the bands that close out each night like, The National, Modest Mouse and Edward Sharpe but leave remembering the awesome performances that take place during the day like American Aquarium, The Weeks and Apache Relay. The 3 day event will spotlight a plethora of musical styles leaving something for everybody.

The highlights will most likely be abundant, but here are five performances you shouldn’t miss.

- Jason Isbell may be the best damn songwriter out there today. He pulls from his own life to write stories that mirror a lot of what he has been through. His latest record Southeastern is loaded with melancholic music that listener’s cannot turn off. This is a do not miss performance.

- The Whigs will light up the weekend with their brand of guitar dominated rock-n-roll. With music that traverses the gap between hard rock and power pop the Georgia band has evolved from a local favorite to a national entity. High octane live shows are what they are known for so be prepared to be wowed.

- In their heyday the Violent Femmes were a staple of every college student’s record collection. Gordon Gano’s warble, while not pitch perfect, was perfect for the Femme’s music. Live they deliver a big sound for only three dudes. I am betting their show turns into a giant sing-a-long and that is not a bad thing.

- The Hold Steady may be one of the most underrated bands of all time. Music that pulls from many influences the band writes stories utilizing recurring characters put to music. Front man Craig Finn’s no-nonsense delivery is unmistaken able when you hear their music. Look to hear songs from their upcoming record with a nice mix of classics.

- Southern soul, haunting melodies and lyrics about life in the Deep South is what the Jackson, MS band the Weeks is all about. They took 2013 by storm with their latest record Dear Bo Jackson which showed their evolution as a band. When they hit the stage there are few that rival their passion and it is evident with each show. Do yourself a favor and check them out.

There are way too many bands jamming tunes at this year’s Shaky Knees fest, these are five I am looking forward to seeing and you should too. Here is the line-up for the weekend.
(For more information about tickets, schedules, directions, etc go to shakykneesfestival.com)

SHAKEY KNEES FESTIVAL 2014

The National
Modest Mouse
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Spoon
Local Natives
The Gaslight Anthems
Violent Femmes
Cage The Elephant
Portugal. The Man
Dropkick Murphys
Conor Oberst
Iron & Wine
Trampled By Turtles
Jason Isbell
Jenny Lewis
Dawes
Foals
Lord Huron
Cold War Kids
The Airborne Toxic Event
The Lone Bellow
Deer Tick
The Devil Makes Three
The Hold Steady
Band Of Skulls
Tokyo Police Club
Blitzen Trapper
White Denim
Wild Belle
Charles Bradley & the Extraordinaires
Langhorne Slim
Mason Jennings
The Whigs
Houndmouth
Man Man
Hayes Carll
Gregory Alan Isakov
Graveyard
Kopecky Family Band
Bright Light Social Hour
Jackie Greene
Foy Vance
San Fermin
Sleeper Agent
The Weeks
Phox
Apache Relay
American Aquarium
Mutual Benefit
Wake Owl
Paper Bird
The Districts
Packway Handle Band
Fly Golden Eagle
Benjamin Booker
(Additional headliner to be announced)

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