11 Artists & Promoters Lighting a Fire to Birmingham’s Music Scene

 2016 Magic City Mix


1. Eugenius Neutron

His sound: Rap that digs deeper
For fans of: OutKast, Big K.R.I.T., Kanye West

“Hip-hop is a cultural lifestyle that can bring about positive influence, knowledge of self, and initiative to change our current social structures. I plan to do just that, not with music alone, but in any aspect within my creative ability. Rap is my primary tool used to do so.” Read more about his music.

Burning Peppermints

2. The Burning Peppermints

Their sound: West coast-inspired psychedelic garage punk
For fans of: Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, The White Stripes

Take two parts White Stripes. Add in another part garage punk that makes you want to get up and move, and you have Dirty Rainbow!!, the 2015 album release from The Burning Peppermints. Read more about their music.

Anna Thomical

3. Anna Thomical of Zenosyne

Their sound: Droney post-punk
For fans of: Joy Division, Sonic Youth,My Bloody Valentine, True Widow

Anna Thomical has been obsessed with music as long as she can remember, but it wasn’t until four years ago that she first picked up the guitar. “I love how playing centers me, clears my thoughts,” she says. Read more about her music.


4. Rashid Qandil

His sound: Innovative hip-hop with strong lyricism
For fans of: Playdough, Bodega Brovas, The Difference Machine, The Kid Daytona

For the past seven years, Rashid Qandil has helped put artists on local stages through LOBOTOMIX, a local hip-hop advocacy group. Although he’s seen the hip-hop scene ebb and flow, right now he says Birmingham is experiencing an unseen rise in this kind of music. Read more about his involvement in the hip-hop community.

Jason Slatton 2

5. Jason Slatton

His sound: Rocker turned singer-songwriter
For fans of: Neil Finn, Paul Westerberg

The Athens, Georgia, native once shared stages with Widespread Panic, Bright Eyes, Lucinda Williams, Verbena, and the Drive-By Truckers. He made records, toured, heard himself on the radio, signed autographs, and “barely made a living” with the Lures and Randall Bramblet. Read more about his music.


6. Ashley Sankey and Company

Her sound: Spirit and soul
For fans of: Corinne Bailey Rae, Mayer Hawthorne, Curtis Mayfield Band

Music runs just as deep in Ashley Sankey’s blood as it does her soul. Her mom, Sharon, coached her in jazz, classical, rhythm and blues, and gospel vocal techniques. Her grandmother Katie is a gospel artist, and her dad, William Jr., taught her how to express herself in words. Read more about her music.

Creature CampF

7. Creature Camp

Their sound: Synth rock
For fans of: Future Islands, The National, Animal Collective

Some say they sound like The Cure went surfing. To music retailer zZounds, they’re proving “that dreamy and upbeat don’t have to be mutually exclusive.” Whatever you call it, Creature Camp is creating original sound. Read more about their music.

In Snow

8. In Snow

Their sound: Textured instrumental
For fans of: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Russian Circles

In Snow’s music doesn’t need words to tell a story. The band hopes through their music listeners find their own story and experience a sense of rest and “a way to cope to be honest.” Read more about their music.

The Audiovore(Lee SHook)

9. Lee Shook

His sound: A mix of adventurous modern music
For fans of: Everything from Randy Newman and Parliament-Funkadelic, to Burning Spear, Allen Toussaint, and LCD Soundsytem

As you might guess, The Audiovore (also known as Lee Shook) consumes a lot of music. “I used to like to say it’s music for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all meals in between, but now I just think of it as one big potluck,” he says. Read more about his involvement as a DJ and music promoter.

Gary Wheat BMC

10. Gary Wheat

His sound: Jazz with pop and eastern music influences
For fans of: Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Woody Shaw

People are often impressed by the marquis names Gary Wheat has played with: The Temptations, O’Jays, Four Tops, Frankie Valli. But his proudest moments have been in the “trenches of the Birmingham music scene, creating music with my friends and the varied and rich talent here.” Read more about his music.

Chris Hendrix

11. Chris Hendrix

His sound: High volume chaos, sound and fury
For fans of: The Who, The Stooges, Ramones, Black Sabbath

Chris Hendrix is a boundary pusher, an experimenter. Over 27 years, he took ’80s hardcore punk music in his band Gross National Product to weirder and more intricate levels. “I always described GNP’s sound as like being underneath a runaway freight train, trying to sit up and being knocked back down by it, repeatedly and relentlessly,” he says. Read more about his music.

Photography by Liesa Cole
Photo Assistant: Stan Bedingfield – Produced by Lindsay Ellinas
Written by Madoline Markham


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply