Cracker, AJ Ghent, Bobby Rush, Old Salt Union + lots of art A-Town Get Down – photos

In an ambitious move, A-Town Get Down Festival moved this year to a different date and venue. Previously held at the Morris Center on a generally quiet winter weekend, the daylong festival was held last Saturday and utilized some awesome open spaces at the east end of Indian Street, near the bridge and SCAD’s Alexander Hall.

I attended a Savannah Music Festival performance that afternoon — we’ll have some more info about the SMF soon — and didn’t make it to A-Town till about dusk. There were a lot of people milling about in the huge space that the festival occupied, but the event probably needed to be somewhat condensed. I love the ambition of A-Town, though, and I was impressed with all the acts that I saw — Grammy-winning blues phenom Bobby Rush, bluegrass band Old Salt Union, the powerful AJ Ghent Band, and the headliner Cracker.

I also caught the “Gesture Jam” with DJ Obi-1-Benobi and the Stardust Pixies. The mix of art, music, food trucks, and other vendors — all with the Savannah River bridge looming above — made for some striking visuals. We’ve already posted Jon Waits’ gallery of Swamp Cabbage, and here are shots of the acts that I saw, plus some shots from around the festival — click on through for the full gallery.

New Music Monday – 3/27/17

For this week’s New Music Monday, we have work from

  • Craig Finn
  • Golden Pelicans
  • Jason Isbell
  • PWR BTTM

Enjoy!

Craig Finn
New York, NY
“God In Chicago” (official video) from We All Want The Same Things out now on Partisan Records

Craig Finn is the best lyricist in rock. – tom

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Golden Pelicans
Orlando, FL
“Blue Medusa” from Disciples of Blood out April 21 on Goner Records

Golden Pelicans are a stellar live band and the upcoming release on Goner sounds like it captures the energy perfectly. That’s really saying something, as vocalist Erik Grincewicz and crew deal in nasty proto punk that sometimes needs to be seen to appreciate. Man, I love this band. – tom
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Jason Isbell
Nashville, TN
“Hope The High Road” off of The Nashville Sound available June 16th via Southeastern Records

If you don’t know Jason Isbell, but like Wilco, Sturgill Simpson, Drive By Truckers type tunes, do yourself a favor and hit play. If you do know Jason Isbell, you’ve already hit play. The kind of stuff that gives me hope for almost mainstream music. – tom

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PWR BTTM
New York
SXSW performance posted by NPR Music

One of my favorite acts of the 2016 Savannah Stopover continues to put create beautiful new music and find new audiences. The recording isn’t stellar here, but the rough edges contribute to emotional and inspirational depth. Check out the guest appearance from Alynda Lee Segarra of Hurray For The Riff Raff. – bill

Swamp Cabbage at A-Town Get Down 2017 – photos

This weekend brought about the return of A-Town Get Down Arts & Music Festival, and with it a full roster of top-notch music. This was my fifth year performing with Waits & Co. at the annual shindig, and per usual we had a blast. The gathering of creatives to share their talents has become a favorite of mine, and was actually my introduction to the Savannah music community.

Over those last five years I’ve become friends with quite a few of the regular faces, both onstage & behind the scenes. One of those friendships is with Walter Parks of Swamp Cabbage. When performing together these three veterans of the stage throw down sound like nobody’s business. To paraphrase Walter’s tongue-in-cheek statement from under the bridge ‘it’s in our contract that we play LOUD’, and they delivered on both that & the down-home dirty sound that they’re known for. Humor and rock & roll at maximum volume are something they do well, pulling from both their own originals, to ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ by The Who, and finishing out their set with a masterful cover of The Allman Brothers. Joining them for a few rousing, brass-blasting tunes was the horn section from Snarky Puppy. I’d love to hear what all of those cats could do together in the studio. A-Town is generally speaking a festival of mixing things up, one-off collaborations, and not only seasoned musicians doing their thing, but also sharing the stage, and their experience with up & comers.

Congratulations to both the A-Town family & also Erin Wessling of W Projects for pulling off a helluva’ day of music & art in Savannah!

Here are a few highlight shots, with more after the jump….

Swamp Cabbage

Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour – 3/23/17 – 3/29/17

Hey guys,

I think I have listed most of the stuff that I could find this week, and it looks like it could be another good music week.  A highlight of the week should be the A-Town Get Down Festival on Saturday, headlined by Cracker.  Another highlight will be the Jinx show on Tuesday. It looks like the have at least three headliners at that show, Rev. Horton Heat, Unknown Hinson, and Goddamn Gallows (maybe Birdcloud too?).  I didn’t list the Savannah Music Festival shows, it was a little overwhelming.  It looks like there will be good weather, there definitely will be good music, go have some fun.

