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The fourth installment of the Songwriter Series on Fri. Oct 7, 2016 at the Albany Museum of Art features Cole Taylor, Travis Denning and Trea Landon, three young Georgians making their marks in country music. The intimate in-the-round style concert kicks off at 8 p.m. with an opening acoustic set by popular Albany musicians Bo Henry, who leads the Bo Henry Band; singer/songwriter Jodi Mann; and Stephen Harrell, who fronts The Dusty Boots Band. Tickets are $15 in advance here and $20 at the door.

Though the southwest corner of Georgia is well known for its pine forests and peanut fields, the region also boasts an incredibly rich music heritage with American music icons Ray Charles and Otis Redding, jazz and swing pioneer Fletcher Henderson, bandleader Harry James, country superstar Luke Bryan, American Idol Season 11 winner Phillip Phillips, and two hit songwriters, Country Music Hall of Famer Boudleaux Bryant and Dallas Davidson, all having been born in the area.

Cole Taylor on stage at the Ryman with fellow Georgia songwriters Jon Langston, Travis Denning and Jordan Rager. (Photo by Rebecca Ward)

Cole Taylor on stage at the Ryman with fellow Georgia songwriters Jon Langston, Travis Denning and Jordan Rager. (Photo by Rebecca Ward)

Cole Taylor, whose father is a deer processor and taxidermist, grew up on the family farm in Cuthbert, Georgia. He made his first cd at age 16 in Gary DiBenedetto’s Moultrie recording studio and credits local venues who gave him an opportunity to play live. “I just remember playing in Albany at whatever place would give me a chance when I was 17 years old,” he says. “Austin’s BBQ, One Trick Pony, The Mellow Mushroom and right outside of Albany was the Sasser Flea Market where I opened up for a ton of artists and that was huge for me getting in front of people.”

Although he attended Valdosta State University, Taylor left just 13 hours shy of earning his degree in accounting to try his hand in Nashville. The decision proved well-founded, however, as Taylor landed a deal with Universal Publishing Group less than a year after arriving, and in 2015, he co-wrote his first #1 hit, “Sippin’ on Fire,” for Florida Georgia Line, and quickly followed it with a second chart-topper, “Home Alone Tonight,” Luke Bryan’s duet with Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town.

Taylor, Travis Denning and Jon Langston—all Georgia boys—were just announced as openers for select dates on fellow Georgian Cole Swindell’s upcoming Down Home Tour, presented by CMT On Tour, and kicking off Oct. 26. For Denning, who was raised in Bonaire, the Swindell tour caps off a year of career milestones that includes a slew of co-writing credits— “Everybody We Know Does,” the new single by Chase Rice, two cuts on Justin Moore’s brand new album, Kinda Don’t Care and a cut on Jason Aldean’s highly anticipated new album, They Don’t Know, out Sept. 9.

Travis Denning

Travis Denning

“The song is called “All Out Of Beer,” Jason’s dad Barry played it for him over Thanksgiving of 2014, and he immediately put it on hold,” Denning says. “I think it just fits right in the wheelhouse of what he does so well as an artist, and I’m very fortunate he felt that way too.”

(L-R) Trea Landon, Cole Taylor, Jordan Rager, Jon Langston and Travis Denning at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on May 10, 2016 before the annual “Georgia On My Mind” fundraising concert hosted by the Peach Pickers. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Georgia Music Foundation)

Just over a year ago, 21-year-old Trea Landon left his hometown of Claxton and the following he’d built in Statesboro for his band, for Nashville. Within a month of arriving, he signed a deal with Play It Again Publishing, owned by Albany native Dallas Davidson, who has more than 20 #1 hits under his belt and says of Landon, “I definitely see a bright future ahead of him.”

Landon says of his mentor, “Dallas has influenced me, helping me grow as a songwriter and on the business side of the industry, by watching him, I’m learning what to do and what not to do.” When asked what he misses most about Georgia these days, Landon quips, “Everything I sing about.”

Concertgoers will also get to check out The Albany Museum of Art’s current exhibition, Motion Forward: Street Style featuring the work of two Brooklyn, New York artists: JM Rizzi, a neo-abstract expressionist and muralist who has worked with famed street artists Banksy, Shepard Fairey and Jean-Michel Basquiat; and Tony “Rubin” Sjöman, a Swedish artist who is considered a staple in the New York City street art scene and whose first book, Rubin: New York/Scandinavia was published in May of 2016. The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive. The Songwriter Series will continue on Nov. 19 at the Holly Theatre in Dahlonega with Pat Alger, Tony Arata and Amy Ray and culminate on Dec. 2 at the Douglass Theatre in Macon for a summit of songwriting keyboardists featuring Lloyd Buchanan, Lola Gulley and Ike Stubblefield.

