BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
The man affectionately known as the “Granddaddy of the Jam Scene” is turning 70 and throwing a big musical party at the Fox Theatre to observe the milestone.
Atlanta’s Col. Bruce Hampton will host “Hampton 70: A Celebration of Col. Bruce Hampton” at 7:30 p.m. May 1 at the theater.
A lineup of jam luminaries is scheduled to join him: Widespread Panic members John Bell, Dave Schools, Duane Trucks and Jimmy Herring; Peter Buck of R.E.M; steel guitarist Darick Campbell; saxophone player Karl Denson; Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon; Jon Fishman of Phish; banjo player Rev. Jeff Mosier; guitar hero Warren Haynes; Drivin’ N Cryin’ frontman Kevn Kinney; Atlanta jazz-staple Johnny Knapp; the legendary Chuck Leavell; Athens rock-troubadour T. Hardy Morris; 13-year-old guitar prodigy Brandon Niederauer; John Popper of Blues Traveler; funk bassist Kevin Scott; keyboardist Matt Slocum; Denny Walley of Frank Zappa fame; gypsy-metal guitarist Emil Werstler; Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers; MLB star Jake Peavy; and the Colonel’s “Sling Blade” co-star, actor Billy Bob Thornton.
Tickets for the show, priced at $35, $50, $75 and $125, will go on sale at 10 a.m. March 17 at the Fox box office, www.foxtheatre.org and by calling 1-855-285-8499. A pre-sale is underway through 10 p.m. March 16 (passcode: Hampton). Proceeds will benefit the Fox Theatre Institute and other musician-focused charities.
Hampton’s musical reach began with the groundbreaking Hampton Grease Band (which also included Atlanta guitarist Glenn Phillips) and stretched to the idiosyncratic Aquarium Rescue Unit. In the ’90s, he was instrumental in shaping the H.O.R.D.E. tours with Popper.