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Will Turpin's 'Rock The Cradle: The Night Hope Arrived' charity gig hits Atlanta

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On Sunday, Dec. 22, Collective Soul founding member Will Turpin is gathering a group of local musicians to celebrate Christmas, rock in the New Year and hopefully create a new Atlanta-area Yuletide tradition.

The Georgia humanitarian will present the inaugural “Rock The Cradle – The Night Hope Arrived”, a Christmas-themed charity concert featuring some of Atlanta’s most talented musical artists. The free show starts at 6:30 p.m. at Little 5 Community Church.

“It's a new concept that blends Christmas and modern rock songs, video, scripture, narration and theatrics,” Turpin said. “I've had this vision percolating in my head for several years and when the venue became available, I jumped at the opportunity to present a Christmas show I've always wanted to see. I hope it will become an annual tradition.”

In addition to Turpin (keyboards and vocals), the eight-member lineup includes Jason Fowler (lead guitar and vocals), Chad Fowler (percussion and symbols), Calvin Kelly (percussionist) Mark Wilson (bass), Steven Neill (saxophone), Andy Bray (acoustic guitar) and Shane Evans, Collective Soul’s former drummer. The proud father's son, Tristan Ross Turpin, will also sit in with the band on keyboards.

The 75-minute repertoire will include a diverse selection of Christmas and rock tunes featuring “Joy To the World”, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, “Little Drummer Boy” and “What Child Is This?”, which appeared on last year's A Rock By The Sea Christmas: Volume Three compilation.

Evans, who hasn’t played professionally with Turpin since 2005, said Christmas is the perfect occasion to reunite and renew old acquaintances.

“Professionally, playing with Will Turpin has always been an awesome experience because he's such an amazing musician,” said Evans who has recently emerged in the Atlanta music scene after an eight-year hiatus. “Personally, God has been restoring our relationship this past year. It just goes to show no matter what people go through, true love and friendship can break through all barriers.”

Net proceeds from the show will benefit Kensley Grace Aquatic Center and Speedway Children’s Charities. The show is for all ages and admission is free. For those who are unable to attend and wish to view the concert online, visit Stageit's interactive experience.

With his band, Collective Soul, Turpin is a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Collective Soul has attained seven No. 1 songs and 19 Top 40 singles, making them one of the most successful bands of the 1990s. They plan on a 20th anniversary concert in 2014.

If you have never seen the bassist in person or only know of his Grammy-winning work with the genre bending Collective Soul, an in-depth concert review from earlier this year is required reading. "Feelin' Alright with Will Turpin and The Way..." is bar none the ultimate Turpin concert guide. The musician also gave a rare multi-installment interview with this writer covering his fascination with John Lennon, The Beatles, Aerosmith, and growing up with a desire to play music in North Georgia. That's only the tip of the iceberg as you'll see below...

  • What: Will Turpin’s “Rock The Cradle – The Night Hope Arrived”
  • When: 6:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 22. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
  • Where: Little 5 Community Church at 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta
  • Cost: Free
  • Information: Facebook.com/WillTurpinMusic

DON'T GO ANYWHERE YET! Dennis Wilson personified the essence of a cool rock drummer. Wilson was a late bloomer compared to his mega talented brothers –Brian and Carl – but he ultimately emerged as the Beach Boys' most underrated songwriter, producer, and vocalist. A Dennis-led performance was an emotionally wrenching experience, combining deeply personal lyrics, a majestic yet delicate instrumental track, and a vocal so weathered as to be almost ravaged. On the anniversary of what would have been Dennis' 68th birthday, a slew of Beach Boys experts documented the drummer's tragic trajectory and legacy among modern musicians in "Like Heat from a Blast Furnace: The Sheer Raw Force of Beach Boy Dennis Wilson." It is required reading into the window of a tortured yet extremely gifted soul.

The Complete Will Turpin / Collective Soul Interview

Exclusive Interview: Dubbed the resident genius of The Monkees, a still-controversial band among some rock critics who rivaled The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for a time, Michael Nesmith knew he wanted to play music upon graduating from San Antonio College. The son of the inventor of liquid paper, Papa Nez participated in the incredible rat race of Monkee celebrity, but his heart lay in songwriting. After composing Linda Ronstadt's first hit, "Different Drum," Nesmith exited the band that made him a household name and ventured into the uncharted waters of country rock with his First National Band. The cosmically conscious musician surprised fans by spending much of 2013 on the road and agreed to spend some time with this writer on his musical back-pages, Elvis Presley, some tunes worthy of rediscovery, and the unimagined joy of touring again. Visit "Still Rollin' with the Flow: Twists and Turns with Songwriter Michael Nesmith" for the juicy enchilada.

Further Reading: Did you know that former Beatle George Harrison followed up his critically-acclaimed solo debut, the triple-LP All Things Must Pass, with another number one record featuring the drumming expertise of compadre Ringo Starr? Surprisingly, Living in the Material World contains one song that remains largely undiscovered by the general record buying public. "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long" is a Beatlesque and pop-oriented track that deserved to be a hit single. No stone is left uncovered in the fascinating feature, "Rediscovering a Superb Love Song..."

Exclusive Interview No. 2: Soulful pianist Ronnie Milsap ruled country pop radio during the late '70s and '80s with jewels ranging from "Any Day Now" to "Stranger in My House." In a rare interview ["More Thunder on the Piano: Ronnie Milsap Relives Memphis Days with Elvis Presley"], the blind vocalist offers intriguing anecdotes about his pre-country career, including the "Kentucky Rain" Memphis recording session with Elvis Presley, playing two highly coveted New Year's Eve parties for the King, how he learned about Elvis' shocking death, why he ultimately felt unfulfilled in Memphis, and the dilapidated World War II-era plane that nearly cost him his life while en route to a concert.

Twitter: To interact directly with Jeremy Roberts, follow @jeremylr

*****CLICK HERE to get your free email subscription to Jeremy Roberts’ regular column. Authentic interviews, original commentary, news, and reviews from the wide world of pop culture will be delivered directly to your inbox. And whether you enjoyed or disliked this article, don't hesitate to leave a comment below to join the discussion. Thanks!

© Jeremy L. Roberts and Marshall Terrill, 2013. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in full without first contacting the author. Headlines with links are fine. In addition, posting any links to Twitter or Facebook is sincerely appreciated.

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