Summer Walker: “Deeper”
Summer Walker recorded “Deeper” last year and has released it as the single from her new five-track Life on Earth EP. Walker, who has emerged as Atlanta’s new R&B queen, sings of a lover who’s hesitant to commit and let go and give to the relationship on equal terms. The EP debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Album chart, becoming Walker’s second chart-topping album. Walker, who ran a janitorial service and then danced at an Atlanta strip club in her youth, taught herself to play guitar via lessons on YouTube and topped the charts in 2019 with her debut album Over It. She was recently seen dueting with Usher on the 2020 BET Awards show. “Deeper” is already a Top 10 hit, and Walker’s star continues to rise.
— Scott Freeman (Photo by Perry Julien)
Tyler Hammond: “Back Home Boys”
Like many of today’s Southern musicians, Atlanta-based Tyler Hammond began singing in the local church choir at age 15. “Back Home Boys,” Hammond’s latest single, is an ode to Southern living — family, friends and, of course, beer. Hammond is a gifted singer, storyteller and songwriter who has opened concerts for Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Hammond handles vocals and guitar, and his five-piece band includes Ben Padgett (keys/guitar), Andy Milam (bass), Eric Rich (guitar) and Dylan Owens (drums). A fresh EP is on the horizon, but no release date has been set. With more than 17,000 monthly Spotify listens, Hammond is a new leading force in Atlanta’s country music scene.
— Lauren Leathers
Jennifer Holliday: “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”
One of the most stirring moments — in a day of stirring moments — at Thursday’s funeral for U.S. Rep. John Lewis was Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday’s soul-touching rendition of the gospel classic “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” The song was written by the Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, who was born in Villa Rica and had a brief and notable career as bluesman Georgia Tom playing with legendary guitarist Tampa Red. Dorsey eventually turned to gospel music and became the genre’s most acclaimed songwriter. “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” was a favorite of leaders of the civil rights movement; Mahalia Jackson sang it at the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in 1968. Holliday’s performance this week may become the standard by which all others are measured.
— Scott Freeman
The ArtsATL Atlanta Soundtrack Spotify Playlist
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