hissing lawns | a music blog in Savannah, Ga.

Several hissing lawns contributors hopped on a bus with other Savannah music enthusiasts for a fantastic trip to the 15th Annual Bragg Jam in Macon on Saturday. Our friends at MusicFile Productions/Savannah Stopover/Revival Fest organized the daylong excursion, which was also supported in various ways by Spanish Moss Charters & Tours, The 5 Spot, Georgia Music Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.

We climbed aboard the tricked out bus at 11:30 a.m. and didn’t return to Savannah until 5 a.m. — a long day, but a really fulfilling one. Bragg Jam is definitely worth the trip.

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When we got to Macon, a few folks attended a screening of the new documentary The Ballad of Shovels and Rope, but most of us went to The Big House — The Allman Brothers Band Museum. If you’re at all interested in the Allman Brothers or in Georgia music history, you need to go there the next time you’re anywhere close to Macon.

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But then it was time for the main event: the Bragg Jam concert crawl, which began in the late afternoon and lasted until 2 a.m., with 57 bands performing in 14 different venues. Most of the venues were in easy walking distance, and Macon allowed outdoor drinking from plastic cups for this one night only. Of course, there was no way to see anywhere near all the acts, but the proximity and quality certainly kept me on the move so that I could sample as many as possible.

Many Savannahians started with Colonel Bruce Hampton & Madrid Express at historic Grant’s Lounge, a divey bar on Poplar Street. The place was packed by showtime, and Colonel Bruce sounded as good as ever.

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Then a few of us made it to the upstairs stage sponsored by Revival Fest at The 567 Center for Renewal on Cherry Street, an all ages venue that sort of ended up as my home base for the event. Tha Hugs were first up — a solid young rock band — and then we headed across the street for the heavier stuff from Madre Padre at The Wall, before heading back to the main stage at the 567 Center for The Apache Relay, an up-and-coming band from Nashville.

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And off to The Hummingbird Taproom for Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, who have been thrilling audiences and impressing critics, especially since the release of their album Dereconstructed.

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It’s been a killer weekend for music in Savannah and Georgia all around. Friday kicked things off with Synethesia: Sensory Saturation hosted by Ampersand which provided the perfect segue way into a little out of town fun at Bragg Jam in Macon, GA (which we’ll have some coverage/photos of up in a bit!).

The line up of bands last Friday at Synethesia was monstrous, loaded with local talent like Sara Clash, Broken Glow, Forced Entry, and Culture Vulture alongside touring acts like Quimby Mountain Band, Torch Runner, and Mourning Cloak. The seven (yes, seven all in one night) musical acts were complemented by local artists and performers to engross the audience in an all encompassing experience that stimulated every sense. Check out a few shots below and hit the jump for the fairly sizable full set of photos!

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In their set on the main stage at Forecastle Festival last Sunday, The Replacements — joined again by guest guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong of Green Day — ripped through their classic songs with even more energy than I expected. The great lawns of Waterfront Park was a blur of dancing and singing — pretty great stuff.

From a wonderfully detailed review in the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

For the fourth time in the seven Replacements shows since last August, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong once again joined in as a third guitarist, this time playing the entire set and blending in without messing up the formula – although, he did mess up. The band’s only multi-platinum musician came in at the wrong time during “Nowhere Is My Home,” much to Westerberg’s and bassist Tommy Stinson’s amusement. “Our one-day rehearsal did not pay off,” Westerberg cracked.

Armstrong made up for it by fixing one of the boss’ botches. Westerberg’s microphone slipped down its stand at the start of “Can’t Hardly Wait,” which Paul kept singing crouched over like a baseball catcher until the rookie came over and propped it back up – and then kissed the singer full on the lips.

I got a shot of that kiss, but there’s a much better pic accompanying the review. A few pics here, with more after the jump:

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Hey guys,
There was plenty of good music around last weekend, something for every taste. I caught a punk show at Hang Fire last Wednesday (Downtown Boys, Crazy Bag Lady, also Wet Socks). There was reggae at Molly’s on Friday with Kota Mundi (enjoyed seeing Paxton Willis on drums again). And I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed seeing Major & The Monbacks, an eight-piece R&B soul band from Roanoke, VA, where I even bought a T-shirt! And the rock show at the Jinx on Wednesday (The Black Cadillacs, Thomas Wynn & The Believers) was excellent.

There are several good shows this week, as always. There are several tough choices on Friday, a big show at Ampersand, Bragg Jam participants Mantras at Congress Street Social, and American Aquarium at Jinx. I am not sure where I will end up. But I am sure where I will be on Saturday. There is a Stopover-sponsored bus going to the Bragg Jam Festival in Macon, GA. I have always said the Savannah Stopover was like Christmas for me, so I guess the Bragg Jam is like Christmas in July? This Festival will consist of 57 bands on 14 stages in Macon. This should be right up my alley, I hope it doesn’t kill me.

Here are some other recommendations for the week.

