Down-home music for Bubbas

It's been 12 years since the late Gregory Dean Smalley put together the first Bubbapalooza music festival at Star Community Bar in Little Five Points. This homage to the redneck underground movement, featuring genres like alternative country and rockabilly, continues May 22-24. Expect 20 bands, including headliners Rocket 350, Robin Dean Salmon and Redneck Greece Deluxe.

Redneck Greece (aka Greg Reece) has performed at most of the events, delivering songs like "Mama Was a Dancer at the Clermont Lounge." The tongue-in-cheek country troubadour recently spoke over the phone from Athens about returning to his "home away from home."

How would you define Bubbapalooza?

It showcases rural, redneck-type music, or bands with that attitude, anyway. Some of the bands aren't really twang-oriented but have people in them who know that corncobs came before toilet paper.

Will you be playing new stuff or older material?

We're going to get people to giggle a little bit with some of [the older songs]. And we have some new stuff coming in, too, that will hopefully stroke a feather on somebody there, get them mad at least. I got one song in particular, which we're going to see how it goes over. It's called "Come on in, Juan." We're going to tackle the immigration issue. It's not getting political or anything, but I guess I'm getting apolitical. I don't really know what that word means. I'm a hillbilly.

What do you think about the Star Bar as a venue?

Years ago, it was my home away from home. It's changed owners a couple of times since the old days. I haven't met the new [owners], but from what I'm seeing, they're off to a good start. They're putting on this Bubbapalooza with a nod to the old ways. I just always thought it was a nice, homey bar. ... Every time you went there, you were going to see someone you knew. I've been there as a patron more times than I have as a performer. It's always been a good neighborhood bar. Since I'm not living in the neighborhood anymore, it's kind of special to come back.

What do you hope to get out of it?

I'm just coming to have a good time. I'm not looking to get anything out of it. If I'm having fun, we're all having fun. And that's what Bubbapalooza is all about. ... It was never a big money-making venture. If you got gas money out of it, you were ahead of the game most of the time. In the past, it's always been a reunion of friends.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.