hissing lawns | a music blog in Savannah, Ga.

Hi guys,
If any of you happen to see Anna Chandler (of Lovely Locks and COEDS fame) out this weekend, be sure to congratulate her for her new position as music editor of Connect. I am super happy for her to get the job and I think the decision-makers at Connect could not have picked a better person for the position.

One of the places that I am sure you will find Anna this weekend will be at Saturday’s Revival Fest. If you don’t know about the Festival, you haven’t been paying attention. It will easily be the highlight of the weekend. It is held at the Roundhouse. There are two stages (one inside and one outside), so the music is fairly non-stop. There are excellent bands and a very family-type atmosphere. Trust me, if you don’t go to many shows, this is one you should go to see.

Sorry about not getting this posted yesterday, I am running a little behind. On to this week’s shows.

Friday 9/19
Jubal Kane (featuring Ben Keiser on guitar) – Warehouse
Bottles & CansJazz’d
LootersBarrelhouse South
KidSyc@BrandywineCongress Street Social Club
Charlie FogMolly MacPherson’s

Saturday 9/20
Revival Festival
Revival Festival After-Party - Jinx (headliner has not been announced, free w/ Festival ticket, $5 otherwise)
Steppin’ StonesCity Market
Magic RocksBoomy’s
Houndog Slim and Chicago Tom DuoFlip Flop Tiki Bar
Kota MundiMolly MacPherson’s

Tuesday 9/23
HitmanWarehouse
Eric Culberson Open JamBayou Cafe
Jubal KaneWarehouse

I had an interesting discussion last night with a couple of newish Savannah transplants who seemed a little puzzled by the fact that Revival Fest will be held tomorrow (Saturday, 9/20) at the Georgia State Railroad Museum. How do you have a festival with 14 bands at a museum?

Well the museum is a museum, but the site — which is right next to the site of a Revolutionary War battlefield, between MLK Boulevard and Boundary Street on the west side of downtown — consists of some huge old buildings and lots of open space. Revival Fest will take place at the western edge of the property, with one stage inside a massive building that was used for painting train cars and another stage outside near the entrance to that building.

It’s a spectacular setting, especially for the roots-influenced music of Revival Fest. (MusicFile Productions is running the show — the same parent company as Savannah Stopover.)

I’ve seen 10 of the 14 acts that will be playing Revival Fest tomorrow, including the three Savannah-based bands — Waits & Co., Velvet Caravan, and Sweet Thunder Strolling Band — and seven of the out-of-town acts: Family and Friends (Athens), Megan Jean & The KFB (Charleston), Packway Handle Band (Athens), T. Hardy Morris (Athens), Cedric Burnside Project (Holly Springs, Miss.), Roadkill Ghost Choir (Deland, Fl.), and Futurebirds (Athens).

Wow, what a list. I suspect many attendees will have seen far fewer of those bands than I have — and those folks are in for some wonderful surprises.

In recent days, I’ve been listening a lot to the bands in the Revival Fest lineup that are new to me — Blank Range (Nashville), Water Liars (Oxford, Miss.), Dirty Bourbon River Show (New Orleans), and David Wax Museum (Charlottesville) — and I’m excited to see all of them live too.

The pig roast, the special drinks, the other components of the festival are just icing on the proverbial cake when there’s so much good music on tap.

Click here for all of this blog’s Revival Fest coverage from last year and previews of this year. You can read more in Do Savannah here and here, and in Connect Savannah here.

This being my first Statts Fest, I can say without a doubt that this event is one of the defining examples of solidarity in the Savannah music scene. I learned about the event that led to Statts Fest’s conception early on during my period of transition to a Savannah local, but actually attending the event was a totally different experience. To see an entire community rally around a common cause so fervently isn’t something that I wouldn’t expect from Savannah, but to actually see it in action and going off without a hitch is a completely different story. It was also really refreshing to so many of the acts appreciate the opportunity to help out with such an awesome cause.

