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Glimpsing the future of the blues: The Georgia Flood at Darwin's (w/video)

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If The Georgia Flood stays together and if they continue to work the way they work now, then I believe that they are one of the groups that people will still be listening to and enjoying 20 years from now.

In fact, 20 years from now the group will still be fairly young. I don't know how old drummer Rich Simmons is, but Lane Kelly just turned 22 and his brother Brooks Mason just turned 18 this year. They've been playing together since Brooks was 7 and Lane was 10, so when Brooks talks to the crowd, you get a lot of "that was back when I was still a drummer," because that is what he did for a whle. Or "This is a song we've been playing since I was a little kid."

It is entertaining to hear such a young man talk about his long career in music, and he obviously realizes that, but they really do have a lot of experience for such a young group. Two years ago, they represented the Atlanta Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, performing in the Adult category because their drummer had just turned 21, and did a very respectable job among musicians much older than they were.

Last night, they had the crowd thoroughly entertained as Brooks showed off his nearly unbelievable guitar skills and confident singing while Lane and Rich provided powerful rhythm accompaniment on bass and drums. They played original material off their self-titled CD, including the driving "Lie To Me," and covered Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home" and a couple of Jimi Hendrix tunes as well as "Got My Mojo Working," and Sean Costello's "Love is Amazing." That's not all, but it's just to give you an example of the versatility these young men have.

Add to that that Brook is a very natural and funny front man, telling stories about what it's like to be performing in clubs at such a young age and dedicating songs to members of the audience, including George Klein, the head of the Atlanta Blues Society, and yours truly. I was totally charmed when Brooks dedicated "Love is Amazing" to me and mentioned this column from the stage. Thank you, Brook.

Make no mistake: Even if these boys were twice the age they are now, they would still be amazingly good. They are no youth novelty act and they weren't even three years ago, when I first heard them. They are proficient and dedicated musicians. To prove it, they just won the first round of the Masquerade Musicians Showcase, playing before a different crowd than they entertain in the blues clubs.

The Georgia Flood are real blues and roots musicians and you can expect to be seeing and hearing them for as long as they choose to continue playing. Let's hope that is a long, long time to come.

Enjoy the video, which was shot by another audience member last night!

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