We’ve posted a lot of coverage of Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Music Festival, the incredible 3-day indie festival that just celebrated its 3rd year. But now I’ve put all the photos into Facebook galleries for easier viewing.

You’ll find significant numbers of photos here of the headliners from each night of Shaky Knees — The Strokes, The Avett Brothers, and Tame Impala — plus lots of pics of other acts, including Pixies, Social Distortion, Mastodon, TV on the Radio, Clutch, Interpol, Ride, The Kooks, Surfer Blood, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Dr. Dog, Best Coast, The Both, Old 97’s, Palma Violets, Speedy Ortiz, and, well, on and on. The lineup was really something.

As I noted in previous posts, I was extremely impressed with almost every facet of Shaky Knees, and I was glad to see so many folks from Savannah make the trip. Maybe next year we’ll have a big hissing lawns meet up for Savannahians during the fest. The deal with embedded Facebook galleries: if you’re logged into Facebook as a business page you might not be able to see these. (And, as always, “likes” on Facebook are much appreciated.)

Hey guys,
I would like to say is a big “Thank you” to anyone reading that voted for this blog in the Connect contest. Tom Cartmel and I got a chance to go to the party for the first time, and we really had a good time.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to go.  On with the picks for the weeks.

Thursday 21st
Bit Brigade, DOT, Trophy Wives, Nightly Borders – Chromatic Dragon (8p)
Caleb Warren & The Perfect Gentlemen, Clouds & Satellites – Trinity Church ($10, 7:30p)

Friday 22nd
AmbroseCongress Street Social Club
Crazy Man Crazy, Whiskey DiabloWormhole
Hoplight, SPOREBarrelhouse South
Magic RocksMolly MacPherson’s
OceanstoneWorld Of Beer
Waits & Co, Caleb Warren & The Perfect Gentlemen, City HotelJinx
Heavy PetsSouthbound Anniversary Concert

Saturday 23rd
Eric Sommer Sentient Bean
Atlas Road Crew, The FritzBarrelhouse South
Black Tusk, Bottled Violence (Minor Threat cover band), Prone, DJ Metal RobJinx ($10)
Trongone Band (VA rock family w/ trombone) – Congress Street Social Club

Sunday 24th
Wood And Steel – Rocks On The Roof
U2BYUV (U2 tribute band), Steppin StonesWild Wing

Tuesday 26th
Clouds & SatellitesFoxy Loxy Cafe

Wednesday 27th
Pussy Launcher, Death Of Paris, Sins Of Godless Men, HotplateHang Fire

Thursday 28th
Those CatsBarrelhouse South


MusicFile Productions (parent company of Savannah Stopover and Revival Fest) has paired with Service Brewing on Indian Street for a series of concerts. First up was Amythyst Kiah & Her Chest of Glass with Velvet Caravan.

Kiah is a spectacular performer with an especially compelling voice, and her band consists of members of this mountain, who have a devoted Savannah following of their own. Our friends in Velvet Caravan, which won Best Jazz Band in Connect’s Best of Savannah awards this week, opened the show and then joined Amythyst and the rest for one final song:

Amazing encore of Amythyst Kiah & Her Chest of Glass with Velvet Caravan last night at Service Brewing. Stopover alumni supergroup! Thanks to everyone who came out.

Posted by Savannah Stopover on Friday, May 15, 2015

And a few pics (there’s a nice new stage, but not any real light on it yet):



VelvetCaravan_ServiceBrewing-1 Continue reading →

Tom Cartmel and Larry Jack Sammons were the official hissing lawns representatives last night at the Morris Center to pick up our award for being chosen Savannah’s best blog for 2015 in Connect Savannah’s Best of Savannah readers’ poll, but there were other people associated with our site who were also on hand, including Jon Waits, Jason Nielubowicz, Kayne Lanahan, and Anna Chandler (a former contributor who is now Connect’s A&E editor).

As it turns out, we didn’t just win the award for best Savannah-based blog. hissing lawns was also runner-up for best website to Connect Savannah itself. I’m not really sure what people were voting for when they typed us in for that latter category — the simplicity of the design? the breadth of the photography? the seriousness with which we examine the local music scene? our heavy use of video and audio? Whatever the case, we’re pretty freakin’ pleased.

Kayne Lanahan, Tom Cartmel, Jason Nielubowicz, & Larry Jack Sammons

Kayne Lanahan, Tom Cartmel, Jason Nielubowicz, & Larry Jack Sammons

Because of a torrential downpour, our certificate was left at the party, so that photo above might be the only hard evidence of our win. We may not have the physical certificate, but we do have this fine photo of Larry Jack with Wet Socks, in tacky drag:

20150519_194258 Continue reading →

We recently posted a lot of coverage of Atlanta’s Shaky Knees Festival, but I wasn’t able to attend Shaky Boots Festival. The new country fest, which was held in Kennesaw, was held the weekend immediately after Shaky Knees

Shaky Boots featured some big names in country — including Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, and Dwight Yoakam — and some acts that might fit more comfortably in the worlds of alt-country, Americana, bluegrass, or some other style, like Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Cracker, and Jim White Vs. The Packway Handle Band.

