Jason Isbell, Pokey LaFarge, Kristina Train, dancer Rosario Toledo, and a 2nd Avett Brothers show added to Savannah Music Festival schedule

Some more good news from the Savannah Music Festival, which announced today that the Avett Brothers will be playing a second show during the festival on 3/20, in addition to the previously announced show on 3/21.

Americana/swing musician Pokey LaFarge will also be here for a two-day run sharing a bill with Savannah native Kristina Train, whom we spotlighted recently on hissing lawns after Bruce Springsteen twice told national radio audiences that he’s a fan of hers. Train and LaFarge will play four shows at the Morris Center over the course of two days, 3/29 and 3/30.

And Jason Isbell and his band will be playing at the Ships of the Sea Sunday, March 23. How awesome is that?

Also, flamenco dancer Rosario Toledo has joined “Flamenco Meets Jazz” program with Dani de Moron and the Aaron Diehl Trio at the Morris Center on 3/20 and 3/21.

Tickets for all these shows go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, 1/27.

Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour 1/30/14-2/4/14

Hi guys,
I know I say it a lot, but all of you need to get out and see some music somewhere in Savannah soon. I was just thinking about the amount of high quality musicians that are playing in Savannah, and we are really a lucky city. And speaking of lucky, I was able to see one of the amazing shows this week.  he Thursday Night Opry at Trinity Methodist Church was one of the most amazing events I have had the pleasure of attending. It was arranged by musical director Jared Hall as a fundraiser for the historic church. The Train Wrecks, The Accomplices, and City Hotel each played a set, followed by a super jam to end the show. It is the first time I attended an event that was consistently described in terms I don’t usually hear to describe shows, such as mystical, magical, and remarkable. I feel blessed to have attended the show. Velvet Caravan is playing there this Saturday at 7pm and I expect this show to be just as good.Jared told me that they will have to skip a month (or two?) for other events, then hope to restart the series. I look forward to this week’s show and wish the series continued success.

It looks like this week will continue the recent spate of high quality shows that have been occurring this year. And since the weather is supposed to be good this weekend, you are going to want to get out of the house, so you may as well check out some of this great music. Now for the picks.

Thursday 30th
Linear Downfall, Fare The Gap, SunglowDollhouse Studios (8p, $5) – This should be a somewhat psychedelic show, I have only seen Fare The Gap, and they are a quite good duo.  If you haven’t made it to the Dollhouse Studios yet, this would be a good chance to head out there.
Hooten HallersJinx (10p) – Two piece blues and hillbilly soul band. I have been looking forward to this show since seeing them last year. This one could cost a few hours sleep.

Friday 31st
Steppin’ StonesWarehouse (8p) – This three piece classic rock band should fit right in at this venue.  They usually play at City Market (and in Hilton Head) to a very appreciative crowd.  They play one of the best versions of CSNY’s “Ohio” I have heard.
HypnoticsMolly MacPherson’s (10p) – This is one of the best party bands around town. Plenty of 60’s garage rock, with a few originals thrown in the mix. This is a band you really want to see.
Lefty HathawayCongress Street Social Club (10p) – Funky jazz soul is how they describe their sound. It sounds worth stopping by for a little while.
Randy Garcia, Signs of Iris (10p) – Jinx – Judging from the clips I heard, Iris sounded kinda dreamy rock. Garcia plays “electronic Nerd Rock.”

Saturday 1st
Velvet CaravanTrinity United Methodist Church (7:30p $10) – This is the church between the Jepson and Telfair Museums. This is an event you do not want to miss. Velvet Caravan is a gyspy jazz band that may actually have people dancing in the aisle at this church.
Orange ConstantCongress Street Social Club (10p) – Jam band from Statesboro
Cusses, Bear Fight, Bronzed ChorusJinx – A night of heavy music night at the Jinx. Cusses always draw an enthusiastic crowd to the Jinx, as well they should.  They are one of the most professional bands around town. This is another band you may one day be saying you remember seeing them in this little bar…

The AccomplicesMolly MacPherson’s
Drivin’ & Cryin’, Big EngineCoach’s Corner ($25-30) – Drivin’ & Cryin’ are one of my favorite bands.They have a lot more hits than you realize. You can register to win tickets on Quality Rock 105.3 website. Just don’t win the tickets that I want to win.
Telfair BabiesBar Food (8p) – If you are at mid-town (Habersham Village), this will be a good show to go see. The Telfair Babies consist of Skip Jennings, Tommy Holland, and Skip Hinely. I have only caught them once, but I hope to see them again soon.

