In 2020, the first ten inductees of the Athens Music Walk of Fame were installed in a two-square-block area in downtown Athens bounded by Pulaski Street, West Washington Street, North Lumpkin Street, and West Clayton Street with five more artists added in 2021. The walk passes several renowned music venues in western downtown, including the Morton Theatre, the 40 Watt Club, and the Georgia Theatre. In continuation of recognition of the artists who have helped make Athens a destination for music fans, the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) and the Athens Music Walk of Fame Committee announce the five inductees of the Athens Music Walk of Fame for 2022: Bloodkin, Tituss Burgess, The Glands, Ishues, and Love Tractor.
Bloodkin – Danny Hutchens and Eric Carter arrived in Athens in 1986. Already musical partners, they formed Bloodkin and created music beloved in Athens and beyond for the next 35 years. During that time, they released 8 studio albums and a 5-disc boxed set of outtakes. Their songs have been covered by many artists, most notably fellow Athens Walk of Famers, Widespread Panic, including a top 40 Billboard single, “Can’t Get High.” Danny Hutchens died in 2021. Eric Carter continues to make music as Bloodkin, with a rotating cast of respected musicians.
Tituss Burgess – Born and raised in Athens, attending Cedar Shoals High School and graduating from the University of Georgia’s School of Music, Tituss Burgess is an award winning singer, actor and theater performer best known for his high tenor voice and his leading role on the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, for which he received five Primetime Emmy Award Nominations. A veteran of the stage, Burgess made his Broadway debut in 2005 as Eddie in Good Vibrations. Since, he has held many memorable roles on the Broadway stage including Hal Miller in Jersey Boys, Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermaid, and Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the 2009 revival of Guys and Dolls.
The Glands – There are some artists whose influence is not so much in having hit records, but in influencing other artists. Such is the case with the Glands. Their two original studio albums, Double Thriller (1997) and The Glands (2000) were indie rock classics. In 2018, two years after the passing of band leader Ross Shapiro, New West Records released a box set titled I Can See Your House from Here that included remastered vinyl versions of the two original albums, and a new 23-track album, Double Coda. A posthumous NPR Music review stated, “Shapiro built hooks that betrayed both sardonic armor and a soft heart. Lively but nonchalant, the band stood on the accelerator, even as the frame rattled to pieces.”
Ishues – Deemed one of the ‘architects’ of the local hip hop scene, rapper Ishues (born Ismeal Cuthbertson) has toured the world from California to South Africa, representing Athens, performing with legendary acts like KRS-One. In addition to his contributions to music, he’s dedicated to the community, serving as a co-founder of local youth organization, Chess and Community. After a hiatus from music, Ishues continues to record and collaborate with emerging artists.
Love Tractor – Founded in 1980 by guitarists Mark Cline and Mike Richmond, and bassist Armistead Wellford, students at the University of Georgia, Love Tractor are veterans of Athens’ new wave “golden era”. The band re-formed in 1996 recording 2001’s The Sky at Night and 2015’s A Trip to the Museum. Their early albums have been reissued, nearly four decades after original release, proving their music to be not only important to the Athens scene’s formative years, but timeless as well.
The annual nominations of musician inductees are selected by a local resident committee appointed by Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz. During the selection process, committee members considered the contribution to the identity of Athens, established career, diverse representation in cultural and racial identity, distinct musical style, and historical context. Additional artists will be selected by the committee in the coming years.
Bronze plaques, designed by local artist Allen Sutton, installed in the sidewalk this coming summer will honor these artists and community members who have contributed to Athens’ musical legacy. The Athens Music Walk of Fame is funded by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission and supported by community partnerships, including the Athens Downtown Development Authority, the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Arts Division and the Athens-Clarke County Transportation and Public Works Streets & Drainage Division.
Written by the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission