Atlanta Rhythm Section to jam in MonroeWritten by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Atlanta Rhythm Section is keeping it real.
“This is my fourth time with the band,” said Rodney Justo, the original lead singer. “I don’t want to mislead anybody: The real hits were sung by Ronnie Hammond, and I was a fan of Ronnie, and I recommended Ronnie for the job.”
Hammond, 60, passed away in March.
“I didn’t want the band to turn into a tribute band, and the only one left was Dean [Daughtry], the keyboard player. How many people are going to show up to see the keyboard player?” Justo asked during a phone call from Tampa, Fla.
“So when Paul Goddard, who was the original bass player with us and probably the most recognizable guy in the band, decided to come back and there was an opportunity for me to come back as well, I went, ‘Well, this could be a lot of fun.’”
Justo, Goddard and Daughtry will be joined by drummer Jim Keeling and guitarists Steve Stone and David Anderson when the Atlanta Rhythm Section plays a 7:30 p.m. show Feb. 10 at Monroe County Community College’s La-Z-Boy Center Meyer Theater. Tickets are $35 and $25.
In the late 1970s, the group shot to star status with several hits: “So Into You,” “Imaginary Lover,” “I’m Not Going to Let It Bother Me Tonight,” “Do It or Die,” “Champagne Jam.”
“There’s a certain timelessness to our records,” Justo said. “The Atlanta Rhythm Section is lumped in the Southern rock band idiom. Well, we’re not Molly Hatchet, we’re not The Allman Brothers, we’re not The Outlaws. … We’re a rock band from the South.”
And that band from the South rocks on.
“Classic rock is very big right now. The problem is a lot of the classic rock acts you see don’t have anybody in them,” Justo said. “We’re the real thing still; we’re still out there trying to play the music with integrity.
“I’ve been in a lot of incarnations of the band; this band has the most energy of any version I’ve been in. And people who come to see us, I think they’re going, ‘Wow, man, you guys have really held together and play with a lot of authenticity.’ ”