Atlanta Roots

Line-up (original)  
Barry Lord vocals/harmonica
Bill Worthington guitar
Eric Bromley bass
Dave Thorpe drums
Graham Worral maraccas
Paul Robinson drums (replaced Dave)
Line-up (1991)  
Bill Worthington vocals/lead guitar
Barry Lord vocals/rhythm
David Thorpe drums
James Ensor vocals/bass

Visit their website

Barry Lord and Bill Worthington met at Bolton Art School in 1959 when they were both 13. They soon started learning guitar and after starItng a few bands finally founded what would become Atlanta Roots in 1963.

The first line-up was completed with Eric Bromley on bass and Dave Thorpe on drums. Although inspired by the whole Liverpool ‘beat boom’, they decided to go back to basics and become a blues band.

Their early role models were Cyril Davis and Alexis Korner and through early Beatles and Stones albums they discovered Chuck Berry and Bo Diddly and also the original bluesmen.

They first went out as The Cubists and after winning a band contest had their first photo in the Farnworth Journal.

Because Barry played a harmonica he couldn’t manage maracas and tambourine (essential instruments for early sixties bands) so their friend and electrician Graham Worral joined the line up to shake maracas.

In 1964 Michael Chapman, a photography tutor at Bolton College of art and experienced guitarist, started to manage the band.

Under his influence the bands song list improved with such as Bessie Smith and Mel Torme songs.  He also had a great influence on the bands musical ability.

Mike also took some great photos and changed the bands name to The Ivy league  Under this name they started playing better venues and became regulars at the Beachcomber in Bolton.

Within a year another band called The Ivy League had a number one record so the band became Atlanta Roots.

Sometime in 1966 Dave Thorpe left the band and was replaced on drums by Paul Robinson.

They played regularly round the Manchester area and managed to get through to the semi-finals of the Melody Maker's Beat Contest in Brighton.

The band finally called it a day in mid 66 when Barry Lord left to go to Coventry college of art.

However, the original band re-formed for Dave Thorpes 40th birthday in 1987 and Dave, Barry and Bill decided to carry on playing and after several personnel changes are still giging around the north west.



First band photo

Beachcomber, Bolton 1965

In the early sevenyes I played briefly with a guy called Bill Worthington who had been guitarist with this group in the early/mid sixties.

Bill attended Bolton College of Art in the sixties - the group was formed then and played mainly in the Bolton area, I can remember that another member of the group was called Baz(Barry) Lord. 

I had been told a couple of years ago that Bill was living in Accrington Lancashire. 

Eric Sandiford

Atlanta Roots track 'Comin' Home is featured on the sountrack of the movie 'A Horse with no Name' a road movie shot in the USA.

Steve Simpson



Atlanta Roots at the Thatched House, Stockport, 2007
Greg Ainsworth , Barry Lord , Paul Burgess, Jim Ensor and Will Worthington

Cover of cassette recorded in April 1991 at Cavalier Studios Stockport.
A cd, 'The Mirror' (right) was recorded in 1996

the mirror

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Comments (11)

Topic: Atlanta Roots
Ian Slater says...
I played bass on The Mirror CD (I'm second from the left on the cover), I was in the band from 1995 to about 1998 gigging all over the North West. The band at that time was Barry Lord vocals/guitar/harp, Bill Worthington guitar/vocals, Greg ... Read More
22nd June 2014 8:48pm
G Roberts says...
Hi Ian, we booked Atlanta Roots to come play our ball at Neuadd Reichel in Bangor Uni in 1996 - a brilliant set and I bought the album (The Mirror) that night. Unfortunately it was stolen in 1999 and I've been looking ever since for another copy ... Read More
19th August 2015 5:50pm
Bob Ainsworth says...
I was a fan of AR and was surprised when they split a couple of years ago. I believe Barry has another band now. I don't know what Greg is doing.
I have a CD of the Roots which I would be glad to copy for you - the band permitting of course!
25th September 2015 8:41pm
Mike Swann Spinning Top says...
The Roots have reformed under the name A BAND OF LORDS, playing their first gig late July 2015 & their 2nd at my bar in Stockport (The Spinning Top). Line up - Barry Lord (rhythm guitar, harp & vox) Keith Gallagher (lead guitar) Jim Ensor ... Read More
19th October 2015 5:14am
Ian Slater says...
I've got no objection to that!
2nd January 2017 2:20pm
Ian Slater says...
If you like, I can email you an mp3 copy of The Mirror.
4th January 2017 12:27pm
anne says...
why no videos? No idea what you sound like
4th December 2016 1:41pm
Bob Ainsworth says...
To Anne. I don't know why your message came over to me. However, there are Atlanta Roots videos on Youtube.
4th December 2016 4:52pm
Ruth Colton says...
Hi, I would like to know if this band are still doing gigs and if so where I can see them? I used to see them many times at the Bulls Head pub in Stockport market place in the late 90's and would love to see them again.
15th April 2017 7:58am
Ian Slater (Hobart) says...
Bill Worthington is playing in the Black Cat Blues Band around Bollington, they're on Facebook:
23rd January 2018 12:30pm
Bob Ainsworth says...
I believe they split a few years ago but Barry formed a new band called Band of Lords. They have or had a monthly residency at a place in Stockport, possibly the Spinning Top or something like that. I have been meaning to get to see them but from ... Read More
15th April 2017 8:31am

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