33 Musicians | 7 Genres | 5 Days
What happens when you mix 33 Southern musicians of all genres, ages, races and backgrounds inside a world-class recording studio in Atlanta for 5 days? You get a glimpse into the future of musical appreciation and hybrid sounds to come.
Common Ground is a musical experiment, masterminded by Southern Ground Recording Artists The Wheeler Boys. The short documentary and 5 song EP takes you inside the creative process behind what used to be considered mismatched musical collaborations. The film lets the viewer sample the different flavors of the Southern music scene, offering a behind the scenes montage of each day’s recording.
The EP effortlessly blends organic mash ups of hip-hop, country, blues, jazz, soul, bluegrass and funk. Each day of recording was a revolving door of musicians, singers, writers, rappers and producers. The only criteria was to meet the strict deadline of one brand new song per day. Many of the artists had never even met or heard each other’s work before collaborating.
Both the EP and the short film showcase how the musicians found creative inspiration together as one using the common ground of music. None of the five songs fit comfortably into one genre yet the result is still great music. The video accompaniment to the Common Ground EP was directed and edited by Chris Bone (Scarred but Smarter: The Life and Times of Drivin\’ n\’ Cryin\’) and recorded over 5 days at the Crows Nest, a private studio on the outskirts of town built specifically for Southern Ground artists to record.
Highlights include the progressive funk/hip-hop cut, “Hideaway,” by Atlanta funk band Heavy Chevy and up-and-coming rap duo AN-TI. Another standout moment is the song “The Lion” by The Wheeler Boys, The Law Band and Nappy’s Joint. It’s an epic, 7 minute long spaghetti western infused Hip Hop opera, complete with a whistle solo and Gospel choir montage. The record could only be more fitting in a Quentin Tarantino film.
“This project was kind of an eye opener,” Garrett Wheeler reminisces. “We’ve never taken on a project of this scale, with the type of time constraints we had. To see everybody come together, not knowing each other in the slightest, and connect and vibe so well, it was pretty powerful.”
The Artists of Common Ground
Day 1 – “Runnin”
Featuring: BAMN (vocals), Trip (of W.I.C.) (vocals), Shawn and Troy (of Seven Handle Circus) (upright bass, guitar, keys, vocals), Travis Cottle (trumpet)
Day 2 – Good Company
Featuring: Mighty High Coup (vocals), Mike Rizzi (percussion), Aaron Trubic (bass), Adam Holliday (organ/keys), The Wheeler Boys (vocals)
Day 3 – The Lion
Featuring: The Law Band (vocals, guitar, percussion, upright bass), The Wheeler Boys (vocals), Cane and Massif (of Nappy’s Joint) (vocals), Travis Cottle (clavinet) (not to be confused w clarinet lol)
Day 4 – The Family Jam…
Featured: Capeeton Mudfish (electric guitar, production, turntables), Frankie (keys), T.J. Hooker (percussion), Travis Cottle (trumpet, guitar), Katherine Davis (clarinet)
Day 5 | Hideaway
Featured: Heavy Chevy (keys, horns, percussion), My Cousin Troy (upright bass), Matt Weiss (electric guitar), AN-TI (vocals)
“There is no such thing as good genres, only good music…”
COMMONLY KNOWN AS THE CREDITS BELOW
(‘Scarred but Smarter: life n times of Drivin’ N Cryin’)
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY:
Album Art By:
Special Thanks to all the good folks involved in making this project happen. As well as the Southern Ground family and Tyler Walker for your support at The Crow’s Nest Studios. Also Wes Green for your consistent hard work, Chris Bone for all the time you’ve spent working with us, Techno Wes for comin’ through at the last minute, Laura and our boys White MGMT and Daniel Day Zuko for helping get this out!