16TOUR012563_Songwriter Series Poster Concepts_Albany_v4

The Quail Rebel of South Georgia: Outdoor Life Feature

Original Article:


At 11:15 p.m. my hotel room phone rings, shaking me from the kind of deep sleep reserved for spring turkey hunters and nightshift nurses.

It’s Bo Henry: “Hey man, if you’re still out … I’ll meet you at the Harvest Moon. I’ll be there in probably 20 minutes.”

I told him I was already back from the Harvest Moon (a bar, which Henry owns) and was calling it an early night. I was supposed to meet him the next morning to go turkey hunting at 5 a.m.

“Yeah, okay. I’m going to check things out there for an hour or so and then call it an early night too,” he says.

This was a late-night glimpse into the life of Bo Henry, a small-town business owner, lead singer of a country-rock band, family man, and die-hard quail hunter. As I hang up the phone, it strikes me that it’s guys like Henry—everyday hunters with loaded schedules and busy lives—who are saving the bobwhite quail from disappearing from their southern range.

Quail Forever

A Quail Forever sticker rides on the back of Bo Henry’s pickup. Quail Forever was founded in 2005 and has since grown to include 157 local chapters and more than 16,000 members.

And that’s the real reason I’ve come to Albany, Georgia, “The Quail Hunting Capital of the World,”—to find out how such an unconventional group of conservationists, like Henry and his buddies, are bringing back the bobwhites.

Georgia’s quail population has decreased by 85 percent since the 1960s and the state’s quail hunters have dropped by 80 percent, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Biologists and state conservation agencies have been working for decades to stop the decline, but they can only do so much. If the quail are going to thrive, it’s going to be because of the efforts of landowners like Henry.

Henry listens for gobbles during a morning turkey hunt on a plantation he leases and manages with his hunting buddies.

Waiting on a Georgia long beard.

The Rebel

Henry looks more like a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd than he does the upland bird hunters you see in an Orvis catalog. He’s got wild red hair, a deep Southern voice, and a booming laugh. It doesn’t take me long to learn that, mostly, Henry just wants to show people a good time. He and a business partner (his brother-in-law) own three successful restaurants in town, a catering business, and a hotel. His band “The Bo Henry Band” has been together for decades and plays weekly at one of the restaurants. His whole economy is based on feeding people and entertaining.

Running the backroads in Bo’s pickup is like tagging along with an overbooked party coordinator. He’s making calls to buddies, handling restaurant business, and scribbling down dates in a calendar he keeps on his dash. Walking through a store in town with Henry is like being part of a local celebrity’s entourage. Everybody knows him, everybody likes him, and everybody wants to catch up on something. It takes us an hour to leave a diner during our turkey hunt because new people keep coming in, and all stop by to say hello.

He views his hunting properties as another way to show people a good time. He invites buddies to come hunting and all the owners of the plantation host Wounded Warrior hunts and Quail Forever events. He lets the local cops deer hunt his place (because Henry doesn’t care much about deer hunting and doesn’t like to wear a seatbelt). When they first bought the property about five years ago, Henry’s band played an outdoor show and invited everybody from town.

“There were campers and trucks everywhere. It was our version of Woodstock,” Henry says.

But beneath it all, Henry has a certain intensity about him. I find this out when we get to talking about quail.

“I know there are other places that have great wild quail, but down in South Georgia it’s a thing of history and tradition,” Henry says.

Georgian Pines

Georgia is renowned for its pines, like those found on Henry’s farm.

Henry’s dad was a teacher and enjoys quail hunting. But Henry says he realized his passion for wild quail through stories about his great grandpa, Beauchamp Houston, who died a month before Henry was born. Beauchamp was a well-known bird dog trainer and breeder and had a wild streak like Henry. As Henry grew up, he got a bird dog of his own and at 18 he started guiding hunters and working habitat at a local plantation. Before long, he was training a dozen hunting dogs.

“Ever since I was a little kid people said I reminded them of my great grandad. Even though I never got to know him, I guess I always wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Henry says.

Henry saw college as a means to party and play music. A few semesters in, he dropped out and got a job surveying cotton. But even as a young man, he was smart with his money and when he saved up enough, he decided to start a restaurant.

