Champagne and Hush Puppies, Y’All

Refried Southern rock in the vein of Molly Hatchet got the Atlanta Rhythm Section nowhere, so in 1978 the band went for the charts with Champagne Jam. The album’s essentially a boogie interpretation of Steely Dan's razor-sharp jazz-rock, especially on the title track, “Evileen" and the top-ten hit "I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight." The Atlanta Rhythm Section's rotating cast during its heyday was made up of Georgia session men and career studio studs with chops out the ass, so the new radio-friendly direction certainly made sense; though even at its best, Champagne Jam lacks the complexity and depth of The Dan. The requisite thirty-years-later festival tour line-up, with two members left from the ´70s, performs the band's best-known hits at 5 p.m. at Union Station (1820 Market Street; 314-421-6655 or www.stlouisunionstation.com) as part of the free Sounds at the Station concert series on the outdoor Lake Stage.
 
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