There’s not much more that I can say that hasn’t already been said by Tom and Bill so I’ll stop with my gushing and get to the photos! Be sure to hit the jump for the full set.

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As Statts Fest entered its final hours on Saturday, the energy on the stage was still gathering force. I already posted some pics of Forced Entry and Crazy Bag Lady, and here are a few of Black Tusk (one of Savannah’s top bands, as you should know) and Conquer/Devour, whose members include Athon from Black Tusk and Dave Williams, who was shot at the same time as Jason Statts.

As usual, my apologies to the drummers.

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There’s a huge black and white interior panoramic photograph of a heavy metal show on the wall at the Jinx. In the photo the focal point of the crowd is someone who looks to me to be Jason Statts. Maybe it’s not him (but I think it is), but he sure was the focus at the club Saturday night.

The first Statts Fest I went to was all about the music for me (FLOOR. Holy moly! FLOOR!). It’s not about that to me anymore. It’s about a vibrant community I have come to love rallying around a cause, a friend, one of us.

Let’s all try to remember to donate a little bit throughout the year when we can, and maybe help Keith Kozel too, if you can.

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More hissing lawns coverage here, and more photos after the jump.

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Continuing with our five question Revival Fest previews is a short Q & A with Jared Hall (keyboard/accordion) of Velvet Caravan, the city of Savannah’s one and only gypsy jazz band. The accompanying photos were shot by me (Jon Waits) at the band’s official CD release concert, and despite the black tie get-ups these musicians provided a great evening of music & laughter, in their usual manner. They may be a band that is well equipped for large events & fancy occasions, but at heart they are still performers that are able to laugh at themselves and have a great time onstage.

Velvet Caravan takes the third spot this Saturday afternoon, performing on the Do Savannah stage inside the old paint shops at the Georgia State Railroad Museum.

hl: What has Velvet Caravan been up to lately?

Jared Hall: All kinds of fun projects. We’ve been enjoying a great summer! Playing shows around Savannah and Tybee Island. We are now preparing and gearing up for an amazing Fall!

hl: How does the band feel about being included as one of just a few local acts in this year’s Revival Fest?

Jared Hall: Savannah is home to so many artists & musicians. Many of them whom we admire and respect. It’s truly an honor to be selected to play at Revival Fest.

hl: What can the audience look forward to in your performance?

Jared Hall: Our shows are eclectic, high energy, fun filled, and dance friendly! The musicianship is top notch and the toe tapping contagious!

hl: What does Velvet Caravan think about how they ‘fit in’ to Revival Fest?

Jared Hall: Our brand of Southern music is like a lowcountry boil. We like to throw a lot of different ingredients into the mix. The result is Velvet Caravan’s version of gypsy jazz; also referred to as European Redneck!

hl: What festivals, performances, and other opportunities to see and hear Velvet Caravan are in the near future?

Jared Hall: Upcoming performances for us include: Savannah Jazz Festival, The South Carolina Jazz Festival, The Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival, and a weekend at the Jazz Corner on Hilton Head, S.C. Please check out our website, www.velvetcaravan.com, for further details and information!

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I’m still sorting through some photos from the excellent sets at Statts Fest at The Jinx on Saturday night. I included at least one shot of each act in a recap post, and I’ll be posting a bigger set of pics to the hissing lawns Facebook page. But I was happy enough with some of the shots that it seemed worth a couple more posts here — this one combines photos of two of Savannah’s most powerful young bands: hardcore act Forced Entry:

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and punk rockers Crazy Bag Lady:

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Not all young bands realize that playing a show means putting on a show. Forced Entry and Crazy Bag Lady definitely get it. Click for larger versions and click on through for more. Continue reading →

The inaugural Revival Fest was one of the highlights of 2013 for the Savannah music scene, and 2014 is shaping up to be even better. We’ve already got one preview interview with Waits & Co. posted, and we’ll have a handful of other previews this week. Click here for all of our Revival Fest coverage.