Through all the wildness of his 20s, quail hunting was always Henry’s way of staying grounded.

Henry disks a quail food plot with a Massey Ferguson tractor.

The Lay of the Land

To understand the story of quail in the South, is to understand the story of the land. Henry and five of his childhood buddies own a beautiful 420-acre pine plantation and they manage it for quail, doves, and ducks. Our morning turkey hunt is the perfect excuse for me to walk the property, and even though we don’t kill any gobblers, watching the plantation materialize through the fog makes the early wakeup worth it.

It’s classic southern landscape: tall stands of pines in perfect rows, knee-high native grasses, wild plums in the hedgerows, expansive peanut fields, millet, Spanish moss, and swampy ponds packed with lily pads and gators. They also manage and lease a similarly sized plantation specifically for quail. In many parts of country, this would be considered a lot of ground. But down here, almost all of the land is privately owned, and much of it in huge tracts.

According to Clay Sisson of Tall Timbers, a habitat and quail conservation non-profit, Yankee businessmen started buying large plantations for quail hunting and winter vacationing in the 1920s and 30s. A decade or two later, farmers started adapting to center-pivot irrigation methods. Georgia’s patchwork of small fields intersected by hedgerows and timber lots was cut, plowed, and replaced by huge fields with center pivots. And so disappeared most of the great quail habitat… Except for on the big plantations, which were still managed for quail hunting and recreation.

In southwest Georgia, fire is a habitat manager’s most important tool.

And that legacy of big-time wealthy landowners still exists today. Ted Turner, the former media mogul, has some 8,000 acres outside of Albany. The Mellons, a wealthy banking family from Pittsburg, own about 20,000 acres. A former owner of Coca Cola and the owner of Victoria’s Secret also have plantations in the area. The wealthy landowners use these properties for hunting and reprieve from winter in the North. They hire full-time management teams to work the habitat and increase quail numbers. These plantations grow some of the finest quail habitat in the country and are one of the main reasons the bobwhite population still exists here. The wealthy landowners also bring visitors and money to the local communities — before the quail opener each year, the little Albany airport is packed with private jets. According to Sisson of Tall Timbers, quail hunting and management puts $275 million annually into the economy in southwest Georgia and northern Florida. Down here, that’s a lot of damn money.

But among all of the land barons are guys like Henry. Local boys who grew up hunting and fishing the red clay. And though the small-time landowners might have much less property, even in aggregate, there are many more of them, and this is where the culture of quail hunting in the South is preserved.

Josh Jordan, a diehard turkey hunter, gets ready to work a slate call. Jordan manages the plantations with Henry, and his business focuses on setting up conservation easements and preserving wild-game habitat.

Trial By Fire

In South Georgia, improving quail habitat is about allowing sunlight to reach the ground. Plant succession in this climate happens quickly because it’s so warm and wet, says Jared Wiklund, a spokesman for Quail Forever. Unlike the southern Great Plains states, which can have feast or famine quail seasons based on the weather that year, Georgia quail populations are all about habitat management. A year of bad weather can hurt quail numbers, but mostly, you get out what you put in.

Managers are in a constant battle with the jungle-like vegetation. Their main job is prescribed burning, which kills young sweet gums and other hardwoods. That makes way for sunlight to reach the ground. It also promotes more diverse and healthier native grasses — this is the key to good quail numbers. Each year sweet gum needs to be removed (by mowing, spraying, or both) and most properties are burned at least once every two years.

“If you don’t keep up with burning, your habitat is done,” Wiklund says. “And, it’s really hard to get back.”

“I know there are other places that have great wild quail, but down in South Georgia it’s a thing of history and tradition.” — Bo Henry

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Albany Herald – See the Sunrise Release

ALBANY, Ga. — Asked to describe the essence of their recently completed musical masterpiece, “See the Sunrise,” some members of local mainstays the Bo Henry Band are at a loss for words.

Drummer Tim Carter loosens his reluctant bandmates’ reticence when he offers, “The album’s like a nice bowl of gumbo with a lot of spices thrown in. There’s a lot there to eat.”

Bassist Terry Stubbs has his own unique take: “I like the idea that if you turn (the album) up all the way, it gives you a nice sonic cleanse.”

Next up, percussionist Mark Brimberry: “This album is a kaleidoscope; all the songs are different. It takes me back to our first album, what, 15 years ago? And it proves that old saying that the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Leave it to the band’s namesake, though, to cut to the essence of the question.

