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

Meklit Hadero at Dollhouse – photos

What a beautiful performance by Meklit Hadero and her ensemble on Tuesday night at Dollhouse Productions. Really, if you’re anywhere close to where Meklit is performing, you need to check her out.

Meklit’s live show was a bit jazzier than I anticipated, even when she was performing songs out of Ethiopia. Her voice has a richness and depth that easily matches the studio versions. If she had taken a different turn, Meklit might have cultivated that voice for Broadway, maybe even for opera, but she seems right at home in the collage of sound that one might expect from a perceptive artist with roots in Africa and an upbringing in the U.S.

There’s an uncynical joy to Meklit’s music and to her whole being. She radiates that joy, and it’s impossible not to be swept along by it. Her backing musicians certainly seem to b feel it and feed it.

Meklit Hadero recently launched a Pledge Music campaign for pre-orders of the new album We Are Alive, which will be released in March. The TED fellow was also recently interviewed on the organization’s blog: Celebrating the cultural in-between: Fellows Friday with musician Meklit Hadero.

I took some photos. Regrettably, I was not able to get to Dollhouse in time for the opening acts: Leslie Adele and Danni Cassette, but there was such a great, loungy vibe in the air when I arrived, they must have been good. Two pics here, with more after the jump.



Larry Jack’s Magical Music Tour 1/23/14-1/28/14

Hi guys,
Quite often, I am asked about how I am able to go see so many bands. I always find that question odd, because I don’t understand how come people aren’t out more!  Almost every weekend, there is more than enough music to fill anyone’s palate.  Just this weekend, Friday night was full of plenty of music. There was bluegrass-rock with Waller at Dub’s, the Hypnotics played garage-rock at Molly MacPherson’s, and there was a night full of Americana at the Jinx (Waits & Co, Rachel Kate, and Lovely Locks). And on Sunday, there was a great all-day show at Doc’s on Tybee for the Ryan Buttimer Fundraiser. It was an excellent event and well worth the ride to Tybee! And now we have another music-packed weekend coming up. There are a few shows that I am expecting to be especially good this week, I am especially looking forward to the Thursday Night Opry Show on Thursday and the sold-out Lucero show at the Jinx on Monday (thanks to my special friends for the ticket).

You are really cheating yourself if you don’t make it to some music this month.  There are plenty of great shows out there, and some of them start as early as 6pm.  I thought I would add a few regular weekly shows that I usually don’t talk about, to help those of you who may not realize how often music is playing downtown.

On to the recommendations for this very cold week.

Thursday 23rd

Thursday Night OpryAccomplices, Train Wrecks, City HotelTrinity United Methodist Church ($10, 7p) – This show is your chance to see three of Savannah’s best bands in a historic venue (my old church!).  I am sure this will be a good show.

Mississippi John Doude – Warehouse (8p) – Dirty electric blues band from Mississippi.  John is one of the traveling artists that I try to make sure I catch every time he is in town.

Call Me Bronco, Joe NelsonJinx (10p) – I hope to make it up to the Jinx in time to catch this night of American music from the multi-instrumentalist Joe Nelson and the three piece combo Call Me Bronco.

Friday 24th

Whiskey DickJinx (6p) – Tony Beasley plays every Friday at the Jinx Happy Hour.  He plays outlaw country music, with a powerful voice.  You will get the occasional X-rated song thrown in, with a name like Whiskey Dick, what do you expect?

Andrew Gill BandJazz’d – This is one of  the bands that I don’t get to see as often as I would like.  Shane Baldwin is one of the best bald guitarists in Savannah.

City Hotel, Adam KlineJinx (10p) – Bluegrass at the Jinx. Missionary Blues – Molly MacPherson’s (10p) – Three-piece juke joint blues band

People’s Blues Of RichmondCongress Street Social Club (10p) – Blues-rock, this is a show you will want to see.

Saturday 25th

Damon & The ShitkickersJinx (6p) – Another of the Jinx’s fine happy hour bands, this band plays every Saturday. You won’t hear any better outlaw country music than this.

The Attack, Crazy Man CrazyJinx (10p) – Guitar rock from the Attack.  Rockabilly from CMC.  Could be a lot of fun.

Blackfoot Gypsies – Congress Street Social Club (10p) – Blues rock, video sounds good.