This post contains lots of background info, but you might want to jump straight to the Revival Fest website.

Once again Revival Fest, organized by MusicFile Productions (also parent company of Savannah Stopover), will be held at the Georgia State Railroad Museum — if you’ve been around Savannah for awhile, you might just call it “the Roundhouse”. The festival uses an indoor and outdoor space at the old paint shops overlooking Boundary Street. It’s a spectacular setting for the southern roots-inspired and string music that will fill the day from noon till 11 p.m.

Three Savannah acts — Velvet Caravan, Waits & Co., and Sweet Thunder Strolling Band — will join a stellar list of touring acts, including headliners Futurebirds (which also has Savannah ties), David Wax Museum, Roadkill Ghost Choir, and Cedric Burnside, a master of Mississippi hill country blues and the only touring act to return from year one.

Cedric Burnside at the 2013 Revival Fest

Cedric Burnside at the 2013 Revival Fest

Cedric Burnside will also be playing at the kickoff party on Friday night (9/19) in the courtyard at Pacci at The Brice. Click here for tickets — Friday night attendees must by tix by 9/18.

Pacci’s Roberto Leoci will also handle the pig roast at Saturday’s festival — $8 a plate.The Bayou Cafe will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs, and wraps.

Southbound, Red Hare, Moon River, and Service Brewing Company will also be on hand. Ampersand will be serving specialty cocktails. Click here for more details on the menu. Continue reading →

Everyone at hissing lawns is getting excited for the upcoming Revival Fest, and we thought we’d give our readers a preview by asking several bands a series of questions and letting them answer as they saw fit.

Waits & Co. has the privilege of opening up the festivities by performing on the DoSavannah stage at one o’clock p.m., and is adding to their trio the talents of Stu Harmening (electric dobro) and Jeremy Hammons (drums & percussion) from The Trainwrecks. Stu and Jeremy occasionally sit in, and would be considered part-timers of the Waits & Co. family.

The following are five questions with the band, and photos by LeeAnn Ritch, Adriana Iris Boatwright, and Petee Worrell.

hl: What has Waits & Co. been up to lately?

Markus Kuhlmann: Playing a bunch of shows, and spreading the love one sweaty gig at a time. We’ve been lucky to perform with quite a few touring acts lately, as well as having a few out-of-town gigs ourselves. The crowds, venues, and response we’ve been getting have all gotten bigger & better. It’s a pretty exciting time for us!

hl: How does your band feel about being included as one of just a few local acts?

Markus Kuhlmann: Honored! There are so many great bands in Savannah these days, and to be one of the few locals asked to participate in such a cool event with this kind of an amazing lineup is pretty special.

hl: What can the audience look forward to in your performance?

Coy Campbell: We’re going to move the ball a lot. As a trio we often work the smaller rooms, allowing us ample format to pass musical ideas around as we perform. Over time we’ve developed that fabled subtle dialogue that really keeps us engaging on a cathartic, seat of your pants level that is both organic & authentic. We shoot to have fun from note one!

hl: What does Waits & Co. think about how they ‘fit in’ to Revival Fest?

Coy Campbell: Being on the home team, we take our role as hosts as seriously as the boogie-woogie part of our job. Savannah is fortunate enough to be blessed with a stellar, all Southern Revival Fest lineup this year, so we just want to knock it out of the park onstage, but also do our part to ensure a thoroughly party positive atmosphere for our fellow artists, local fans, and folks coming in from out of town. We are the Hostess City y’all! Jon Waits is talking about whipping up a batch of Pimento Spread…true story.

hl: What other festivals, performances, and opportunities to see & hear Waits & Co. are in the near future?

Jon Waits: We’re booked up through the remainder of this month with local gigs, and are working on Fall dates currently. We’d like to do a bit of traveling, and are also going into the studio soon to record our current lineup’s ‘best of’ tunes for an EP. The easiest way to keep up with us is by ‘liking’ our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/Waitsco), and following us at www.reverbnation.com/waitsandco.

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