Ok, we all survived, I think.
Day 2 of the 2015 Savannah Stopover was one of the most satisfying nights of music I’ve ever experienced. Part of the reason was some good planning, but good luck was on my side too. And, of course, I couldn’t have had a night like that without the amazing organizational efforts of Savannah Stopover staff and volunteers and without some spectacular musicianship.
I started by night of music at The Jinx a little after 5 p.m. with 100 Watt Horse and finished the night there too, sometime around 1:30 a.m. with All Them Witches. Despite the fact that I saw a lot of bands with minimal walking between venues, there were many more I hoped to hear.
The early part of my evening was dominated by some stellar songwriting and incredibly engaging, intimate performances. I’ll for sure be checking out the work of 100 Watt Horse, and after seeing him at The Jinx I headed to Trinity United Methodist Church for a very well-attended late afternoon set by Christopher Paul Stelling, who has played more Stopovers than any other artist I think and who had the audience enthralled. My next stop was Ampersand for Fire Mountain from Alabama — such a good band, and another act that lovers of country and Americana should check out.
A text from a friend lured me to Congress Street Social Club for much of an excellent set by White Violet from Athens, one of those acts that hadn’t really been on my radar. From there, it was back around the corner to Ampersand for an outstanding show by Guthrie Brown and The Family Tree — the guy’s got some swagger and writes some smart songs.
Caleb Caudle looks like a rising country star, and his moving performance seemed a perfect fit at Trinity, and The Prettiots subversive lyrics felt right at home at Hang Fire (which needs better lighting for photos).
I went back to Ampersand for Athens-based Family and Friends — this was my fourth time seeing them in the past year and the live shows just get better and better. The second floor of Ampersand was packed and rocking. I’ll have lots more photos to post of some of these bands, including Family and Friends.
After a dinner break, I tried but failed to get into Abe’s for the secret show by Tall Tall Trees (great venue, really small), and then caught some of Bombadil — another perfect fit for the space at Trinity — and then a few songs by the excellent Canadian rock band Grounders at Hang Fire. A short walk next to Club One for BLKKATHY — what a great sound and a seductive stage presence too.
I heard half a song by Crazy Bag Lady at The Jinx but didn’t get any pics of the Savannah punk band, then worked my way back to Hang Fire for more Turbo Fruits. The foursome played a tight set on Stopover opening night, and they hung around an extra day to fill in for Fort Lean, who couldn’t make it to town because of weather. As much fun as it was seeing Turbo Fruits in the Morris Center, I’ll take them in a club like Hang Fire anytime. Great stuff.
What can be said about Capsula? Hey musicians out there, if you play this kind of rock and roll and put on a show like this, I will take your picture. I’ll have lots more shots of the Argentinian trio in a gallery soon. You might not know Capsula, but you need to know Capsula.
There was a big crowd at Club One for Generationals, so I soaked in that ambiance for a couple of songs, but then headed back to The Jinx for All Them Witches — a powerful set to close out the night.
I kind of admire people who can sit still at a festival like Stopover. For example, I’m sure it would have been immensely satisfying to spend all evening at Trinity for the full sets and the full lineup — and the same goes for other venues. But I have a lot of long nights throughout the year when I stay in the same venue for three, four, even five bands. Stopover is a chance to overload, in a good way, and to experience so much talent.
We’ll have a lot more to say about some of these bands — and have a lot more photos to post too. But first we have to get through day three and then catch our breaths.