There was apparently a violent storm in Savannah on Saturday night, but I missed it. I was at Paddy O’Shea’s, a new restaurant and bar on MLK, for dinner and for The Steppin Stones, a young trio out of Hilton Head that plays regularly around the area — they even had the release party for their most recent album in City Market. I had been hearing about The Steppin Stones for several years, but this was my first time checking them out.
I guess the members of the band — Hannah Wicklund on guitar and vocals, Andrew Ottimo on bass and vocals, Ryan The on drums — are about 20 years old now, but they have experience beyond their years and have built an impressive fan base: about 7,000 followers on Facebook, 8,000 on Twitter, and 2,000 on Instagram. (To the uninitiated: those are big numbers.)
The trio tackles originals and covers with a hard, energetic, southern rock. I was especially impressed by their passionate version of “Ohio”. (Click here to sample three originals off the new record, which was recorded at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville.)
I don’t know the members of The Steppin Stones, but they’re obviously at a pivotal point in the band’s career — soon they’ll be playing more gigs like the one in May at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta, and soon they’ll stop getting props for being so talented at such young ages. The band obviously has the talent to make the transition — the stage presence, the rich vocals, the stellar playing — and they apparently have the work ethic too. We’ll be watching.
Paddy O’Shea’s is a huge space, and there’s a solid sound system, but bands seem a little too isolated on the low stage with rails in the back corner. Unlike some other local venues, Paddy O’Shea’s has light, but there aren’t any proper spotlights on the stage. So I only got a handful of decent pics, and all from one angle. More after the jump.