“This album is like this band … We ain’t country and we ain’t exactly rock; we ain’t Southern rock and we ain’t soul and we ain’t an oldies band and we ain’t bluegrass …,” Bo Henry says as he ponders the query. “But we’re all of that. We’re whatever we feel on any given night.

“I guess the album is just us, it’s who we are.”

The Bo Henry Band has existed for more than 15 years, a loose and ever-changing collection of some of the region’s best musicians that is as flannel-clad laid-back, yet musically accomplished, as the man whose name is on the marquee. BHB have recorded two other albums over their decade and a half together, but neither approaches “Sunrise’s” stark introspection.

On songs like the Brandon Fox-penned and sung “Shady Lane” — a tribute to the masterful guitarist’s recently passed father — and the Henry remembrance “Old Oak Tree,” the two integral musicians/songwriters in the nine-man group offer personal glimpses they rarely reveal onstage.

“It wasn’t part of the plan to put (‘Shady Lane’) on the album,” Fox said. “But Bo heard it and said we ought to put it on there. It’s not really the kind of song you play in a bar or at a frat party.”

There are no throw-aways on “See the Sunrise” — the title track of which is a wistful Henry look at a time of the day the band often sees as it’s returning home from a weekend of playing — and tunes like “Down to Mexico,” “The Dealer,” “Greasy Headed Granny” and the Buck Bradshaw-sung “I’m Feelin’ Better” combine with “Shady Lane” and “Old Oak Tree” to paint perhaps the perfect portrait of the Bo Henry Band, circa 2012.

“The song ‘I’m Feelin’ Better‘ is kind of what we’re all about,” Henry said. “It was a story I was telling, but it just seemed to be a song that fit Buck’s voice better. As it turned out, it fits what he does better than if I’d sung it.”

Throughout “See the Sunrise,” there are flourishes — little touches here and there — that allow all BHB members to shine. Whether it’s the subtle but perfectly placed horns of sax man Jon Wills and trumpeter Joe Maxey on “Mexico;” Fox and Kent Dowling’s Allman Brothers-esque twin guitar mix on “Sunset” or their solos on “Shady Lane” (Dowling) and “Granny” (Fox); Bradshaw’s piano and organ work (the former on “Sunrise,” the latter on “The Dealer”); the “guest” steel guitar by Kyle Everson on “Old Oak Tree;” or the tight rhythm section of Stubbs, Carter, Brimberry and Henry fit perfectly by engineer Dennis Frazier throughout the mix, these are accomplished musicians doing what they do best.

“Dennis was great to work with,” Henry said. “He really made us comfortable in the studio. We did most of the songs live, and he gave us the option of listening through headphones or having a monitor in front of us like we do when we play a live show.”

Added Stubbs: “Recording this album was a great experience for us. We had the chance to look at each other, to interact while we were playing. People may not like every song on this album, but there’s enough different stuff that there’s going to be at least two or three songs everyone will like.”

What’s not to like about a band that, when confronted by Montgomery cops responding to a noise complaint, cracks the officers up by going immediately into the “Bad Boys” them from TV’s “Cops?” A crew that spent the last weekend traveling several hundred miles to shows in Macon Thursday, Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday and Pensacola, Fla., Saturday, only to make it home in the wee hours of Sunday morning (seeing another sunrise) so they can be home with their families?

“We’re proud of this album,” Henry said. “If we sell out all the copies we have, great. If we don’t sell a one, no problem. At least we’ll have the music out there, and we’ll be happy we made it. It’s something we’ll leave behind.”

Fans can pick up their own copies of “See the Sunrise” tonight when BHB hold an album-release celebration at Henry’s Harvest Moon restaurant.

“The only reason this band is called the ‘Bo Henry Band’ is back when we started this and me and Terry and Matt were playing at a local restaurant, they put ‘Bo Henry’s Band’ on the marquee. But this is not my band. This is our band.

“When we play a show, we don’t leave some folks out so we can maybe make a little more money. We bring the boys. Us together, that’s what makes this band. We wouldn’t be the same without the whole.”

A nice bowl of gumbo indeed.

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Bo Henry Patriotic Song – Hero (Albany CEO)

Bo Henry Patriotic Song ‘Hero’ Released

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

It was Memorial Day and Bo Henry was in a writing mood.

The Albany singer-songwriter and entrepreneur thinks “Hero,” a heart-wrenching, patriotic tale about father-son casualties of war, may be his best writing work yet.

“If you give me time,” Henry writes in the chorus of “Hero.” “I’ll tell you about the boy that got to meet his hero the day he died.”

