Well, I don’t know about you but I’m having a hard time believing 2018 is coming to a close. It’s been the greatest worst year ever, and I have no reason to think the last month will be any different. So let’s talk about all the awesome things that are going to happen in December.

First and foremost, tomorrow night, Saturday, December 1st, is the CD release of the new Mudcat album Castaway. I was very excited about collaborating with Mudcat on this effort and was honored to have been asked to interpret some of his beautiful lyrics and melodies. The release will embody all of these components with the added energy that we have all come to expect from this big band show, which will include the Atlanta horns. If you have not had a chance to listen to any of the tracks yet, you may do so on Mudcat’s Bandcamp page and get ready to purchase your own copy at the release. Opening for the performance of the album will be a special edition of the Piedmont Report featuring Sammy Blue, Rita Graham, and Mathew Alexander Sheppard, along with guest host Joey Hoegger. Again, if you have not yet listened to The Piedmont Report, I highly suggest doing so, but I can think of worse ways to experience it the first time than experiencing it live! Y’all may have heard the rumors that Avondale is closing, which it is, but not until December 12. That means you get to be there for one of their last shows at this historic venue. What else can I possibly say to convince you? Avondale is located at 106 N Avondale Rd, Avondale Estates, GA 30002, (404)228-3125. Show starts at 8 pm.

The provocative song cycle is a continuation of conceptual albums, with this one examining life in a corporate-controlled social/political environment and, as Mudcat says, “feeling abandoned by God and looking for refuge.” – Hal Horowitz, Creative Loafing, Nov 1, 2018.

Mudcat Website

Mudcat Bandcamp

Avondale Towne Cinema

Sunday, December 2nd, I’ll be playing some tunes at Limerick Junction in the Virginia Highlands. This is my first time playing a full show at Limerick Junction, but after the crowd response from my playing a few songs a few weeks ago, I am very much looking forward to hanging out and baring my soul with these people. Limerick is in the heart of the Highlands on Highland Ave and has a ton of foot traffic plus some local regulars. So stop in and have a pint or two and let me serenade you! Limerick Junction features Irish music later on in the week but they are focused on local artists on Sundays and I am excited to become part of the rotation. It’s also Skye Paige’s birthday this Sunday, so you should probably stop by and say hey! LJ is located at 822 North Highland Ave NE in Atlanta, GA 30306, or call them at (404)874-7147 for more details. Music is from 9-11.

Limerick Junction

Thursday, December 6, I will be returning to Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Atlanta. Have you guys ever tried these buffalo cauliflower things? Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to them ever since the last time I was there months ago. But I digress. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Hard Rock, they have preserved a ton of fascinating memorabilia from several artists throughout music history. It’s basically a museum, a restaurant, and a venue all wrapped up in one. And honestly, these sound guys are some of the nicest guys in town (excluding my friends, of course)! Those of my friends who work downtown or will be in the area, please stop in for some dinner and some free live music. They have built a room and a stage specifically for live music but you still get the feel and the quality of the restaurant. All ages welcome. Music from 7-10. Hard Rock is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta at 215 Peachtree St NE, (404)688-7625.

Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta

Then, I will be MIA for a moment while my friends and I travel to the frozen tundra to watch the Falcons play in Green Bay. I think you all know who I’m pulling for, but best of luck to the other seven I’m bringing with me. And by best of luck I mean, I hope you lose. (tee hee) It doesn’t really look like either of us will make the playoffs, but a girl can dream… #RunTheTable

Saturday, December 22, I’ll be performing at Ott Farms & Vineyard in Ellijay, GA. If you haven’t been to see live music at a vineyard in the mountains yet, well, I don’t know how to help you. The drive to Ellijay is gorgeous and then you get to sit on the top of a mountain with a gorgeous view, sample some wine, and listen to me. What more can you ask for? In addition, this vineyard is owned by the family of friends, so it is the epitome of supporting local. Perhaps you need some last minute gifts? I hear wine is a Christmas gift favorite for many people (hint, hint…) This will be my last gig before heading home for the holidays, so please stop by and share in some joyous holiday cheer. It will be one of the few opportunities I have to play a few Christmas tunes. The porch is covered so you will be able to enjoy the view, rain, shine or snow! Ott Farms & Vineyard is located at 230 Henry Evans Rd in Ellijay, GA, (706)273-1891. Make sure to screen shot your way home as service becomes difficult in the mountains. Music is from 1:30-5:30.

Ott Farms & Vineyard

And finally, for my last gig of 2018, the Major 7s and I will be back at Darwin’s in Sandy Springs for our last gospel show of the year. This has been one of my favorite events throughout the year, and it only seems to be getting better. It has everything you can ask for. Spiritual songs ranging from traditional gospel to country to rock & roll to r&b… we play it all. Don’t be afraid to let the spirit take control and do some singing and dancing — you won’t be alone!!! We’ll have a full six piece band and chicken & waffles, plus we are kid friendly so bring the little ones along! I can’t think of a better way to finish the year than by spreading love. Darwin’s is located at 234 Hildebrand in Sandy Springs, (470)399-5060.

Darwin’s Website

Don’t forget Bytchcraft plays at Darwin’s every Wednesday afternoon from 1-4. In fact, Darwin’s has free live music during the day from Wednesday through Saturday. Hayley Gray and I hold down the fort on Wednesdays and we are often blessed with musicians who stop in and visit from time to time.

Also, be on the lookout for a Hunt House gig in the beginning of January 2019. There will be several more Mandi Strachota band shows in 2019, and more new music to come. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season with family and friends! Remember, we’re family too, so please stop by and say hi before the end of the year! You can also stop by my merchandise page on my website for last minute gift ideas. If you need a rush delivery, please contact me personally and we will see what we can figure out. And don’t forget to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and listen to me on Spotify! See you next year!

Mandi Strachota Merchandise