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Published: 2012/02/01

Patterson Hood Leads John Bell, R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills, John Neff, Todd Nance and More in the Fight Against Walmart

Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood has written and recorded a new protest song with the help of a collection of Athens, GA-bred musicians. The single, “After it’s Gone,” was inspired by the threat of a Walmart moving into the heart of downtown Athens, GA . Throughout the song, Hood is backed by The Downtown 13: R.E.M.’s Mike Mills (harmonies and piano), Widespread Panic’s John Bell (lead vocals), John Neff (pedal steel), David Barbe (bass), Jay Gonzalez (electric piano), Brad Morgan (drums), Widespread Panic’s Todd Nance –(percussion), Claire Campbell (banjo and harmonies), Lera Lynn (harmonies) and Henry Barbe (electric guitar) as well as backing vocalists Brannen Miles, Carter King and Payton Bradford.

“This Atlanta developer wants to clog our cultural heart and build a bunker the size of three city blocks next to the vibrant downtown scene,” Hood said in a statement. “They hit The Easy Button: a big box store in our downtown district is clearly misguided and a somewhat ridiculous notion. Downtown Athens is a dynamic network of local businesses—Athens already has a meaningful brand and we are extremely protective of it.

“We have a vibrant downtown with plans for the future that involve planned development along the river and hopefully a high speed rail to Atlanta,” Hood continues. “We don’t need a big box retailer, the very definition of the past, to once again bring us back through that dark episode of closed down storefronts and empty parking lots. Protect Downtown Athens— that’s what this is all about.”

Hood, Mills, Bell and Nance are some of the many musicians who still live in the Athens-area. For more information, please visit.

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