Shaky Knees 2015 represented an ambitious step forward for the festival in only its 3rd year, and I love that the organizers have stretched to create Shaky Boots too. I sure hope that circumstances allow hissing lawns to cover both festivals firsthand next year.

Like Shaky Knees, Shaky Boots has been getting some excellent press, including from the AJC. Click on through to see these Facebook galleries with photos from day 1 and day 2 by aLIVE Coverage.

Shaky Boots Day 1Photos by aLIVE Coverage

Posted by Shaky Boots Festival on Sunday, May 17, 2015

Shaky Boots – Day 2Photos by aLIVE Coverage

Posted by Shaky Boots Festival on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

After only two years, Revival Fest has established itself as one of the best single days of music in Savannah. The 2015 festival is slated for September 12th at the Georgia State Railroad Museum (commonly called The Roundhouse around town).

The old paint shop on the western edge of the property, on the bluff above Boundary Street, provides a perfect setting for the event, which has two stages (one inside, one outside) and runs from noon to 11 p.m. It’s quite a setup — one band finishes, the Sweet Thunder Strolling Band (yes, they’re back) will play a song or two, and then another band begins playing at the alternate stage.

By the way, Revival Fest is yet another effort from MusicFile Productions, which is also the parent company of Savannah Stopover.

Revival Fest annoucement-2

The exciting lineup for the 3rd annual festival includes a few acts that have already proven extremely popular in Savannah — like Southern Culture On The Skids, Christopher Paul Stelling, and Those Darlins — and also boasts some excellent musicians that have never played here (as far as I know), most notably the recently reinvigorated Fruit Bats and Parker Millsap. The three local bands are really strong too: Missionary Blues, Paving Gravy, and the aforementioned Sweet Thunder Strolling Band, which bandleader Andrew Hartzell named in honor of the late Ben Tucker.

As noted in the press release, the 2015 Revival Fest “places a strong emphasis on Southern music and celebrates a variety of genres, from the old school electric blues of​ Robert Lee Coleman​ (who played in both​ Percy Sledge’s​ and James Brown’s b​ands) to rising Americana/Folk star C​hristopher Paul Stelling.​” Festival founder Kayne Lanahan said, “We love the juxtaposition of old and new; Southern Culture On The Skids next to T​hose Darlins;​ R​obert Lee Coleman​ on the same lineup as 22 year old Parker Millsap.​ I think it celebrates what’s grounded and real in music today across generations.”


The 2015 festival will also include a pig roast, craft beer, ample bourbon, and various other southern food and drink. A portion of the proceeds will benefit educational programs and exhibits at the nearby T​ricentennial Park.​ Tickets are $35 (Advance/Early Bird), $45 (Regular) and $95 (VIP). Early Bird and VIP tickets are now on sale.

Also, the festival has teamed with Uber “to ensure everyone has a safe, reliable ride to Revival Fest.” You have to download the Uber app and sign up with promo code REVIVALFEST or sign up online for your first ride free (up to $20).

Check out a playlist on Soundcloud:

Fruit Bats — a creation of Eric D. Johnson — was founded in the late 1990s and continued until 2013. The folk rock band, which always seems to have the adjective “influential” next to it, released four albums on Sub Pop Records. Johnson has also been a member of The Shins. After quietly announcing via Instagram that Fruit Bats is coming back to life, Johnson has booked a number of dates through 2015, including supporting My Morning Jacket out West.

I’m doing Fruit Bats again.

A photo posted by Fruit Bats (@fruit_bats) on

Southern Culture On The Skids kicked off the 2015 Savannah Stopover in grand, tacky style — the show was a winner in the Connect’s just-announced Best of Savannah readers’ poll. I’m sure there are plenty of folks anxious for the return trip.

Southern Culture on the Skids at Savannah Stopover 2015

Southern Culture on the Skids at Savannah Stopover 2015

And here’s the rest of the very strong lineup:

The three Savannah-based acts:

Continue reading →

On Tuesday evening, May 19, Larry Jack and I will be at Connect Savannah’s big party at the Morris Center to accept the award for Best Local Blog in the alt-weekly’s massive Best of Savannah 2015 readers’ poll. (UPDATE: Click here for Connect’s blurb about us. And, um, wow, we also scored a runner-up — Connect Savannah — for Best Local Website.)

