Field Report at Revival Fest – photos

I was already a huge fan of Field Report before the band’s appearance at Revival Fest on Saturday, so I’m not sure what kind of fan that makes me now.

On the dramatically lit stage (well done, Capital A Productions) in the soaring space of the old paint shop for railroad cars, Chris Porterfield and company’s songs built layer upon layer while at the same time seeming to unfold, as if some mystery would eventually be revealed at the center.

That contradictory effect is largely due to Field Report’s lyrics, which are at once bitingly specific and mysteriously general. Like the opening of “Route 18” from the band’s self-titled debut album:

Elizabeth said last night the lake roared like the ocean; I was landlocked under the orange-white solstice moon. Imagine: imagining a place meant to conjure up another. Three degrees of hometown disconnect in my unborn daughter’s room.

I don’t know what any of that really means, but I’m drawn into the world of the song by the words alone. Set to music, well, that’s just artistic decadence:

That was one of the songs that Field Report played in their stunning hourlong set on Saturday night. Other highlights from the first album included renditions of “Fergus Falls”, “Taking Alcatraz”, and “Chico the American”.

In the general party atmosphere of the day, maybe the set was too much like church to some:

Chris Porterfield, no puppies for you. And no razors either.

I took some photos (with the requisite apology to the drummer, and to all drummers that I will never get good photos of).

Here’s one, more after the jump. Click for bigger versions.


The Cedric Burnside Project at Revival Fest – photos

The Cedric Burnside Project‘s afternoon set was one of the highlights of Saturday’s Revival Fest. Of the dozen acts that performed inside and outside the old paint shop at the Georgia State Railroad Museum, none seemed a better fit for the setting.

The blues just conjures the past, and work, and labor, and the resilience of the spirit.

The band consists of drummer and singer Cedric Burnside, a native of Holly Springs, Mississippi and the grandson of R.L. Burnside, and Trenton Ayers, a childhood friend of Cedric whose easy stage presence can’t hide the fact that he can rip into that guitar whenever he wants.

The Cedric Burnside Project’s The Way I Am came out more than two years ago, so it’s certainly time for a new record from this stunningly talented act.

There was a lot of backlighting in the sky during the set, but I got some good shots, as did You’re Welcome Savannah and Geoff L. Johnson shooting for Revival Fest (click here for the Facebook page).

Burnside and Ayers also got on stage late Saturday night at The Jinx for a latenight jam. I got a few pics of that too, but I’ll put those in another post.

Here’s one shot, 16 more after the jump:


Matrimony at Revival Fest – photos

Jason previewed Matrimony in a post last week, but that didn’t entirely prepare me for the high-energy set the band played on Saturday afternoon on the Revival Fest stage in the old paint shop of the Georgia State Railroad Museum.

And that post certainly didn’t prepare me for the band’s sheer beauty — such expressive, exquisite faces. Really a photographer’s dream. But my apologies to the drummer — and to all drummers. One of these days I’ll get great shots of a band’s drummer and terrible ones of the rest of the band.

I’ll be posting pics from Revival Fest throughout the week as I get a chance to edit them. I only got a few good shots of some of the acts, so I’ll be combining photos for some posts. Other bands, like Matrimony, certainly warrant a post of their own. I’ll also have an Unplugged column in Do on Thursday with a written roundup of the festival.


Lots more pictures after the jump.

Shovels & Rope: Tiny Desk Concert at NPR

Shovels & Rope from Charleston have a new Tiny Desk Concert up at NPR Music today featuring “Carnival”, “Birmingham” and “Bad Luck”.

From NPR:

Shovels & Rope’s presence in the NPR Music offices attracted plenty of interest; many in attendance had long since fallen in love with the husband-and-wife duo’s mix of rowdy folk-rock and rootsy balladeering. But once Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent showed up, the office quickly lost sight of the approaching performance, as the murmurs began: “There’s a dog in the office there’s a dog in the office there’s a dog in the office!” You could practically see our coworkers’ brains short out from a combination of cognitive dissonance and canine adoration.

It seems forever since Shovels & Rope made their way to Savannah. I’m thinking their most recent gigs here were at The Jinx in 2011 and with The Unchained Tour in early 2012.

But however long it’s been, it’s been too long.

The Queers at The Jinx – photos

The Queers came back through Savannah on Friday night, this time playing The Jinx.

The club filled up for the show but wasn’t overflowing. Opening act SHEHEHE from Athens showed some great promise as they tore through their set — sure hope to see them agains — and then Flat Tires from North Carolina stormed onstage with their sort of hillbilly punk. Last year when The Queers played The Wormhole, they were traveling with The Wild, a great folk punk band then based in Atlanta.

When it comes to opening acts, The Queers don’t screw around.

And Joe Queer is still electric on stage, even after all these years. Despite have a brand new bass player, the set was tight and fast with a couple of encores.

Joe said that he really needed to get down to Savannah from Atlanta more often. We agree.

I got a snippet of shitty video, but you get it:

Here’s one pic:


More pics after the jump, first of The Queers, then Flat Tires, and then SHEHEHE.

