Green Lights

Cancer benefit brings local musicians together tonight for evening of Pink Floyd covers

Print By Lawrence Specker |

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on June 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM, updated June 14, 2013 at 1:58 PM



Tonight's Pink Floyd-themed benefit show will feature an element of whimsy, to judge from promotional art by Kris Skoda.


MOBILE, Alabama – If tonight’s show at the Blind Mule was nothing more than a group of local musicians coming together to indulge in an evening of Pink Floyd covers, that would make it a noteworthy occasion. But the event also has a higher purpose: Helping the family of an area man suffering from cancer.


The show serves as a benefit for the family of Choice Carter, a Semmes man suffering from Stage 3 testicular cancer. Proceeds will assist Carter’s family with costs of his treatment.


Organizer Robbie Morgan said he initially got involved because Carter is a friend. The musical theme came about because Carter is a classic rock fan, and Pink Floyd is one of his favorite bands. The music will start at about 9 p.m. on Friday, June 14, with five acts expected to take part: the Swivlettes, featuring Melody Duncan and Katy Herndon (see video below); the 7th Green; the Psychedelic All-Stars, featuring members of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; Kronophonic; and Morgan’s group, Green Lights. Morgan said he expected the show to include material from throughout Pink Floyd’s catalog.


“It’s an excuse to play some great music and have a good time and for a good cause,” Morgan said. “It’s kind of like a 14-year-old’s dream. You’re listening to “Dark Side” and you think, ‘Of course I’d like to play that someday.’”


The cover charge is $5, and additional donations will be accepted. An auction also will be featured.


Deby Carter, Choice’s mother, said she also hopes the event will help raise awareness about a form of cancer that’s hard to talk about and that tends to strike young adult men who are just getting started in life and raising families. Her son, 27, had earned a degree and was just settling into a new job when the illness struck, she said. He was uninsured, and he and his wife have a 3-year-old daughter.


Deby Carter said the family has struggled with the fact that because this form of cancer is less prevalent and less well known than some, fewer resources have been available.


“I’m really floored at the lack of awareness,” she said. “Because there is no awareness, there is no support.” Awareness is a particularly important because of this cancer’s nature, she said: It’s a form of cancer that responds well to timely treatment, but spreads aggressively if untreated.


Deby Carter said that while the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute has been “phenomenal” in helping her son, she has been disappointed by other major institutions. The silver lining, she said, is that local entities, including the Blind Mule, have been much more responsive. “They blew my mind,” she said of the venue’s support.


For updates, visit the event’s Facebook page. The Blind Mule is at 57 N. Claiborne St., near the intersection of Claiborne and St. Francis streets.


Another benefit for the Carter family is planned for June 22, when a fish fry will be held at Theodore United Methodist Church. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with plates selling for $7.

Mobile musician Robbie Morgan turns to Kickstarter to fund music release

By Lawrence Specker |

on March 18, 2013 at 3:22 PM, updated March 18, 2013 at 3:32 PM Print


Robbie Morgan's Kickstarter drive could yield a nice 30th birthday present: Funding for an ambitious music release.


MOBILE, Alabama – Robbie Morgan will sing a song for you. Heck, Robbie Morgan will write a song for you, or produce one of yours. All he wants in return is your help with a few things he needs to get off his chest.


Here’s the deal: Morgan has been recording, playing and producing music for years in the Mobile area. He released his first solo album, “Sleeper Hit,” back in 2005 under the stage name Robah. Since then, he’s gotten a degree in audio production at the University of Southern Mississippi. He’s got a band project called Green Lights that has spent more time in the studio than on the stage, and the unreleased material has been piling up.


On April 15, Morgan turns 30. In conjunction with that milestone, he’s launched a campaign on to raise money for an ambitious multi-album release.


The goal: Morgan wants to raise enough money to put out a pair of new Green Lights albums, “Dancing On Our Graves” and “Songnos,” including a vinyl pressing; plus a separate EP and a collection of various instrumentals, demos and bonus tracks; plus a short film about the making of the two core albums.


The target: The Kickstarter campaign has a target of $10,000 by April 15. For those who haven’t encountered it before, Kickstarter is an all-or nothing pledge drive. People who look at a proposal have the option of making a pledge; if the target is made, they’re billed for the pledge amount, but if the pledges don’t hit the target by the deadline, would-be contributors don’t owe anything. Results can be a powerful validation: Mobile’s Crescent Theater recently succeeded in raising more than $75,000 for a new digital projection system through the site.


The bait: Kickstarter drives usually offer donors a variety of perks proportional to their pledges, and the Green Lights offering is no exception. Rewards range from a basic digital release ($2 or more) up to a Super Deluxe Package ($250 or more) including digital release, vinyl release, handmade scrapbook and more. $1,000 or more gets you a performance at your house; for $2,000 or more Williams will write and record a song for you; for $5,000 or more he’ll record and produce an acoustic song for you or your band.


