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Leading off 2012 with Raleigh favorite The Morning After
By: Hunter Elliott

Raleigh, NC--One of the last local shows of last year, as well as one of the first of the new year took place at Raleigh’s Southland Ballroom. The Morning After rang in the New Year with a party to be topped by few.


Photo by: Hunter Lee Elliott

Dressed to the nines for the occasion, The Morning After took the stage and immediately dazzled the awaiting crowd. Ranging from downtown party goers, hippies, and a variety of local artists, the crowd itself was high on the new year and swinging to the raucous compilation of strings and drums. Playing some of their older favorites such as “Rest Tonight” and “De La Luz,” the soul fueled Latin hybrid ensemble reflected the spirit of the night perfectly.


Photo by: Hunter Lee Elliott

As 2011 came to a close, the band joined their fans for a champagne toast. Glasses hoisted high, Southland Ballroom staff, band members, and fans alike warmly welcomed 2012 with cheers, hugs, and more than a few hilarious awkward kisses. If by chance you are unfamiliar with The Morning After, they are Rachel Koontz: vocals, Shawn Chase: mandolin, Jamie Dawson: mandolin, bass guitar, and vocals, Pattie Hopkins: fiddle and vocals, Mike Rosado: percussion and vocals, and Hank Smith: banjo and vocals. Individually, these musicians are extraordinarily talented, but once their talents are mingled they become more than the sum of their parts.


Photo by: Hunter Lee Elliott

The style of music is tough to define as it has its influences from genres such as Jazz, Blues, Latin, Bluegrass, and Rock-N-Roll (to name a few). The band calls it Motown, The Muppet Show, and Modern American Music all rolled into one, so we will go with that. The combination of genres works for them and judging by the intensity of their fans, it works well.


Photo by: Hunter Lee Elliott

I have had the pleasure of covering this band throughout 2011 and witnessed their growth in popularity. I can only imagine 2012 will bring even more for The Morning After including an album that is wrapping up production. Some of the featured songs are "To Love a Machine," "Warm Like the Sun," "Falafel Haus," and "In the Snow," and "Winter."


Photo by: Hunter Lee Elliott

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