Monday 3rd

New York City Queens, Roses, Sunglow, Fare The GapHang Fire

Tuesday 4th – Tonight is a blues overdose. This will be regular gigs for all of these blues musicians. Suddenly, Tuesday is a good night to go out.
HitmanWarehouse (8p)
Jubal KaneBay Street Blues
Eric Culberson Open JamBayou Cafe

Lucero at The Jinx – more pictures

I love to see any venue sold out. On a Monday night? Even better. Bill’s post covered this, but it really was a great night, both musically and socially. Lucero was in good spirits, The Jinx staff was having a good time, and I saw a lot of people who were potentially going to be hurting Tuesday morning. Oh, and the new wallpaper in the men’s room is awesome. Seriously.

Anyway, there was a good bit… wait, what’s this in front of me? A soapbox? Huh, let me stand up here and maybe you’ll be able to hear me better. I heard/read a lot of people complaining that they wanted to go to this show, but it was sold out. Ummm, here’s an idea: Buy your ticket early. The most obvious benefit is that you’ll be able to see the show (which was amazing). In addition, though, selling a bunch of tickets in advance gives the venue and/or promoter the confidence (and funds) to book similar shows or take a chance on bigger and possibly better shows. Or, book interesting opening acts, or put money into the production, or whatever. It’s pretty much all to the benefit of the Savannah music scene. I’ve been to a lot of packed shows lately, and I love it. I love the energy, I love the people watching, I love everything about it. The bands REALLY love it, and it usually shows in their performance and are much more likely to come back. Sold out shows are great, but sold out in advance? Everyone (who bought a ticket) wins.



Lucero + Jonny Fritz at The Jinx – photos

So Lucero killed it on Monday night at The Jinx. But we all knew that would happen, right? But I sure didn’t expect that Ben Nichols and company to play for over two hours. The longer the set went on for the sellout crowd (The Jinx capacity is only 120 or so), the more the band seemed to be into it.

Jonny Fritz, formerly known as Jonny Corndawg, was the perfect opener.

I took a lot of photos — the curse of the digital camera. Here’s a sampling (more after the jump):





Swear and Shake at The Wormhole on 1/28

Thanks to Sinjin Hilaski for this preview:

Melding melancholy lyrics with foot-stomping folk, Swear and Shake tells tales of loss, yearning and a stubbornly persistent romanticism. Initially formed in 2010, the Brooklyn based band has garnered quite a following touring throughout the country supplemented by their premier EP Extended Play and their album Maple Ridge, released in 2012. Swear and Shake’s increasingly popular back-country ballads have propelled them into numerous music festivals — such as the Governors Ball and Summer Camp — to play alongside artists like The Lumineers and G Love & Special Sauce, amongst others.

In spite of perpetual touring, Swear and Shake continues to find time to record, recently releasing new material this past year such as their singles “Brother” and “Fire”, favorites among the folk troupe’s fans.

The swooning styles of Swear and Shake take the stage Tuesday at The Wormhole.

The show will be one of the last five to wrap up Swear and Shake’s 2014 winter tour. SHAPES & Their Names and Beneath Trees will open. Check out our recent band spotlight on SHAPES & Their Names. Click here for the Facebook event info.

Thursday Night Opry at Trinity – a review + photos

Many thanks to Jon Waits for this review and photos of last week’s Thursday Night Opry with The Train Wrecks, The Accomplices, and City Hotel.

On a colder than usual evening last week, musical camaraderie and soulful performances warmed the crowd that found their way down to Telfair Square, and through the tall doors of Trinity United Methodist Church. A concert series spearheaded by music director of Trinity and Velvet Caravan keyboardist, Jared Hall, broke new ground by inviting the public into the sanctuary to hear acoustic performances by three of Savannah’s finest bands. Based loosely on the old school style of a single microphone centered amongst the entertainers on stage, the Thursday Night Opry was something that Savannah has been missing.

