Eddie's Owen's business venture in Duluth is officially under way.
Owen, founder of Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, recently signed a contract with the city of Duluth to stage live music acts at the Red Clay Theatre. He presented his first two concerts by Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers on Dec. 2 and 3.
Big banners posted outside the theatre proclaimed “The Red Clay Theatre Eddie Owen Presents” and “R,” “C,” “T” for Red Clay Theatre.
The theatre was nearly full. Hood’s performance attracted local folks and fans of his songs and the popular Athens-based band.
He was accompanied by Drive-By Truckers band members Jay Gonzalas on keyboard and accordion and Brad Morgan on drums. They played without a break from 8:15 until past 10:30 p.m. Instead of one encore number, they did at least three more.
The opening night audience included Duluth Economic Development Manager Chris McGahee and new Duluth City Manager Tim Shearer. David Cossette and Shelly Howard, who attended a concert at Eddie’s Attic a while back and convinced Owen to take a look at the Red Clay Theatre, came with family and friends.
Pure Taqueria sold beer and wine and soft drinks from a bar in the lobby to concert-goers who were allowed to carry their beverages into the theatre. Owen is in the process of obtaining his beer and wine license and should have it in a couple of weeks.
Owen’s wife Allena Owen and business partner David Mattingly showed their support by attending the opening. The Owen children, Clark, Eamon and Lucy Blair, ushered and performed other duties to help out.
attended the Saturday night concert. Owen warmly welcomed the audience to his new venue and introduced Hood.
“I’m thrilled all of you came,” said Hood. “I’m excited about tomorrow night, too.”
The concert was informal. Wearing jeans and a chambray shirt, Hood sat on a wooden chair, drank a couple of long neck beers and sipped on a glass partially filled with Maker’s Mark during his performance.
A singer and a songwiter, Hood introduced his songs with stories that inspired him to write the lyrics. He told about growing up at the family farm in Alabama, the antics of his catastrophe-prone friend Billy Ringo, coming to terms with becoming a father, his family’s sadness when he leaves to go on tour, and the recent death of his beloved Great-Uncle George who helped raise him.
He opened with “Bulldozers and Dirt” and proceeded to play his guitar and sing other songs including “Disappear,” “12:01,” “Heathens,” “The Opening Act,” “Better Than the Truth,” “Grandaddy,” “After the Scene Dies,” “Don’t Be in Love Around Me,” “Sinkhole,” ‘Six O’Clock Train,” Old-Timer’s Disease,” “Sandwiches for the Road,” “Sands of Iwo Jima,” “Leaving Time,” and “Mercy Buckets.” He also performed the title song from a new album “Heat Lightning Rumble in the Distance.”
After the concert, Hood sat on the floor at the edge of the stage signing autographs, album covers and CDs for fans.
Cumming couple Mark and Pam Stubbs experienced the concert from the front row.
“I’m a big fan of Drive-By Truckers. I recently started listening to some of his [Hood’s] solo stuff, and I think he’s amazing,” Mark Stubbs said when the concert was over.
Owen has concerts booked at Red Clay Theatre into February. Go to the Eddie Owen Presents website to see the line-up of performers and to order tickets. Tickets range from $20 to $30.