Thursday 3/23
Tahah, No LovesEl-Rocko
Selector Dub Narcotic, Daniel Brady LynchGraveface (7p, $5)
Orange Constant Album Release Party – Barrelhouse South

Friday 3/24
Cory ChambersDriftaway Cafe (7p)
Velvet CaravanWyld Dock Bar (7p)
Star Period Star, Philip Polk Palmer, Pussy LauncherWormhole
Those Lavender Whales, Clouds & Satellites, Dear BlancaEl-Rocko
Pato Banton and the Now Generation, Scholars WordBarrelhouse South
ChewCongress Street Social Club

Saturday 3/25
A-Town Get Down Festival Indian Street (12:30p)
Damon and the ShitkickersJinx Happy Hour
Charlie Fog Band Presents Grateful DeadTybee Post Theater ($15/13)
Nathan Stanley (grandson of Dr. Ralph Stanley) – Mars Theater (7p, $20)
Backup Planet, Jive Mother MaryBarrelhouse South
The Rumjacks, In For A Penny, The MuckersJinx
Bella’s BartokCongress Street Social Club

Sunday 3/26
Voodoo SoupCongress Street Social Club

Monday 3/2 7
Craig Tanner Open MicAbe’s On Lincoln

Tuesday 3/28
Rev Horton Heat, Unknown Hinson, Goddamn Gallows, BirdcloudJinx ($30)

Wednesday 3/29
The Lipschitz, PallasEl-Rocko

New Music Monday – 3/20/17

This week’s New Music Monday features work from 5 stellar acts:

Downtown Boys
Juliana Hatfield
Mastodon
Hurray For The Riff Raff
Fit For An Autopsy

Enjoy!

Downtown Boys
Providence, RI
“Somos Chulas (No Somos Pendejas)” from upcoming Sub Pop release

An urgent yet catchy punk blast sung in Spanish from one of the more important punk projects currently in existence. Not to be missed live. Powerful, engaging stuff. – tom

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Juliana Hatfield
Boston, MA
“Wonder Why” from Pussycat out 4/28 via American Laundromat Records

Would I have guessed in 1992 that Juliana Hatfield would still be putting out killer, relevant indie rock in 2017? Who knows, I had some goofy music opinions then (still do) and thought we’d have flying cars by now. Songs started pouring out of Juliana after the 2016 elections and Pussycat is the result. I’m digging this song. – tom

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Mastodon
ATL, GA
“Show Yourself” from Emperor of Sand available March 31 on Warner Bros.

This is as mainstream as I’ve heard metal juggernaut Mastodon get, but c’mon, you want to see the Grim Reaper get flipped off and get lucky in the back of a hearse, right? Right? – tom

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Hurray For The Riff Raff
New Orleans, LA
The Navigator

This might be my favorite Hurray For The Riff Raff record. The Bronx born, New Orleans-based folk rocker Alynda Lee Segarra is back with her ninth studio effort. Savannah got treated to a few shows in 2014 when she was touring on “Small Town Heroes.” Her show at the Jinx is still one of my favorite concerts in this city. “The Navigator” is noticeably more rock than the folky “Small Town Heroes,” and spans from upbeat Stevie Wonder type tunes to slower ballads. It’s a melting pot of awesomeness from start to finish. Nerd Note: The mix and production value on this album is really fantastic. Segarra’s vocals throughout exist in this wonderful plain just above the instrumentation, which is far more expansive at times and I dare say more interesting than on her previous albums. — Joshua

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Fit For An Autopsy
Jersey City, New Jersey
The Great Collapse

When I heard the first single off this album, I was stoked. Fortunately, the rest of the deathcore band’s fourth studio album didn’t disappoint. I really appreciate how daring this band can be when it comes to vocals. They are never afraid to explore straight singing in new and interesting ways, which is often frowned upon in the genre as a whole. With legendary producer and lead guitarist Will Putney writing their music, I suppose it’s pretty easy to venture in whatever direction they please. This album’s first single, “Heads Will Hang,” is still may favorite track though. “Black Mammoth” is a close, close second. Thanks to the demon gods of Metal March for this blessing. — Joshua

Savannah Stopover 2017 Review + Photo Gallery

Good grief. Every year, Stopover gets bigger and bigger while I manage to get older and older. I just can’t party like I used to it seems. Which is a shame because this year’s Stopover was party central. This year’s Stopover seemed to especially hit its stride as the festival is getting a better and better handle on using diverse venues like Ships of the Sea and Trinity United Methodist Church along with old staples like The Jinx and Wild Wing Cafe.

Things kicked off on Thursday night with a bang. After a couple of interviews with *repeat repeat and Pronoun (both of which will be coming out a little later this week), I hit the ground running with drink in hand. Starting the night off with the excellent trio of acts at Ships of the Sea was the perfect way to settle into the festival. Garden Giant, The Dig, and Kishi Bashi all put on stellar sets and made for a pretty high benchmark.

Garden Giant

Garden Giant

The Dig

The Dig

Kishi Bashi

The next hour was a bit of a whirlwind that had me catching some awesome local acts like Taze Daze and Isaac Smith along with touring acts like Chain of Flowers and *repeat repeat. The set that really lured me in though was pronoun for sure. The Brooklyn by way of Boston artist really draws on a ton of alt rock/early emo influences to a phenomenal effect. Plus, any band that covers Third Eye Blind is due for some major props in my book. I closed out the night by catching Daddy Issues (who I’ve been trying to catch live for at least 3 years) and JEFF The Brotherhood at The Jinx. Definitely a killer way to close out the night.

Tom’s Savannah Stopover 2017 – photos

Well, I made it through another festival, even though I Stopoverdid it opening night. I think I’ll do this random factoid style…

Enjoyed 31 bands over the 3 nights.

Staying in a loft over Hang Fire feels a little wrong for a music festival, but worked out great, minus the dumpster pickup in the alley at 7 in the morning.

Saw a dress with plastic boobs all over it, and was super relieved that I hadn’t worn mine that night.

There are a lot of people in the Savannah music scene that I really, really enjoy seeing.

Although I have my favorites, the venues are really tuned in now.

I take pictures at least as well drunk as I do sober. I don’t know how I feel about that.

Julien Baker at Trinity was stunning.

JEFF the Brotherhood, DTCV, Chain of Flowers and Weaves all brought the rock that my soul requires.

That hot dog cart on Congress Street isn’t bad.

Self serve shot machines are.

Chain of Flowers

Weaves

JEFF the Brotherhood

Daddy Issues

Josephine’s Excellent (First Ever!) Stopover Adventure

I caught roughly 17 bands, and a cold, but these are the ones that persist on my iTunes and SoundCloud – these acts cut through time and current cold medications.

It all began brightly at 8:30 am Thursday morning. Georgia Public Broadcasting featured a live remote of On Second Thought downtown at The Grey. Savannah’s own Lulu the Giant performed as house band.

Lulu the Giant
photos Josephine Johnson

They played a few cuts from their latest release Kingdoms Fall as well as a new unrecorded tune. GPB videoed while a contingent of smart phones and tablets provided live feeds to the interwebs. It was an early, yet animated, morning of heart-felt performances and conversation, the best gateway to a weekend of inspired live music.

Thursday night marked the official opening of Stopover and it did not disappoint. Full disclosure: I’d never heard of Kishi Bashi before I saw his name on the lineup, nor did I preview his music before going to Ships of the Sea.

Kishi Bashi & Tall Tall Trees

What a magnificent surprise. Kishi Bashi is a lot of what I love about modern rock — a little Andrew Bird, some Sufjan Stevens, Temper Trap, too. A multi-instrumentalist, an especially fierce violinist, he and the band deliver well-arranged, melodically tight songs. The artist Tall Tall Trees also plays banjo and percussion in the ensemble, and all of it combined, wrapped itself around the core of my happy place until my arms and legs were moving in great elation. I could have danced and photographed these guys all night. Definitely a festival highlight.

Then on to Wild Wing to catch Kane Strang from New Zealand. Straightforward, guitar-driven, indie pop-rock, and perhaps the youngest lineup of players on the roster. Ben, the drummer, was the only one old enough to legally drive a rental car in the U.S. After Stopover they were headed to SXSW and then on to the West Coast for a series of tour dates. Oh Ben, what a lot of miles ahead…

Kane Strang Band

What I like most about Kane Strang is his and the band’s sense of level-headedness and authenticity in who they are, refreshingly straight from the (well-rehearsed) garage, without an ounce of pretense. Seriously, check out his Facebook fan page – Kane wore the same sweater (before taking it off), jeans, and boots the night of the show. After their set, when he put the sweater back on, I got a photo of them with a friend of Ben’s dad who drove all the way from Atlanta just to support them. There’s a level of authenticity about Kane and bandmates that really draws you in and also comes through in the emerging craftsmanship of his songs. For sure, keep an open ear for Kane Strang.