It’s an ambitious undertaking, but Morgan says he’d like to see the material get the release he thinks it deserves, rather than being trickled out over the next few years. It’s been a long time coming, and he estimates that he’s worked with more than 30 musicians on the Green Lights material. “There’s not really a permanent lineup,” he says. (He singles out Dave Jenks, based in Massachusetts, as his main collaborator and co-writer.)


“They were put together for a reason,” he says of “Dancing on Our Graves” and “Songnos.” “It’s not necessarily a double album, but they definitely complement each other.”


Full details can be found at, where the drive opened on Monday. Music from “Dancing On Our Graves” and “Songnos” can be sampled at


USM Student Printz

Concert to benefit children

By Abby McMullen


Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:05

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USM's Family Network Partnership has teamed up with South City Records to produce the fifth annual Aspire Scholarship Benefit Concert, which will be held Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Saenger Theatre in downtown Hattiesburg.

Proceeds will go into the Aspire Scholarship Fund, which helps young adults who wish to receive a higher education.

"This concert is about coming together as a community to support the dreams and aspirations of our youth on the east side of Hattiesburg, and to expose the kids to different art forms and culture," said Melissa Beauvais, arts coordinator for the Family Network Partnership. She has set this year's goal at $5,000, a target that the FNP desperately needs to reach due to recent funding cuts.

"Through the Family Network Partnership and the Aspire Scholarship fund, the kids at FNP have hope for a better tomorrow and the access to a good education which will lead to better paying jobs and open many doors," Beauvais said.

Beauvais decided to immediately contact South City Records after reading an article about the birth of the label in the Hattiesburg American.

"The idea behind [this collaboration] was to help promote local bands that are involved with South City Records [while working with] entertainment industry students and volunteers to help promote the event and save on our budget, since we are grant funded," explained Beauvais.

Nikki Criddle, president of South City Records, is happy that the student-run label can be associated with such a good cause.

"This program is for [students] and the money is raised to help them have an education," said Criddle. "It is important for South City Records to stand behind good causes, not only to be a part of the community, but to support children... as much as we can."

Several bands working under the South City label will be playing at the benefit concert, including Red City Hill, Green Lights, and Matthew Funches and the Culture.

Matthew Funches has been volunteering once a week at the Aspire Center, and has seen firsthand what the program can do.

"I think [this concert] will be very beneficial - not only to for the artists involved but the kids as well," said Funches. "People should definitely come and check it out. It's for a good cause."

Dave Jenks, guitarist for Green Lights, is also excited about the concert.

"We're an up-and-coming band, open to everything," said Jenks. "This was for a good cause, and we wanted to help out…it sounded like a fun gig."

Tickets are $7 for students, and $10 for the general public.

USM Student Printz

South City shows USM talent

By Karla Pendleton


Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:05

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Usually, small independent labels do not show a diverse genre of music. South City Records, USM's entertainment industry label, is anything but typical. They held their first annual artist showcase this Saturday in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center, and the array of music presented was mind-blowing. The crowd consisted of about 240 people; mostly friends, family and entertainment industry majors. Although the room was freezing, and the crowd refused to stand up no matter how many times the artist asked them to, the music was incredible.

The show opened with a few words from Darko Velichkovski, one of the founders of the entertainment industry major and South City Records.

"We are really excited to be representing the best of the region on this label, and will continue to try to bridge the gap between the different genres," he said. Each act had something unique and different to bring to the stage. Fred Shaw, GPT Boys, Fred Hustle and B-Lyn brought the stage alive with rap beats, catchy lyrics and dance moves.

The Haddonfield Massacre, a band out of Petal, played the Halloween theme while their microphones were being set up on the stage. I was amazed at the lead singer's ability to scream during every song and yet talk in a normal voice as if nothing happened.

Troy Durr, president of South City Records, had a very soulful R&B vibe, with a hint of rock mixed in the background. He and his three female background vocalists definitely brought out a different sound.

To throw a little bit more rock in the mix, Charmed I'm Sure came from Jackson. They are an edgy rock band with a lot of interesting chord progressions. The electric guitar player was amazing, especially during their song "Visual Sensation."

Another band to play out of the rock genre was Green Lights with lead guitar and vocalist Robbie Morgan. The band had really good stage energy, with songs that you would rock out to in your car.

Then there's Matthew Funches. Don't let the name fool you, this guy is amazing. He is a singer/songwriter combination, almost like John Legend. His voice has a very good tone quality, and he can play the piano as if he was born doing it. His songs were very thought provoking. The lyrics weren't what you hear on the radio, not your typical "I want your booty, come rub on me." His stage performance consisted of just him, a piano and three female background vocalists. His album is coming out in about six months, and needless to say I am very excited to hear what else his creative brain can come up with.

All of the bands had a good night, but I have saved the best for last. There are no words to describe the performance from Stale Fashion. They have a rock sound, but the whole time they were playing, I felt the need to jump around as if standing in one place could not do the music justice. The drummer had enough energy for everyone in the room and didn't hesitate to bounce and move with every beat of the drums. I felt so moved by this performance; I had to buy the CD.

