Gato Mahdi and the Whole Wide World
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Gato Mahdi and the Whole Wide World

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Blues Americana


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"An Eye Witness Account"

WHOLE LOTTA DIXIE – An eye-witness account

I was visiting my cousin Clifford in Bug Tussle, Alabama, when he talked me into going to the Annual Pea-Picking Festival in Cullman. There was the usual assortment of giant hogs and two-headed chickens on display as well as a genuine geek who was featured in Omar Calhoun’s Show of Human Oddities. There were children and ladies dressed up as green peas sampling this year’s first prize pea recipe which was the “Possum Pea Delight,” a green pea, Jell-o, and fried possum dish, topped with a marshmallow topping that sent the judges into fits of joy.

There were plenty of fiddlers, cloggers and bluegrass bands, but the act that won the crowd over was a Dixieland band called Whole Lotta Dixie. They had a sawed-off kind of smart-alecky fellow on banjo, who sang and popped off between songs, and there was tuba player who had a white beard that looked like a fu-manchu with Pappy Yokum’s goatee hanging from his chin. The drummer was this really animated guy who reminded me of a praying mantis with glasses. You’d think he had six legs the way he played the drums. He did things on a cowbell I had never seen before. The rest of the musicians were toodling away like mad on clarinet, trumpet, and trombone. Everybody in the band wore a different colored marching band jacket with crazy looking buttons and badges all over them, and they pointed those horns in all directions, never holding still in one place so it looked kind of wild like they were playing to people all around, underneath, and above.

That was all mighty fine, but what really got the pea-pickers going was the stuff the band was playing. All the people sitting in their lawn chairs were singing along to “Listen To The Music” by the Doobie Brothers like they gathered there and sang it every Sunday. The thing about it was that the way these guys played it, with the tuba and the banjo and all, made it a whole lot easier to sing along, and you should have heard the kids shouting, “Hey, teacher, leave them kids alone!” when they played “Another Brick In The Wall” by Pink Floyd. I thought I would crack a rib when they played “Hotel California” by the Eagles. The way that smart-alecky banjo player sang it made it funnier than all get out and the crowd was singing along like they were at a regular tent revival. The drummer was wailing on the drum solo from led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love” when a fight broke out over at the hoochie coochie tent. It spilled out onto midway next to the judge’s stand with little kids dressed like peas crying and trying to get away and their mamas in bigger green pea outfits racing in to swoop them up and glaring at the heap of white trash thrashing about and rolling in the mud. There was a whole lot of cussing and carrying on and a fair amount of general pandemonium. People were getting all red in the face and it looked like it was about to start raining anyway, so we went back to Clifford’s place in Bug Tussle. I swear I’ll never forget that Whole Lotta Dixie band. They about ruined “Free Bird.”
- North Alabama Gazzette


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What do you get when you combine the sing-along fun of a real Dixieland Band with the familiar good time songs of the Classic Rock Era? You get a WHOLE LOTTA DIXIE, the brain-child of Ricky Hinkle who grew up hearing his dad's bands play traditional jazz or what later came to be called Dixieland. Rick graduated from cornet to guitar and launched a career as one of Atlanta's first call session players. He has assembled some the most creative talent around to realize a dream most would call ridiculous and that is exactly the idea. Who can resist smiling at a tuba and banjo? Add a large toodleloo factor with clarinet, some pizzazz with a trumpet, slide into some free form fun with a trombone, and top it all off with a zany drummer (heavy on the cowbell) and you're having some fun.

You've never heard anything like it, but you'll know it the minute you do.