King Cotton
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King Cotton


Band Americana Blues


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"Fabric of Kings"

Fabric of Kings
By David Eduardo | Correspondent | Story updated at 11:19 PM on Thursday, April 12, 2007
Fester Hagood is right at home here. One might say the song-chasing Southern troubadour has harvested a potential cash crop, or, at the very least is finding comfort sitting in high cotton co-fronting the rural rock quartet King Cotton with guitarist-vocalist "Big" Don Spurlin.

The songwriting duo is well matched and seemingly born to deliver workingman's blues, from a countrified perspective.

On a farm in Oglethorpe County, a recent Saturday afternoon is spent in the wood-paneled space off the kitchen, in a home most of a century old and currently occupied by the band's drummer Scott Tracy (the four-piece is rounded out by bassist Jared Forrester), and there isn't a better place to enjoy the feel of Cotton.

The band's aim certainly is less poppy and feel-good than Hagood's recent efforts, namely collaborations with country crooner Caroline Monroe and as the driving force behind the fun-loving Ray-Ray and The Hog Mountain Boys.

"I was trying for the Nashville rap - this is more me," says Hagood when comparing King Cotton to other projects, though he admits with a grin, "Every third song I write is slow 'cause I'm still trying to write for those a--holes in Nashville."

Truth is, there's a social awareness and deep rural connection in these songs. Request "Carpetbaggers" at Friday's show to hear it for yourself.

On a recent afternoon, Bearfoot Hooker and man about town Ty Manning is sitting in on guitar exchanging filthy licks with Spurlin, whose songwriting skills and guitar prowess are equally pleasant surprises that give Cotton a deep and undeniably genuine Southern edge.

The monolithic axeman has nimble fingers around his Fender, and he knows his way around a rock song. For evidence test drive "Mr. Hyde," a tune Spurlin describes as, "kind of a quit-drinking song," which honors (and immortalizes) his friend and fellow musician Jerry Eubanks' run-in with an eighteen-wheeler.

So, at what point did "Big" Don know he was destined to rock?

"Four," he says flatly, and when asked to explain the answer further, one realizes why he might have hoped for the initial, short response to suffice. "My mother and grandmother got me on the table and we lip-synced to 'Elvira,' " says the bespectacled bluesman with a smile.

At the farmhouse curious canines peek in from the screened-in porch to observe the debauchery. The nearest cows start moseying to a more distant pasture and there's an empty feeder in the field worth nothing more than two tons of rust. There is risk in smoking cigarettes too close to the propane tank and there are chicken houses in the distance, thankfully seen and not smelled. There is a cold can of beer in the fridge and a foosball table in the kitchen, and you get the feeling this is all getting boiled down and distilled and dyed into King Cotton.
- Athens Banner-Harald


King Cotton:
"Escondido Blues" and "Shadowtown" Demo

Fester Hagood:
"The Gypsy"

"Big" Donald Spurlin:
"Goodbye, Mr. Hyde"



In 2006 Fester Hagood got tired of playing “Brown Eyed Girl”. After playing in numerous cover bands over the years, enough was enough. He rounded up old band mates and formed the band King Cotton. He called fellow songwriter and guitar virtuoso “Big” Don Spurlin, along with bassist William Jarred Forrester and drum machine Scott Tracy. Like its namesake, the band focused on a moment in time that had been long forgotten, a time when Southern music reigned supreme. With roots firmly planted in Country, Blues, and Southern Rock, King Cotton began growing a faithful following throughout North Georgia. Fester Hagood’s lyrics go from dark to humorous and everywhere in between, sung with a raspy Southern drawl. Big Don belts out his songs with the same intensity that he puts into his unique playing style. Occasionally, a Waylon Jennings or Hendrix cover may slip in to the mix and played strictly out of respect. For the most part, however, King Cotton has plenty to say on their own. If you wanna hear songs you’ve heard a million times, turn on your radio or check out the tribute band up the street. If you are looking for a chance to see music created before your eyes from the heart and soul of a true Southern band that still plays for the love of the show and a bar tab, King Cotton is your band.

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