Exile On West Union Street: Local Bands Gear Up For Keithfest

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The Rolling Stones are inarguably one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Their combination of rough English boy blues, infused with an even rougher attitude, has yet to be matched.

Therefore, it only makes sense that The Stones would have some fans who are inarguably great. 

This Saturday, The Union is hosting the second annual "Keithfest," featuring a wide array of local bands, all playing in memory of Bryan Keith Winland, who passed away in 2008.

Throughout the night, local musicians will be covering tunes penned by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the latter of whom the event is named after…sort of.

"Keith Richards was Bryan's favorite Stone, and Bryan's middle name was Keith," said Scott Winland, Bryan's younger brother and the event's organizer. "After a while it stuck and we decided he would've got a kick out of the name."

After Bryan passed away, Scott and his sister Jennifer decided to start a scholarship in his name for high school seniors seeking higher education in arts and music, and to hold an annual concert to fund it.

"He was an amazing guy," said Winland. "We came from a very musical family. Bryan was a major part of that for me. As a booking agent, promoter, musician and music professor, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about Bryan or his impact on who I am and what I do."

Many of Athens' most impressive acts will take the stage on Saturday, including local surf/garage heroes The D-Rays, veteran punks Weird Science and prog-rock wizards Zapano.

The show will also include Winland's band Dropdead Sons, as well as Hex Net, The Imparsonators, Leah & Adam, Nick Zuban, The JJ Reed Band and Whip & Tickle.

"Last year's show was a lot of fun, and I'm expecting the same from this year's Keithfest," said Winland. He went on to say that attendees should be prepared for a casual evening.

"Like The Stones, the music and schedule will run pretty loose," he noted. "Get there early and raise a glass to Bryan Winland–Athens' finest rock 'n' roller."

Keithfest starts at 10 p.m. at The Union (18 W. Union Street). All proceeds go to the Bryan Winland Arts & Music Scholarship Fund.