A sincere thanks to all of you who voted for hissing lawns. And thanks also to those of you didn’t vote for us but are regular readers, have liked and shared posts, have contributed ideas, and have followed us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And thanks, of course, to all the people who make up Savannah’s music community.

Thanks to Connect, too, for the herculean effort of assembling the Best of Savannah issue.

I’d also like to personally thank our writers and photographers — the active, the inactive, the completely unpredictable, and the “retired” (including Connect’s A&E editor Anna Chandler). I founded this site in September 2013 after years of telling people that we needed a collaborative music blog in Savannah, and I had no idea at the time just how much talent we would attract. No one is making any money here, though I wish we were; our contributors are simply passionate about music and about the people who make up the Savannah scene.

We read a lot of music blogs and websites, and we honestly think we stack up pretty well.

That said, there is a lot that we could be doing better. We’ve done a pretty good job covering high-profile touring acts that come through town, and the blog has tracked some genres fairly closely — Americana, punk, metal, garage rock, various other stripes of indie music.

But we’ve done a poor job covering rap, hip-hop, country, jam, jazz, some hard rock. We’re hit or miss on singer-songwriters — mostly miss. Larry Jack’s weekly previews mention all sorts of venues around town, but a disproportionate number of our reviews and photo galleries are from The Jinx and Hang Fire. Those two venues certainly deserve that attention, but other venues deserve more than they’re getting.

We need additional contributors to help fill these holes. If you’re interested in becoming a hissing lawns contributor, even if your main interests are in genres we’re already covering heavily, please message me via the hissing lawns Facebook page. I’d like to see more previews, more reviews, more photo galleries, more interviews, more video — more everything.

I also hope that we’ll be covering additional festivals, shows, and news from across the Southeast and around the country, but we’ll continue to spend most of our time and energy right here at home. (Btw, we can’t cover Savannah’s active house show scene. If we did, the regular venues could get shut down.)

In a sense, hissing lawns splintered away from the other site I edit, Savannah Unplugged, which was runner-up for Best Local Blog in 2014. Now that I’m putting so much time into hissing lawns, I’m considering ways to retool and reboot that original blog.

A final comment: hissing lawns is named in honor of Joni Mitchell’s song and album “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” — an allusion that is lost on the vast majority of readers, I’ve learned. Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:

He put up a barbed wire fence
To keep out the unknown
And on every metal thorn
Just a little blood of his own
She patrols that fence of his
To a latin drum
And the hissing of summer lawns

If you’ve grown up anywhere in the South or Midwest, you’ve heard the hissing of summer lawns. You’ve seen attempts to define and structure the natural world with geometric precision. And you’ve heard the untamed wildness that can be kept briefly at bay, but cannot be denied.

I think it’s a great name for a music blog, even if people occasionally call it “hissing loans” or “kissing yawns”.

Thanks for reading hissing lawns.

We’ve known for a little while now about a couple acts — The Wailers and Rusted Root — booked for Forsyth Park on the night before the Savannah College of Art & Design’s spring commencement ceremonies, but we’ve been kind of waiting for SCAD to make things official. But we’re tired of waiting. The “new alumni concert” is less than two weeks away and the names are starting to appear in multiple places on the web — including Pollstar.

UPDATE: SCAD has confirmed The Wailers and Rusted Root. The show starts at 7 p.m. (and SCAD has a habit of starting these things on time). No additional acts have been announced.

And let me add: excellent choices!

Of course, there are generally three acts booked for the annual spring concert in Forsyth, which has become the unofficial kickoff to summer in Savannah. We don’t have any earthly clue who that third act is, or even if there is one. (We’re betting it’s not Mumford & Sons.)

Sure, The Wailers have played two out of the last three Savannah Music Festivals — those were fabulous shows, but they a) weren’t free and b) weren’t in the wide open space at Forsyth. I missed the 2015 SMF show, but the 2013 performance was way better than I expected.

The Wailers in 2014 at Glastonbury:

From The Wailers website:
The anchor of the band is Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who in addition to being Marley’s most trusted lieutenant, played on countless other classic reggae hits throughout the seventies. The authenticity he brings to the Wailers’ sound is indisputable and yet today’s line-up combines old school know-how with lead vocals from one of Jamaica’s most exciting new singers [Dwayne Anglin].

I haven’t followed Rusted Root for years, but who doesn’t know this one?:

Founded in Pittsburgh, Rusted Root has been playing their melding of world music, rock, jam, and more for a quarter century.

The best SCAD-produced concerts in Forsyth have been the ones that turned into the biggest parties — like Michael Franti, Ziggy Marley, James Brown, George Clinton. The Wailers and Rusted Root could fit right in with those great shows.