The song continues: “It’s amazing how freedom feels; and freedom comes from what the soldiers give.”

Henry, 40, is accompanied on the cut by his sister, vocalist Kristin Culpepper.

“I know that this song and a song I wrote about my granddaddy (‘Daddy Jeff’) are the ones that are closest to my heart,” he says.

Henry recorded “Hero” last week in a local studio and released it Monday – just in time for Independence Day.

“With all that’s going on in the country and world lately, I thought we could all use something patriotic like this. It seems like the perfect time,” says the Bo Henry Band leader and co-owner of Stewbos (, a hospitality company.

“Hero” will be available for purchase July 1 on and on other digital music outlets by Independence Day weekend.

Listen to “Hero” now at

Click here to visit the Bo Henry Band’s Facebook page.

Bo Henry honors Veterans with song

Albany Herald:

July 03–ALBANY — Although he never served, Albany entrepreneur Bo Henry holds a special place in his heart for military veterans and the sacrifices they make in the name of freedom, which inspired the musician to write a song in their honor.

“I’ve never been in the military, but I have the utmost respect for anybody who is and I know that they’re the reason that America is free and stays free,” said Henry. “It’s them and the many, many before. I still believe in America, and I’m thankful every day for the freedom we have.”

It was thoughts about those who serve and the fact that they give their lives to protect the country that inspired Henry to write “Hero,” a new song he recently recorded and released.

The musician said he woke up early on Memorial Day this year and, as is often the case when his family is still asleep, he ventured out to his music room and started playing the piano. What came from that session is a song the singer/songwriter said he is very proud of.

“I was just thinking about America and just had a little patriotic moment,” said Henry. “I started playing the piano, and it just came right to me. I wrote it right then; it was about 7:30, 8 o’clock in the morning on Memorial Day.”

Henry sat on the song for a bit, intending to record it with his band, the Bo Henry Band. But as Independence Day neared, he decided he needed to get the song recorded and release in time for the holiday.

Just last week, Henry decamped to Ed McCree’s Albany Music Studio and began recording the tune with just his acoustic guitar, before fully fleshing out the tune with additional instruments.

“I was originally just going to play acoustic and sing it, but when I finished playing it acoustic, I put bass with it, then I put a piano with it, then I played drums and just kept going from one instrument to the next,” he said. “Then I got my youngest sister, Kristin Culpepper, to go out with me the next night, and she sang harmony and back-up on it with me.”

Henry immediately released the song, which is currently available at and will soon be available on iTunes and other digital music sites.

Even though the version that’s out now is a solo effort, Henry said he does intend to revisit the tune and record it with the entire Bo Henry Band.

“This time I was on a little time crunch and wanted to get it done before the Fourth of July, so I just recorded everything,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll go back and eventually do it with the band. I do play other instruments but not as well as the guys in my band play.”

In addition to penning the song as a tribute to military veterans, Henry said he plans to donate some of the proceeds from the sale of the single, although he admits he isn’t sure how much the song might make.

“I’m going to give 10 percent of the gross to nonprofit military organizations that help wounded or fallen veterans or their families,” Henry said. “I haven’t decided which one it will be yet, and it might not be just one. I’m not expecting it to be some huge amount, but I do my part. There’s tons of good organizations out there, and I would probably try to help them all a little bit if it brings in anything.”

For those who have not yet heard the tune, “Hero” focuses on a fictional character born into a family with a military history. The main character never knew his father, who had gone off to war and lost his life before he was born. The son eventually turns 18 and joins the military as well, and ultimately loses his life in combat.

The son’s mother, when told the news of his death, isn’t angry but feels a sense of peace because she knows her son did what he felt he should do and is finally reunited with his hero, his father.

“It’s not a true story, but it is something that could happen,” said Henry. “We’re so lucky to have people that go and fight for us. I’m sitting here in a restaurant working while somebody overseas is protecting us so that me and my wife and my son can be living in a free country.”

Henry will perform “Hero” in front a large crowd for the first time today when he joins other local acts Mopeland and Unbreakable Bloodline, along with blues and R&B legend Clarence Carter, at the city of Albany’sFourth of July concert at Veterans Park Amphitheatre in advance of the city’s downtown fireworks display.

Henry said that, in addition to revisiting the track with the rest of the Bo Henry Band, the group is currently working on material for a new CD it hopes to release in the near future.

“We’re working on songs to put out on a new CD soon,” he said. “We’ve got the material, we just have to get it recorded.”