Lenz recently presented the fifth annual Amplify Decatur concert series at iconic Eddie’s Attic from June 26 to 28, helping to raise $25,000 for Decatur Cooperative Ministry, a nonprofit that helps to keep families out of homelessness.
Since the first Amplify event (it was formerly known as Poverty Is Real) in 2011, Amplify has helped to raise nearly $75,000 for DCM and has served as the presenting sponsor each year. Amplify was founded by Lenz partner and vice president of marketing Mike Killeen, who remains an Amplify board member. Spencer Smith serves as Amplify’s executive director.
“Since our firm was founded 23 years ago in Decatur, part of our company’s mission has been to try to support the local community through a wide variety of public service, initiatives and sponsorships,” said Richard J. Lenz, founder, president and CEO of Lenz, who also has served as a founding member of the board of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, a nonprofit. “We are pleased that our efforts might help in some small way to alleviate the problem of homelessness for families in need. With this event, we creatively combine our love of music with positive action in Decatur to perform a public good. What Mike Killeen and Spencer Smith have been building with the organization is very smart, extremely effective, and inspiring.”
This year’s lineup was headlined by influential alternative country pioneer Jay Farrar and comprised six separate shows, including one by Christian artist Brady Toops. Two of the founding members of the label-defying band Cracker, known for its big ‘90’s alternative radio hits, performed two shows. Amplify Decatur also featured a Kids’ Show performed by female duo The Wishing Jar and a Neil Young tribute that included a number of notable local artists.
The weekend schedule included:
- FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 7:30 p.m.: Performance by Farrar, who has received critical acclaim for more than two decades as the founder of Uncle Tupelo, as a solo artist and as the leader of Son Volt. Farrar combines heart-wrenching vocals with songwriting that has been influenced by Beat Generation writer Jack Kerouac’s free-flowing compositional style. Said Farrar of Son Volt’s sixth studio album, “Honky Tonk”: “Honky tonk music is about heartache, heartbreak, the road.” Instrumentalist Gary Hunt accompanied Farrar and Mike Killeen opened the show.
- SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.: Acoustic performances by “Cracker Unplugged with David Lowery & Johnny Hickman.” Cracker recently released its 10th studio album, entitled, “Berkeley to Bakersfield,” a double-album that includes tracks on the “Berkeley” disc from the band’s original lineup – the first time in almost 20 years that they have recorded together. The “Bakersfield” disc pays homage to the band’s “California country” side. Over the years, Cracker has been described as alt-rock, Americana, insurgent-country and even, at times, as punk and classic-rock. Lowery and Hickman performed as a duo.
- SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 2 p.m.: Performance by The Wishing Jar (for children ages 3 to 8 years old). As singer-songwriters, Humphries and Shelton combine beauty, whimsy and a touch of vintage flair. They performed “Until Tomorrow,” a lullaby project of mostly original songs and an illustrated children’s companion book.
- SUNDAY, JUNE 28: “Out on the Weekend,” a Neil Young celebration, featured local and regional acts performing mini-sets of Young’s greatest hits. Participating artists included Brian Collins with Craig Young, the Bitter Roots, Eliot Bronson, Doria Roberts, Jared & Amber, Adron, S. Connor of the Southern Gothic, Kristen Englenz, Rex Hussmann and Mike Killeen and some surprise special guests.
Full event details can be found at AmplifyDecatur.org.
Founded in 1969, Decatur Cooperative Ministry alleviates and prevents homelessness in and around Decatur. Its programs include an emergency shelter for women and children, transitional housing for families, veterans’ assistance, and emergency relief for families on the verge of losing their homes. Its work has helped make DeKalb County a better place for more than 40 years and Amplify is honored to celebrate DCM. More information is available at DecaturCooperativeMinistry.org.
Based in Decatur, Georgia, Lenz partners with its clients so they can grow together. For more than two decades, Lenz’s specialized expertise has helped its clients to reach their goals. Lenz offers the full range of digital and traditional marketing expertise, including brand strategy, advertising, PR, website development, inbound marketing and more. Learn more at LenzMarketing.com.
The Amplify Concert Series leverages the universal love of music to fight poverty and homelessness at the local level. Specifically, the Amplify Concert Series selects local-level charities combating poverty on the frontlines and hosts music concerts to celebrate their work and to raise funds for them. Amplify concerts unite communities by inviting local businesses to sponsor the events and by increasing awareness. Most importantly, every dollar raised at Amplify concerts goes directly to the beneficiary. The Amplify Concerts Series is produced by Poverty Is Real, a Decatur, Georgia-based 501(c)(3) organization, working to educate communities about issues surrounding homelessness and poverty. Learn more at AmplifyDecatur.org.