The show ended with homage to the legendary Bob Marley. Everyone came back on stage in multicolored Bob Marley T-shirts, and Funches lead us all singing "No Woman, No Cry." It was a great ending to an event that is sure to get better with each year.

USM Student Printz

The Student Printz > Entertainment

Record label hosts exhibit

By Bradley Glasco


Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:05

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South City Records, a record label run by USM students, is holding an exhibition this weekend to celebrate the release of its first compilation and promote interest in the entertainment industry major. The exhibition will be at the Mannoni Performing Arts Center on the USM campus from 7-9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8. The event is free and everyone is encouraged to attend. There will be performances by local musicians Stale Fashion, Charmed I'm Sure, Green Lights, Matthew Funches, Troy Durr, Fred Shaw, The Haddonfield Massacre, and the G.P.T. Boys. South City Records, which began in 2005 as Unique Sounds of Music, is an official student organization at USM as well as a state recognized corporation. According to the label's website, being recognized by the state as a corporation allows them to hold events at off campus venues and pursue regional and national musicians. The label does everything for its artists including recording, management, booking and music publishing . It provides USM students with a more hands-on learning experience inside the world of the entertainment industry. Putting together the label's first compilation album is a major accomplishment for the recently created entertainment industry major and its young record label.

Even a quick listen to the myspace pages of the label's artists show a healthy diversity. Green Lights explore everything from ethereal textures and psychedelic guitars to straight-ahead rock. Charmed I'm Sure brings to mind comparisons to Franz Ferdinand or other current guitar based pop bands. The Haddonfield Massacre is a metal band formed from the ashes of an older local metal act, The Furies Cry Blood.

Some other artists on the label include Tree Logic, Flow Tribe, Dustin Messina, Robbie Morgan, and Xena

Mobile Press-Register


Album Notes

Robah is a twenty-something with a penchant for (wierdly enough) combining pop songs with quirky sincere lyrics. The album is at different points hilarious and heartrending, He has been a musician for over 10 years now and this is his first album. He has been compared to 311, The Beatles, Radiohead, Beck, Elliott Smith, Jon Brion, Ben Gibbard, and a whole slew of others. Give a listen for yourself and decide!


Here is a newspaper review of Sleeper Hit:


Local musician gets high-tech backup on CD


By Lawrence Specker


Friday, June 24, 2005


"Sleeper Hit," the debut CD from local act Robah, unfolds before the listener as an intriguing and appealing experiment. The same seems likely to be true of Robah's show Saturday night at Satori Coffee, which serves as a local premiere of sorts. Robah is not a band as such. It's the alter ego of Robbie Morgan, who has leveraged limited experience as a singer-songwriter into a sophisticated self-produced album. Morgan, 22, says his background as a public performer consists of entertaining at friends' parties and taking the stage at a few open-mic nights. Yet "Sleeper Hit" is a confident and mostly mature work, with a sound that drapes big, bold progressive-rock soundscapes behind acoustic guitar and catchy alternative pop lyrics. The juxtaposition of these computer generated, almost industrial backgrounds with organic melodies and personal messages calls to mind some immediate comparisons, such as the English trio Doves. Morgan himself is upfront about being a fan of Radiohead, but thinks The Beatles are just as obvious an influence on what he does. "I try and grab from any and everything," he said. But he's got his own sound going. Better yet, he's remarkably unpretentious about it. Discussing music with this many progressive cues, you'd expect a certain highbrow tone. But when asked, for example, why much of the album's rhythmic content comes from computer-processed loops that seem to owe little to conventional percussion, his answer is direct: "I don't play drums." And that brings us closer to the strange dimension of experimental excitement underneath "Sleeper Hit." Morgan says he forged out in this direction without even the full range of equipment you'd expect of an ambitious home-studio geek. Apple's GarageBand software was his main tool. "A lot of people have been weirded out by the fact that I did the whole thing on a Mac," he said. "I'm pretty new at it. ... A lot of this stuff, it just kind of happened." As distinctive as the arrangements are, they'd be futile if Morgan didn't write memorable songs, but he does. "Niko the Therapist" has a bent quality that makes it particularly ear-catching: "I see Niko the therapist/ Every time I have a problem/ He gives me just what I need yeah/ A bit of crying then he says/ "Asphyxiation will solve everything... " But even on a straightforward love song, such as "Mary Jane," Morgan shows the ability to be dreamy without being dopey. The vocals do reflect a relative lack of performing experience. That's not to say they're weak, only that they're tinged by the reserved quality of a vocalist who has yet to weather a full measure of stage time good and bad. Aside from that, Morgan has a fine voice and stays within his limits. Morgan says that when it comes to replicating the album's sound live, Saturday's show will test the waters without committing fully. For most of the show he'll stick to familiar singer-songwriter formats, accompanying himself on guitar and keyboard. But for perhaps a quarter of the performance he will use programmed backing tracks that'll bring him closer to what we hear on "Sleeper Hit." And if you yourself would like to test the waters, several tracks can be heard online at Morgan says the album will be sold at Robah shows, and by early July should be available through