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'Real Groove Thing'
MacDaddy Show Band to perform in Rockdale

They'll be dancing in the streets of Olde Town Conyers when Keith McGiboney brings his 10-piece MacDaddy Show Band to the Rockdale Auditorium in early May.

A Conyers native, McGiboney has been leading bands for more than a decade and is excited about bringing his full band - veteran purveyors of rhythm and blues, soul and swing - back home for a performance. Keith McGiboney and the MacDaddy Show Band will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 9 at the Rockdale Auditorium in Olde Town.

"It's really nice to play in a venue in your hometown where your family and friends can come and see you," said McGiboney, who when he's not performing oversees the entertainment division of Lawrenceville-based NorthStar Broadcasting. "Most of the jobs we play are private events, so a lot of people haven't been able to see us perform. I'm really looking forward to getting people together."

Made up of musicians who have backed up the likes of Greg Allman, Wet Willie, Otis Redding and Henry Mancini, the MacDaddy Show Band places a premium on reviving the soul smashes of the past, right down to including a horn section and female backup singers.

"We only play about 10 times a year with the full band," said McGiboney, the group's lead vocalist and keyboard player. "They only come out for special events. I also have a five-piece edition of the MacDaddy band that plays a lot more often."

A 1985 graduate of Rockdale County High School, McGiboney studied at Georgia Southern in Statesboro and lived in Athens for a period of time before returning to his hometown in 1998. He is perhaps best known in the Classic City for fronting the band Picasso, which presented a similar sonic format as the MacDaddy Show Band.

"We kept Picasso together for 10 years and I've worked with horn bands for 12 or 13 years," he said. "With Picasso, we did blues, R&B and funk stuff. I've been doing this for a long time now."

With an evocative voice that may remind listeners of Ray Charles or Joe Cocker, McGiboney said a MacDaddy concert is highly interactive.

"Our show is really audience-based," he said. "I usually start the show singing in the middle of the crowd and we've got a really great wall-of-sound situation with the horns. It's a lot of fun. And I've got some of the best musicians in the Atlanta area playing with me - I've always been very lucky that great players have wanted to work with me."

McGiboney said songs by Charles, Cocker and Texas bluesman Delbert McClinton are crowd pleasers, and are also the tunes he loves singing.

"It's a real groove thing," he said.

Honing his stage skills all over the Southeast (including a monthly gig years ago at Caddy's in Conyers), McGiboney has signed with Inman Park Records and a blues-based MacDaddy CD - featuring a mix of popular covers and McGiboney-penned songs - is set to be released in the early fall.

McGiboney added that local singer-songwriter Chase Lamondo, whom he's considering signing for Northstar Broadcasting, will open the show with several of his own compositions.

Chris Starrs is freelance writer based in Athens, Ga. If you have a story idea, contact Karen Rohr, features editor, at karen.rohr@rockdalecitizen.com.

SideBar: If you go

What: Keith McGiboney and the MacDaddy Show Band presented by the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts

When: 8 p.m. on Friday, May 9

Where: Rockdale Auditorium in Olde Town Conyers. Tickets are $10 (children under 12 admitted free) and can be purchased by calling 770-922-3143 or by visiting www.conyersarts.org.