Friday 25th
Waits & Co. – Blowin’ Smoke
American Aquarium (alt-country from Raleigh), Opossum Holler - Jinx
Quimby Mountain Band, Torch Runner, Morning Cloak, Broken Glow, Culture Vulture, Sara ClashAmpersand ($5)
Winter Sounds, Grand Vapids, Fare The GapHang Fire
MantrasCongress Street Social Club
I Want Whiskey, City HotelTybee Social Club

Saturday 26th
Bragg Jam – If you like reading this blog, you should be on the bus
Joe NelsonBlowin’ Smoke
2Tone FishWorld of Beer
Jon Lee & The ApparitionsBoomy’s
HitmanMolly MacPherson’s
New York Disco Villians, Seaboard Stompers - Jinx
Train WrecksCongress Street Social Club

Sunday 27th
Savannah SongwritersJohnny Harris Restaurant – Anna Chandler, Isaac Smith, Rachel Shaner. Thomas Oliver (6p, all ages)
Voodoo SoupCongress Street Social Club (10p)
Dr. Dan & The LootersBarrelhouse (9:30p)

Monday 28th
Casket GirlsGraveface Records (8p, RSVP only)

Tuesday 29th
Holy Shadow, Koala Tea Time - Graveface Records (7p, all ages)
Ray LundyFoxy Loxy Cafe

Another excellent show booked by the folks at MusicFile Productions/Savannah Stopover: The Black Cadillacs and Thomas Wynn and The Believers at The Jinx last night. It was a night of great energy and musicianship, and some of us are hoping to see the bands again on July 26 at Bragg Jam in Macon.

Tom took some photos. Here’s one of each band with more after the jump.

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You don’t have to be Larry Jack to know that there’s plenty going on music wise this weekend in Savannah (although, I’d still consult his advice if you’re looking for a show!). Luckily, your decision may have gotten a just a tiny bit easier this week. The great people at Ampersand are hosting what seems to be nothing short of a miniature festival this Friday, making excellent use of their second and third floor space. The event, Synesthesia: Sensory Saturation, not only includes both local and touring bands but visual artists and acrobatics/choreography to encompass every mode of expression you can think of.

This may seem a bit confusing to some of you out there who follow Savannah’s heavier scene and were expecting the visceral sounds of Forced Entry, Mourning Cloak, and Torch Runner this Friday at Ampersand as they were also scheduled to play in one of Ampersand’s upper floors. Never fear, however, as in true Savannah fashion, the solidarity of the music scene trumps all obstacles.

Synesthesia’s prior four band bill has now been joined with Torch Runner’s headlining show to create an exhibition of sound that’ll be hard to rival. For those of you keeping track at home, that brings Synesthesia’s line up to a whopping 7 bands including local favorites like Broken Glow, Culture Vulture, and Forced Entry alongside touring acts like hardcore heavyweights Torch Runner as well as the jam/funk ensemble that is Quimby Mountain Band. There’s a bit of something for everyone, from hardcore and doom metal all the way to acoustic and jazz inspired prog rock.

That’s without even mentioning visual arts created by local artists such as Danielle Sperandeo, Courtney Fredette, and Eric Braun along with and projections via Planetary Projections as well as aerials and performances from the dancers of In-Tent-City to top things off. Check out some tracks below from some of the featured bands below and be sure to check the Facebook event for the full line up of acts.

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The Weeks headlined the Savannah Stopover 2014 community concert in Ellis Square, and I’ve had their songs running through my head ever since. I’m not the only one: fans who love the band’s fresh take on southern rock are kind of obsessive, but the longhairs from Mississippi still seem destined to get a whole lot more attention than they’ve gotten so far.

Sunday afternoon at Forecastle Festival in Louisville, I found myself standing next to a woman who had The Weeks’ name circled on the schedule in front of her. The band had played an hour earlier, so I asked how she liked the set, which I thought was tremendous. As it turned out, she loved the show but had never heard of The Weeks before. She was surprised that so many in the crowd were singing along to all the songs, but then someone had explained to her that the band was local, which accounted for the enthusiasm.

Of course, The Weeks weren’t local; they’re based in Nashville these days and have not even played Louisville’s larger venues before.

In that Forecastle set, The Weeks played a couple of new tracks off the upcoming Buttons EP: “Book of Ruth” and “Mercury”. Here’s the latter (and if you just let the embed play, you can hear “Buttons”):

The Weeks are in constant motion on stage, which makes getting decent photos a fun challenge. And I wish I had slowed the shutter down a little more to capture more of the blur of movement. Next time, I guess, because I’m sure I will be seeing The Weeks again. Great sound, great look, and they seem like nice people on top of that. A couple of pics here, and lots more after the jump:

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From Melissa Ruggieri at The Music Scene on Access Atlanta:

The upstart event, co-promoted by Eddie’s Attic and Bowe Inc., will take place in the “central park” area of Atlantic Station stating at 2 p.m. Sept. 7.

Topping the lineup is emerging British singer-guitarist Jake Bugg, along with The Lone Bellow, The Wild Feathers, LP, The Weeks and Shadowboxers.

Andrew Hingley, the talent buyer at Eddie’s Attic, has been working closely with regional concert promoter Bowe O’Brien to establish the event and named it after a mutually favored 1994 Blur album.

Well that’s an absolutely awesome lineup. I’ve been raving about Jake Bugg (see photos here and here) and The Weeks (Forecastle photos coming soon) for months now, and the rest of those acts are really strong too. I missed The Lone Bellow at the Savannah Music Festival earlier this year but heard only great things.

Early bird tickets are now on sale for the insanely low price of $20.

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When I saw that Matrimony was kicking off the final day of Forecastle Festival 2014 with an early set on the big Mast Stage, I knew that was one day when I was going to arrive early. I’ve been following the North Carolina-based band pretty closely since hearing and shooting some photos of them at Revival Fest last fall here in Savannah.

The four core members of Matrimony are all related, but they bring distinctly different personalities and energies to the stage — but the combination is exhilarating. (And, I should add, a super fun band to photograph, though I wish every music festival would ban performers from wearing sunglasses . . .)

If you don’t know Matrimony, here’s the spirited “Obey Your Guns” off Montibello Memories.

A couple pics here, with lots more after the jump:

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