Relapse band members, from left, Davis Kinney, Tommy Presley, Ed McRee, Mac Alexander, Jeff Lindquist, Joe Maxey and Benny Lomineck, are preparing for their New Year’s Eve gig in Dawson.
ALBANY, Ga. -- A renewed bond, forged in shared tragedy between guitar great Brad Sayre and members of Albany's most famous rock band, Messendger, has morphed into a treat for area music fans.
Sayre will open for -- and later join -- a reunited Messendger for a New Year's Eve show Monday at the local Knights of Columbus hall on Gillionville Road.
"A lot of us have issues in life; that's the way life is," Sayre, who has played with such musical luminaries as Melanie, Danny Joe Brown of Molly Hatchet, Dr. Hook, the Beats, Slab and AcoustiCon, said in a phone interview from his New Smyrna Beach, Fla., home Thursday. "A ways back, my wife died of cancer, and a year or so ago (Messendger bassist) Allen Poole lost his wife. He did not have a big support system, and he was in a bad place.
"He came down to see me because of what I'd been through, and we jammed for a while in my studio. It felt good, but Allen still wasn't totally with us. I came to visit him, and we ended up getting together to jam with (original Messendger members) Jesse Glover and Eddie Robinson. While we were playing, I saw the light come back on in Allen's eyes. We'd breathed new life into him."
When Poole, guitarist Glover and drummer Robinson reunited to play at the Georgia Throwdown in October, the door suddenly opened for more shows. Through a connection Sayre has with the Knights of Columbus, he and Messendger were booked for a New Year's blowout that will start at 8 p.m. Monday and carry over well into 2013.
"Basically, I'm going to do what I do," Sayre said. "I'll play some of my stuff, some Hendrix, Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Cream, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, maybe Zeppelin's 'Kashmir.' Whatever folks want to hear.
"After I do my show, I plan to come back and jam some with Messendger, play some guitar. It's just what I do; it's like giving somebody your best gift and watching them open it."
While Sayre and Messendger are blowing the doors off the Knights of Columbus hall, just down the road in Dawson, Southwest Georgia's premiere party and show band will be playing some of the best-known rock and soul music ever recorded for revelers.
Relapse, which also played a rousing show at the Throwdown and is celebrating 20 years together this year, will bring in 2013 at the Dawson Country Club.
For ticket information about or to make reservations for the Sayre/Messendger show, contact the Knights of Columbus at (229) 883-8834. For Relapse ticket information, call (229) 995-2255.