First up were The Train Wrecks, who offered a tamer version of their usual bar-stomp & howl, which has earned them the honorary title of ‘Savannah’s hardest gigging band’. Drummer Jeremy Hammons played snare standing up in the Stray Cats style, with Stu Harmening showcasing his skills on the dobro, sans pedal & effects. As usual, Eric Dunn gave his double-bass that proper thumping that you don’t hear with an electric, and Jason Bible stretched his legs and range with more focus on nuance than volume. As a wonderful surprise, well known violinist/fiddler Ricardo Ochoa of Velvet Caravan lent his expertise, rounding out the Train Wrecks’ sound for the night.


Jeff Two-Names and the Born Agains at The Jinx – photos

Another post from photographer Jon Waits. Jeff Two-Names and the Born Agains is a relatively new punk band on the Savannah scene. They opened on Saturday night for The Attack and Crazy Man Crazy at The Jinx. More pics after the jump:



Watch Neil Young’s recent Carnegie Hall concert in crowd-sourced video with bootleg audio

From Consequence of Sound:

Using video captured by four different fans and audio recorded with mics set up in the mezzanine level, Tony Adams pieced together footage of Young’s January 7th performance into a 2-hour concert film. The setlist stretched 30 songs and included Young solo classics such as “Heart of Gold” and “Harvest Moon”, Buffalo Springfield songs, and covers of Phil Ochs and Bert Jansch, which could end up finding their way onto his upcoming album.

So, this is an ethically debatable post. We’re watching video shot by four different attendees at the Carnegie Hall show from a few weeks ago, all synced to a single bootleg recording. The sound is a little echoey, but pretty good all the same. Who would have imagined that Neil Young’s voice would wear so well? He’s 68, but that voice seems pretty much unchanged, and his low key stage presence seems more appropriate than ever.

He ends, fittingly, with “Long May You Run”.

I’m just embedding the video from YouTube, so if it’s pulled down for copyright violations, it will just cease working. Enjoy while you can. (It’s already been up for a few days and has been pretty widely covered, so it might just stay here.)

The Grammys Are Happening. Do I Care?

funeralThe Grammys are tonight. Yes, it’s music’s big night, one I generally I don’t place too much stock in and haven’t for quite some time (though it you had told me Daft Punk would be contending for Album and Record Of The Year a few years back, I would have said ‘yeah, right’)

So while the Grammys try and stay topical and relevant, I tune out. But not completely. I still make it a music day! I started a tradition a few years ago looking back at what music I was listening  to a decade ago. It’s a blast. It’s so much fun to see if my tastes have changed or if the music I was obsessed with then is still resonating today. How many of the bands are still around? How many made it big? Hell, how many of them ended up winning a Grammy (quite a few!)? How many do I now say, ‘what was I thinking?’

I’m one of those nerdy music people that saves notes and playlists on my computer so in case you are blowing off the Grammys tonight but still want to check out some music, here, in no real order, are the notes from my Best of 2004 list (has it really been almost ten years since Arcade Fire’s Funeral?) I Scattered in a few tunes that were easy to find:


Modest Mouse- Good News For People Who Like Bad News: Float on or Salty

Rilo Kiley- More Adventurous: Portions for Foxes, The Absence of God, I Never, Does He Love You. Album of the year?

The Absence of God by Rilo Kiley on Grooveshark

Elliott Smith- From A Basement On A Hill: A Fond Farewell. Has to be that one.

Arcade Fire- Funeral: Too out there? Power Out! Or Haiti.

Haïti by Arcade Fire on Grooveshark

Franz Ferdinand- Franz Ferdinand: Jacqueline or Take Me Out.

Interpol- Antics: No Exit. So New York.

Kings Of Convenience- Riot On An Empty Street: Homesick, Misread, Cayman Islands

Misread by Kings of Convenience on Grooveshark

The Libertines- The Libertines: Music When The Lights Go Out or Man Who Would be Kind or What Katie Did.

Music When the Lights Go Out by The Libertines on Grooveshark

Iron & Wine- Our Endless Numbered Days: Love and Some Verses (well, whole album, really)

Beta Band- Heroes to Zeros: Easy

Devendra Banhart- Rejoicing In The Hands: Will Is My Friend or This Beard Is for Siobhan or Todo Los Delores

Sondre Lerche- Two Way Monologue: Days That Are Over or title track

Bright Eyes- Lua: Just an EP. Title Track. Wow.