Niche, Brother Hawk, StoneriderHang Fire – 70’s style rock

Sunday 26th

Savannah Songwriters – A monthly event at the beautiful Johnny Harris Restaurant on Victory Drive, this event features four (usually) local songwriters performing solo acoustic versions of their songs. I don’t get to make it to the show as often as I would like, but I have always found it to be a well attended and classy show. This week features Savannah songwriter Jefferson Ross, Jim Crozier, DW Beasley, and Thomas Oliver

The RosiesJazz’d – Acoustic female duo who reside in Savannah

Voodoo SoupCongress Street Social Club – Three piece cover band with a rotating cast of Savannah musicians

Monday 27th

Eric BrittWild Wings Cafe (5p) – Acoustic music from the former frontman of Hazel Virtue.

Lucero, Johnny FritzJinx – Southern indie folk.  This is one of the earliest sell-outs that I have seen at the Jinx.  I haven’t caught Lucero yet, but I am expecting a good show.

White Gold, Hot Hands, Wet Socks, Turbo FruitsDollhouse – Guitar rock.  You should go here if you don’t have a ticket for Lucero.

Tuesday 28th

Jubal KaneBay Street Blues (9p) – Newly-reformed blues band led by harmonica player (and new American citizen) Ace Andersson.

Secret Lover X, House Of GuntHang Fire – Pop rock from Massachusetts and a performance group from Savannah.

Skelton, Death Of KingsJinx (10p) – Trash/death metal fest.

Swear And ShakeWormhole – Americana rock from New York

Crazy Bag Lady, Priests, and Forced Entry at Graveface Records – photos

Last week’s great slew of shows culminated on Sunday with an in-store performance held at Graveface Records. Admittedly, I had a lot of concerns at first, not so much due to whether the shop could hold the crowd that bound to show up, but rather if the shop was well suited to host the bands making their way down. Every Savannah local should know at this point that any show with Forced Entry or Crazy Bag Lady on the bill are bound to get a little rowdy, and that’s putting it mildly. Honestly, as a record collector, I was worried about records getting trounced in the mosh. While space was a bit scarce, the venue ended up working perfectly for the show and luckily, as far as I know, no damage was done in the midst of the ensuing pits.

Opening up the show was Forced Entry, a straight forward, no-frills hardcore outfit based right here in Savannah. Admittedly, I was getting a little worried about the hardcore scene around town, but these guys are a breath of fresh air much needed on the scene. Even more surprisingly is that these guys set themselves apart by returning to some of hardcore’s early roots, drawing obvious influences from Black Flag (circa the Damaged LP) and Minor Threat. It’s pretty obvious that Forced Entry puts every bit of effort into their sets and it definitely reflects in the amount of crowd enthusiasm that they conjure up.

After Forced Entry came D.C.’s post-hardcore/garage rock troupe Priests. Priests seem to be building a more than solid fan base solely on their tenacious DIY work ethic and heavy touring schedule. In fact, from what I understand, this show was set up through a request sent through their Tumblr page which is pretty awesome in my book as I always feel that bands ignore those kinds of things. Despite Graveface being packed right up to the stage, Priests’ set was brimming with energy and intensity. While not as outright raucous as Forced Entry, Priests definitely showed a passion that only few bands have.

The night closed out with Crazy Bag Lady taking the stage. Even though CBL had taken the stage at Hang Fire just the night before, they definitely didn’t show any signs of fatigue during their set. The guys have definitely lived up to the reputation they’ve garnered in Savannah for putting on blistering exhibitions that could turn the most standard of venues into a scene that looks like it was ripped out of the craziest house party you can muster an image of in your head.

Check out a few shots from the night below and be sure to hit the jump for the full set.

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a gig you’ll regret missing: Meklit Hadero at Dollhouse on 1/21

Meklit Hadero was born in Ethiopia, raised in the U.S., and heavily influenced by the arts scene in San Francisco. She was named a TED Global Fellow in 2009, has served as an artist-in-residence at New York University, has been involved with myriad other arts projects, and is an activist driving The Nile Project, which is promoting collaboration among “hip-hop and traditional musicians from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt.”

And she makes some damn good music that has garnered rave reviews from around the world.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Meklit, you can check out this preview by Kenneth Rosen in Do and this interview by Bill DeYoung for Connect Savannah.

Or you can just show up at Dollhouse Productions at 980 Industry Drive in West Savannah on the evening of Tuesday, 1/21.

Leslie Adele, the talented singer from A Nickel Bag of Funk, and Atlanta alternative soul singer Danni Cassette will be opening. Adele is scheduled to go on at 8:30 p.m., with taking the stage Cassette at 9:15. That should put Meklit on stage around 10 p.m. Tickets are $12 and are available at the door.

Here’s Meklit with “Leaving Soon”:

Here’s a live version of “Call”:

And “Soleil Soleil”: