hissing lawns | a music blog in Savannah, Ga.

Already known for its Thursday Night Opry, Trinity Sanctuary Concerts has also been presenting special shows such as last night’s performance by troubadour Colin Gilmore. While Colin may have a bit of his father’s high & lonesome twang (legendary Jimmie Dale Gilmore) he certainly brought his own style of Texas songwriting to Savannah. Not only did his performance feel authentic, but also my interactions with him prior to, and after the concert showed gratitude & humility; exactly what makes some musicians ‘better’ in my eyes.

Savannah’s own Bottles & Cans, headed up by the one and only Ray Lundy, put on a fine opening set and seemed just as at home in the listening-room setting of Trinity as in any one of the spilt whiskey bars in which they normally spread their gospel. It would seem that everyone that plays Trinity comes away feeling well received and ‘at home’. The show was, as Ray is wont to say…’far out’!

Colin Gilmore

Colin Gilmore

Colin Gilmore

Colin Gilmore

Jared Hall

Jared Hall

Colin Gilmore

Colin Gilmore

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I first heard about Damon and the Shitkickers many years ago out at Armstrong State University one day when I was talking to student Charles Hodge. I knew he had a number of different musical projects in the works, and I knew that he had a background in classical and jazz, so I was genuinely surprised — shocked even — when he mentioned that he was now playing with a country cover band.

I asked the name. Damon and the Shitkickers. It’s hard not to laugh when you hear that name. How serious could a band be with a name like that? (I wondered the same thing when I first heard the name Diarrhea Planet, and I was just as stupid that time.)

So I dropped by The Jinx for happy hour on a Saturday soon after that and knew immediately that Damon Mailand — a master luthier at Benedetto during the day — was a performer who could be finding gigs anywhere in the country, including (especially?) Nashville. Damon and the Shitkickers has been through all sorts of changes since those days, but Charles (whose fingers haven’t bled on stage in years) has been the constant presence just to Damon’s left at The Jinx — and at all the other events and stages that the band has played. Until tonight. Charles and Talia are headed west for new adventures — good for them, bad for us. His last show with Damon and the Shitkickers is tonight, 3/31.

Damon and the Shitkickers moved beyond covers a number of years ago — check out their album Short Cups and Long Nights — and their almost-every-Saturday happy hour sets have become part of the area scene. The band will continue for sure, and unsuspecting tourists who wander in next week won’t have any idea that one of the core members has been replaced.

But that’s how music goes — and how art goes, and time too. Here’s wishing Charles (sorry, can’t get used to calling him Charlie) the best.


Also, later on at The Jinx, The Train Wrecks return to celebrate the release of the vinyl version of their great new record We Roll On.

It’s a great full lineup:

Savannah Stopover released the 3-day indie music festival’s detailed schedule earlier today.

Click here to see the detailed schedule. Once again, the festival is using Sched to help passholders plan their experiences. It’s easy to sign up and in, and super easy to re-sort the listings by time, venue, etc. Click here if you want to see the whole grid. A mobile app is on the way.

Savannah Stopover also confirmed the list of festival venues:

  • Abe’s On Lincoln (Secret Shows)
  • Ampersand**
  • Club One
  • Congress Street Social Club** (Inside and Outside Stages)
  • Hang Fire
  • The Jepson Center For The Arts*
  • The Jinx
  • Moon River Beer Garden*
  • Trinity United Methodist Church*
  • Trustees Garden*
  • Wild Wing Cafe @ City Market (2nd Floor)

* all ages
** all ages until 9pm

If you’ve been to Stopover before, the most interesting addition to the lineup might by the second floor of Wild Wing Cafe in City Market. Wild Wing books a fair number of bands and occasionally has some really interesting acts, but it’s not typically the type of indie venue that we cover. But there’s a good stage, good sound, and a lot of room up there — and it’s really close to other key venues including Club One, The Jinx, Hang Fire, Moon River, and Trinity United Methodist Church.

We’ve previously talked about how interesting it is to see Trinity as a Stopover venue. Again, great room, great acoustics, and definitely a space that can handle large numbers. It is a church and there will be pews, so it’s not your typical rock club — it will be interesting to see how bands and fans negotiate the space. No booze will be allowed in the church, but attendees of shows at Trinity will be able to buy drinks at the Jepson Center across the street, and drinking outdoors from plastic cups is legal around Telfair Square as it is around all of this year’s venues. By the way, there are three really strong Trinity headliners that should sound great in that room: Hiss Golden Messenger (3/5), Rocco DeLuca (3/6) and San Fermin (3/7).

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Hey guys,
It looks like the weather is gonna be better this weekend. And the music is definitely going to be good. There are good shows almost every day between now and Wednesday. Some of the shows are even early. I hope to see some of you out this weekend.

Thursday 29th – I’ve seen these guys a few times before, they will make it worth going out on a Thursday night.  This will be a nice beginning for a music-filled Super Bowl weekend.
Dirk Quinn Band (Philadelphia jazz/funk) – Barrelhouse South
Eric Culberson (Sav’h blues) – Bayou Cafe

Friday 30th – There are a few choices tonight, there are even multiple all-ages shows early.  The Train Wrecks are having their Album Release at Graveface with an acoustic show and the concert at Trinity Church should be interesting as well.  I am really looking forward to the Cusses 5th anniversary show later this night.
Train WrecksGraveface Records (7p, all ages)
Colin Gilmore (Americana from Austin, son of Jimmy Dale Gilmore), Bottles & Cans (Sav’h blues) – Trinity Church (7p, $10, all ages)
Charlie Fog Band (Sav’h Grateful Dead tunes) – Molly MacPherson’s
Copious Jones, Blind Spots (Ithica,NY female-fronted five piece) – Barrelhouse South
Cusses, Crazy Bag Lady, Wet SocksJinx ($8)

Saturday 31st - Shitkicker Charlie Hodge will be moving out of state after this show, I hope everyone makes it out to tell him goodbye.  I certainly hope to catch the debut of the electrified American Hologram later this night, but will probably catch a sampling of many of the other good shows going on.
Damon & The Shitkickers (Sav’h outlaw country) – Jinx (6p)
City Hotel (Sav’h bluegrass) – Molly MacPherson’s
The Broadcast (female-fronted hard-edged soulful rock), Dead 27’s (Charleston southern blend of rock & soul) – Barrelhouse South
American Hologram, Train Wrecks, Colin Gilmore (Austin), Pierce Evans (Asheville) – Jinx

Tuesday 3rd – There are a couple of interesting shows at a few off-the-beaten-path venues this night.  Both shows are early and all-ages events.  And one of them has a spoon-lady.
Chris Rodriquez and Abby The Spoon LadyFoxy Loxy (7p)
Lovely Locks, Twin CourageSentient Bean

Wednesday 4th
Stephen Gilbert, Alex RafferyHang Fire
Burlesque ShowBayou Cafe

CUSSES turns 5 on Friday night with a big show at The Jinx.

Angel, Brian, and Bryan get the teen idol treatment from Anna Chandler (a former hissing lawns contributor, of course) in this week’s Connect Savannah, and Joshua Peacock (a current hissing lawns contributor) chronicles the band’s explosive growth in this week’s Do Savannah (available in Thursday’s Savannah Morning News).

I’ve lost count of the many times I’ve been able to see, hear, and feel CUSSES’ throbbing rock and roll, and I’ve also lost count of the number of times Angel and I have discussed ways to make Savannah’s music scene stronger. I’ve just done a lot of writing and talking about that topic, but Angel and CUSSES have done far more — they’ve planned gigs, organized festivals, nurtured young bands from Savannah and surrounding areas (like our friends Heyrocco in Charleston), and toured to great receptions in other cities.

CUSSES’ first gig was at The Jinx five years ago — check out this pic by Andrew Brodhead — so it’s fitting that the Congress Street club will be the venue for Friday’s show.

And, a new song available for download:

Not surprisingly, CUSSES has chosen to celebrate the anniversary with a couple of young bands on the rise — Wet Socks and Crazy Bag Lady, both favorites of contributors to this blog. Doors on Friday open at 9, music at 10 (Angel usually runs a pretty tight ship). A few photos from over the years of CUSSES, and then Crazy Bag Lady and Wet Socks (i.e., there are a shit ton of photos after the jump):

CUSSES Baby Baby8

CUSSES Baby Baby14

CUSSES Baby Baby11 Continue reading →

One of the most exciting things about the 2014 Forecastle Festival lineup was the sheer depth of the talent. Some of my favorite sets came hours before the big headliners took to the stage during the 3-day festival along the sprawling, green, comfortable Waterfront Park in resurgent downtown Louisville, Kentucky. I loved hearing and shooting photos of acts like The Weeks, Matrimony, Against Me!, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. (Click here for all the posts and galleries from 2014.)

Sure, Outkast, Beck, Jack White, and The Replacements were stellar headliners, but it was the quality of that undercard that really won me over.

Well, the undercard and the beautiful setting of Waterfront Park. I grew up in central Kentucky and have deep connections to Louisville, but I hadn’t explored downtown for many years. It’s a beautiful place with so much room still to grow and develop. After living in Savannah for so long, there aren’t many places I could imagine moving, but Louisville is on the short list.

At Forecastle, the sense of place and the community spirit were palpable.

Enough rambling. Today the 2015 Forecastle lineup was released, and I’m itching to return.

My Morning Jacket is of course from Louisville and many of us expected that MMJ would be in this year’s lineup. I’m not especially excited about Sam Smith, but honestly have never listened much to him. I love the jammy rock of Widespread and haven’t been to one of their shows in, well, a while, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing Modest Mouse for the first time ever. Continue reading →

Not much to say about this. From the Savannah Morning News:

Police have charged an 85-year-old local man with vehicular homicide in a November wreck that claimed the life of musician Jonathan Athon, a member of the Savannah metal band Black Tusk.

Joseph Lane Reeves Jr. was arrested Thursday for failure to stop at a stop sign and second degree homicide by vehicle.

Click here for more information. Many of us in Savannah are still mourning Athon’s death and celebrating his life. Black Tusk, with Corey Barhorst taking over on bass, has an extended European tour soon with Black Label Society. Before hooking up with BLS, Black Tusk has a few headlining dates in Europe, beginning on Feb. 6 in Budapest.

Hey guys,
I hope many of you have made it to the string of good shows that have been gong on this year.  Tuesday’s show at Hang Fire (Creepoid, Ex Hex, King Tuff) was another exciting show.  This week has many shows that should be exciting.

Friday 23rd –  There are several good choices tonight.  Best choice depends on your tastes, I think you are gonna be okay with any of these shows.  And the Sentient Bean show should be really good.
Lobo Marino (tribal, folk, and world music), Faeryteeth (Sav’h electronic folk), Swamp Trees (swamp folk) – Sentient Bean
Jubal Kane (Sav’h jukebox blues) – Barrelhouse South
Magic Rocks (Sav’h classic rock) – Molly MacPherson’s
Sins of Godless Men, Anyone’s Ghost, Radar vs Wolf (Nashville alt-rock) – Jinx ($6)
Adam Ezra Group (New England rock) – Congress Street Social Club

Saturday 24th – Another night that has a few choices, depending on your tastes. Tonight will be the debut of the new Wood & Steel band at Barrelhouse South.  Also, there is a rare show from Shitkicker Anders Thomsen at the Jinx.
Shy, Low, BlackruneGraveface (7p)
Anders Thomsen (Damon & Shitkickers) with Tony Beasley (Whiskey Dick)Jinx ($5)
Hitman (Sav’h blues) – Molly MacPherson’s
Lovely Locks (acoustic show) – bar.food
Wood & Steel ElectricBarrelhouse South

Sunday 25th
Southern MapleRocks On The Roof
Voodoo SoupCongress Street Social Club
Tell ScarlettWild Wing

Monday 26th
Jubal KaneBay Street Blues

Tuesday 27th
Clouds and SatellitesFoxy Loxy Cafe

I woke up Tuesday morning in another state and ended the day with one of the best shows I’ve ever seen at Hang Fire. Fortunately, that morning I grabbed one of the last tickets to the Savannah Stopover Pre-Party. It was a good thing too, because some people didn’t make it into the sold out show.

I hadn’t seen Creepoid play live yet, and man they didn’t disappoint. Playing a set that mixed some older stuff with a handful of brand new tunes, the Phlly-transplants’ opening was the spark that set the night on fire.

Creepoid is busy recording at Dollhouse Productions. As one of the very few Graveface bands in Savannah, Creepoid is now completely integrated into the Hostess City. (They also played one of their first shows in Savannah with local favorites, CUSSES.)

I feel I can safely say that Savannah has claimed Creepoid, and vice versa.

As the night developed so did an interesting subplot. After finishing a blazing hot set, the cool people from Creepoid found themselves locked out of their van. With some can-do attitude they jimmied the door open just in time to see King Tuff.

So remember, Creepoid will not only rock your face, but they are pretty damn good at getting into locked cars as well.

The Washington, D.C. based, garage-pop trio Ex Hex is touring on their debut album, Rips (Merge Records), and as the album name implies, they banged through a sweet list of tunes that wailed and roared.

Most notably, frontwoman Mary Timony (also of Helium, Autoclave, and Wild Flag) took a few stellar solos. Then, about midway through the set she just jammed for an eternity, earning rousing applause before the song ended. Which reminded me of how the famed jazz artists of old would garner early applause when they seamlessly poured through the scales with ease and melodic beauty. It was pretty much the same thing, but louder.

Rips was named a Best New Album by Pitchfork Media last year and everyone found out why on Tuesday.

Around midnight, King Tuff took Hang Fire’s corner-stage. The crowd was into the first two sets, but things got wild when the headliner took the mic.

Mixing the booze-filled-bloodstreams with the infectious power-pop of King Tuff, Hang Fire erupted in a frenzy with a chaotic half-mosh, half-dance pit that included some crowd surfing and spilled beer. I suppose everyone read the sign on the way in that said something to the effect of “by entering here, you wave all rights to your image for use in a King Tuff video. So dance your butt off!” Sub Pop Records was on scene to film a new video, and I wasn’t sure if  the spectators were dancing for the music or the video. I prefer to think it was the music.

Ironically, King Tuff premiered a brand new video Wednesday on Funny or Die for Headbanger, but it obviously wasn’t the video being filmed the night before.

At one point, the crowd surged onto the stage and knocked King Tuff’s mic right into him, interrupting him mid-verse. Like a true rocker, Tuff laughed it off and finished the song.

After a live blasting of their heavy take on danceable retro-pop, it’s easy to see why King Tuff has taken off. (I love this performance of Eyes Of the Muse from Conan last month.)

The hour-long set left Hang Fire in a foggy, humid, flesh-packed, euphoric state. It was all smiles, all-around; a good indicator of a most excellent live show.

With the full Stopover schedule released (find it here), this was a helluva pre-party, and if it’s any indication – I believe it is – the fifth Stopover is going to be pretty spectacular.

A few shots here, with more pics by Tom, Petee, and bill after the jump:


Ex Hex 1_20_15 7

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