The Walkmen- Bows & Arrows: The Rat

The Rat by The Walkmen on Grooveshark
Ryan Adams- Love is Hell: English Girls Approximately (about Beth Orton?)

Devotchka- How It Ends: title track

Gomez- Split The Difference: Catch Me Up or Me, You and Everybody

Antony & the Johnsons: Cripple & the Starfish or Hitler In My Heart

The Streets- A Grand Don’t Come For Free: It Was Supposed to Be So Easy or Fit But You Know It.

What were you listening to in 2004?

Turbo Fruits headlines a big Monday night at Dollhouse

Turbo Fruits, a thrilling band from Nashville, will be headlining on 1/27 at Dollhouse Productions.

Savannah Stopover thinks so highly of Turbo Fruits that they’ve brought the band to town twice before. There’s a bluesy edge to the group’s high-energy songs and charismatic lead singer Jonas Stein sure knows how to command a room.

Turbo Fruits – “Sweet Thang” from Serpents & Snakes on Vimeo.

I’d for sure be at the Turbo Fruits show at Dollhouse on Monday night, but I’ll be part of the sellout house at The Jinx for Lucero, a band I’ve never seen live.

And it’s not just Turbo Fruits on Monday, the full Dollhouse lineup includes Whitegold at 9 (see Peterson’s review here), the excellent Savannah-based garage rock duo Wet Socks at 9:45, Hot Hands from Atlanta Orlando at 10:30, with Turbo Fruits scheduled for 11:30.

So this is going to be an interesting test of the Savannah music scene. Weeknight shows can be tough to fill up, and a fair number of the diehard supporters of live music around these parts will be at The Jinx. Here’s hoping for a big turnout.

Turbo Fruits at Savannah Stopover in 2012

Turbo Fruits at Savannah Stopover in 2012


Lucero to pack The Jinx – Monday 1/27

Here’s the short of it: If you didn’t buy your ticket to see the punky, soulful, countryfied Southern rock goodness that is Lucero, you’re out of luck. I don’t remember the last Jinx show that sold out so early. The Sword, maybe? There’s good reason for this, the Memphis-based band is fantastic, and routinely fills venues much, much larger than our beloved Jinx. The last time I saw Lucero was at Austin City Limits Festival, where several thousand of us watched them play right before Spoon and The Black Keys in the blazing sun of Texas.

The Jinx has settled into booking (mostly) two kinds of music, the tattooed metal that the Savannah scene is known for, and cigarette and whiskey soaked alt-country. Lucero falls squarely on the country rock side of things, but their most recent albums have begun to slide toward a bigger Memphis soul sound, which works surprisingly well with frontman Ben Nichols’ gravelly, road-worn voice. Can you tell that I’m really, really looking forward to this show? I hope you bought your tickets. See you there.

Here’s a couple videos that I think are well worth watching. First up, “Women & Work”, from their most recent album of the same name. Great song, bikinis, booze, tattoos, homemade slip and slide, and an excavator, what more could you want?

An awesome (I almost went a whole post without saying “awesome”!) David Bowie cover. A lot of these A.V. Club covers are great, by the way.

Lastly, a fantastic acoustic version of “It May Be Too Late”. Wow.

Lovely Locks, Rachel Kate, Waits & Co. at The Jinx – photos

Holy cow, it’s almost the weekend again! Last Friday I made it out to see Lovely Locks, Rachel Kate and Waits & Co. It was a great show, a good crowd and all around fun night. Savannah’s own Waits & Co. started the night off with an entertaining set of Americana, followed by Charleston’s Rachel Kate. Her Facebook page categorizes her as “feisty power folk”, but I heard folk, classic country, murder ballads, blues and a ton of attitude in her music. Great. Then Lovely Locks delivered, as always. The ladies (and gentlemen) played to an appreciative crowd and were joined at the end of their set by Waits & Co., Rachel Kate and several others for a couple of covers. At one point I think there were 11 people on stage, all having a good time. Those of us in the crowd were, too.

lovely locks-2

rachel kate-1