After an evening of shooting concert photography for the Summer Cabaret Series at Lucas Theatre for the Arts I strolled a few blocks down the alley to catch the talented Trae Gurley and Velvet Caravan pianist Jared Hall performing at Jazz’d Tapas Bar. I will admit that I haven’t been to Jazz’d more than a handful of times, but regular performers there include Ray Lundy of Bottles & Cans, Danielle Hicks, and James Lee of Main Street Trio.
On this evening in particular I watched two consummate professionals do their thing, and the bar crowd in the stylish, basement-level venue enjoyed every second of what was essentially a lounge act. Playing to the appreciative audience, Trae & Jared covered Sinatra tunes & jazz standards, interspersed with witty banter that kept everyone entertained. If you ever have a chance to catch these two together, you’ll quickly see that they not only work well together, but enjoy each other’s company.
We write about a lot of popular music & venues at hissing lawns, but often the smaller gigs don’t get as much coverage. Those of us living in Savannah, Georgia are fortunate to have a thriving nightlife, and every single evening of the week this town has live music going on in a variety of places. Amongst the musicians a lot of the ‘stages’ we play are commonly referred to as ‘menu-venues’, in that most folks are coming for the food & drinks, but are also able to hear bands & music while dining. As a musician, it sort of cuts two ways. It’s a unique thing to be able to make a regular income at performing music, but quite often we are regarded more as ambience than the main attraction. This also puts local performers in a difficult position of having a hard time attracting the public to shows when there is a door fee. That being said, most of the players that I count amongst my circle know how to work a room, and play to the crowd according to the venue. I’ve found that if you’re an actual ‘working musician’ in Savannah you get free, on-the-job lessons in how to be a better industry professional, in pretty short order. I digress…on with the show!
Here are a few photos from tonight’s gig, with more after the jump.