Dirty Dishes

Saturday night brought me to The Jinx to catch Dirty Dishes, which also delivered. Again, solid wall-of-sound indie rock. Check out the interview I did with guitarist, Jenny Tuite, the tone-deva-pedal-monster behind it all. Dirty Dishes are also headed to SXSW and an act to keep an ear on.

some Stopover odds and ends, including Lulu the Giant on GPB

I’ve already shared quick recaps + photos of my Savannah Stopover experience for day 1, day 2, and day 3, I have also posted several big galleries to the hissing lawns Facebook page. You can find those albums are here, here, and here.

I’ve got another post or two in the works, and over the next couple days we’ll be publishing Stopover reviews and galleries from several of our contributors.

But I wanted to pull a few disparate pieces together into this post.

First, big shout out to photographer Stephanie Augello, who returned to her former home to cover Savannah Stopover for Brooklyn Vegan, one of the top music blogs out there. Check out her wonderful 126-photo gallery, which includes some wonderful shots of attendees. (I look like hell, but I love her pic of Ezra Furman with me paying rapt attention in the background.)

Also, a bit shout out to Celeste Headlee and the team at GPB’s On Second Thought for making the trek down I-16 for Stopover. Celeste and company set up at The Grey on MLK. Check out her interview with Christopher Paul Stelling and give a listen to the live performance plus interview with Savannah-based Lulu the Giant (really, what a voice):

You can find more Stopover coverage from OST in the program archives.

Also, regular hissing lawns contributor Jon Waits has a gallery of Stopover photos at Savannah Magazine.

Also, I wrote a little about Stopover’s deepening relationship with the city in my Tuesday City Talk column Savannah Stopover capitalizes on history, diversity, proximity in the Savannah Morning News.

We’ll post some more links and such as we become aware of interesting links.

photos from day 3 of Savannah Stopover

Savannah Stopover wrapped up on Saturday with powerful performances, including Lewis Del Mar at Ships of the Sea and Julien Baker at Trinity United Methodist Church.

This is just a quick photo gallery of the acts I saw on day 3, and we’ll have extended galleries and lots of commentary posted over the next few days.

For many of us who love live music in Savannah, this has to be the most exhilarating 3 days of the year.

Kelsey Waldon at The Grey:

Lyn Avenue at Congress Street Social Club:

Saw Black at The Jinx:

photos from day 2 of the 2017 Savannah Stopover

I’m writing this about noon on the final day of the 2017 edition of Savannah Stopover, and, holy shit, the first music starts within the hour.

So I’m going to keep this post limited mainly to some highlight photos from day 2. Below you can see Lee Fields & The Expressions, Ruby Amanfu, A Tribe Called Red, and Floco Torres. Click on through for more photos of those acts and others.

I found day 2 dizzying but still immensely satisfying in its diversity of genres. I’ll have more to say about all these bands in a festival recap in a couple days, once I’ve survived day 3 …

Sweet Guitar Grit: Jenny Tuite of Dirty Dishes

Jenny Tuite of Dirty Dishes

Dirty Dishes creates an immaculate, well-calculated wall of layered alt rock – like Sonic Youth and Silversun Pickups teaming up with Hope Sandoval and sometimes Bjork to art it up. Wavering between ethereal-electronica to full-on in your face, guitar gut rock, the Dirty Dishes can and will knock you clean out.

Writer, singer, guitarist, pedal guru, and all-round tech queen, Jenny Tuite, fronts the trio and is the brainchild behind it. Based in Brooklyn, the band recently recorded in Los Angeles and released a new 7” single. Dirty Dishes play Savannah Stopover, Saturday, March 11, at the Jinx.  Hissinglawns caught up with Jenny to learn more about the band and what it’s like writing, touring, performing on both sides of the country.

How did you all meet? How long have you been playing together?

Dirty Dishes has been my music project for a while.  For live shows we play as a three piece with my bestie Liz on drums and our pal Skippy (Josh) on bass.  Liz and I have known each other forever, like 10 years or something.  Liz and Josh used to work at a studio called Tree Lady together.

I’m reading about you online, and you are Brooklyn-based, but you spent some time in LA. How did you like LA musically? Best parts? Worst parts? Biggest Take away?

The scene is vastly different in LA.  For recording it’s great, for live music it was really different than what I was used to being from the east coast.  Houses in southern California don’t have basements!  So there’s that.  Being from the east coast I was used to playing a lot of great house shows, I suppose we kind of take for granted having basements as a great place to congregate and throw shows.

There are some warehouse spaces in LA, there was one I really liked in Compton for a bit.  A lot of my favorite songs on our last album were tracked in LA, so I’d say for me west coast was ideal for recording, east coast has a great live music thing going on.  I enjoy both.