Michael Younker to perform a special solo set

Michael Younker of Sauna Heat will stray away from the band this weekend to play solo at Safe//Sound. But if you’re expecting the gritty-garage-college-rock sound typical of SH then you’ve got it all wrong. Younker’s solo work is far more experimental and relaxed — somehow making it sound a bit more personal. Show starts at 8 PM on Saturday.

Here’s some Michael Younker to help you wind down after a long week:

Revival Fest on 9/14 culminates with Truth & Salvage Co.

Revival Fest takes over the old paint shop at the Georgia State Railroad Museum (aka, the Roundhouse) on Saturday, 9/14. Be sure and check that website or the festival Facebook page for updates on food, drink, and logistics.

And, if you can’t commit to the entire day, be sure and consult the schedule.

Truth & Salvage Co., now based in Nashville after years in southern California, will be playing in the final 10 p.m. time slot.

That promises to be a rousing end to an impressive day of roots-influenced music.

USA Today premiered the Truth & Salvage Co.’s second album Pick Me Up, which came out in July.

Click here for Bill DeYoung’s interview in Connect Savannah with Truth & Salvage’s Adam Grace. Click here for Linda Sickler’s Savannah Morning News article on Revival Fest, which focuses a bit on the band.

Here’s the album trailer for Pick Me Up set to the single “Appalachian Hilltop”:

Here’s the lovely “Pure Mountain Angel”:

A couple photos from Truth & Salvage Co.’s first ever Savannah gig at Live Wire Music Hall (regrettably now closed):



More photos at Savannah Unplugged.

Les Racquet returns to Tybee Island Social Club Friday the 13th

Les Racquet didn’t hesitate to adopt Savannah and Tybee island as their home in the South during their initial visit here well over a year ago. They played a mid week show at Tybee Island Social Club last Wednesday, and they’re returning this Friday night. If you’ve never seen these three guys live, I urge you to drive out to Tybee Friday night and hear them in action. Each and every time I see them they’re better than the time before… part of that is simply that they’re phenomenal musicians, but they’re also keeping an insane schedule and honing their chops every night in front of enthusiastic crowds.

Fans of jazz will enjoy the live sets, while they won’t be playing standards, you’ll hear the jazz foundation in a lot of what they do and if you’re lucky they might even quote a little Brubek in the midst of one of their originals. Expect to hear impressive three part harmonies as well.

Their full length debut album Whale Hail  was recorded here in Savannah during the last quarter of 2012 at Elevated Basement Studio. The album art is by Tybee Island Social Club co-owner and chef Kurtis Schumm, who is also a talented musician and singer himself. Don’t be surprised if he joins them on stage at some point in the night. As the dinner crowd thins out, you can expect the crowd to start dancing. Music will likely start around 8:00 PM, Tybee Island Social Club is located at 1311 Butler Ave, Tybee Island, GA 31328.

There is a Facebook event page for anyone wanting to stay abreast of any last minute changes.


of bodies of bones and breasts and unmapped chambers of hearts

Songs don’t always come easy, and I get the feeling the ten tracks on Field Report’s 2012 debut album were several years in the making. Nearly any time you read about Chris Porterfield and Field Report, there is mention of his past ties to DeYarmond Edison and and his ties to Justin Vernon. While that’s interesting to me, all of that would seem to be merely a means to get Porterfield and company to where they are today. Go ahead and click play on one of those songs below and read on.

The album opens with the track Fergus Falls, and although you know the lyrics and music are new, they feel like an old friend, as if you’ve always known and loved this tune.

 “The lyrics always come first, and then it’s figuring out how to score those lyrics.” 

That statement from Porterfield sums up his songwriting process, and as you listen to the album it is evident it works very well for him. For Field Report’s eponymous debut is one of those rare albums that feels complete, as if it’s one piece of art rather than just a collection of a dozen songs a band managed to put down

The Queers hit Savannah Friday

And now . . . The Queers:

That video has only 627,000 YouTube views. What’s up with that?

“Tamara Is A Punk”:

“Don’t Back Down”:

The Queers will be at The Jinx on West Congress Street here in Savannah on Friday.

Flat Tires and Shehehe will open.

Charlotte’s Matrimony brings the family to Revival Fest Sept. 14

Family bands such as Matrimony have always been with us, and perhaps with good reason.  Siblings not only have shared DNA, but they grew up in the same household, influenced by their parents music collection, which  provides a common ground that often gives birth to great music. Not to mention being in a band is often tough, and the fact that blood binds them together could certainly help the family members get over the inevitable fights and squabbles that go with a life on the road. After all, a band is  a relationship between multiple people who spend way too much time together in tight spaces for too many hours at a stretch. It’s bound to get intense, and things will occasionally get ugly. Yet when the band consists of family members who grew up together, they’re all that much better at getting over it.

matrimonyBut what about the music? There is a unique quality to sibling harmonies that you simply don’t hear with people who are not related, I’m not saying it’s necessarily better but it’s definitely different. Some might laugh at this example, but can you imagine what the Bee Gees would have sounded like if the brothers Gibb were just three guys who met at university? All I know is that the sound wouldn’t have been the same. I would even argue that at times family members create counter melodies and layered rhythms that add up to more than the sum of their parts. Anyone who has played in a live setting for any length of time will tell you that every now and then there is a little magic that happens, it’s almost like the universe is pulling some cosmic marionette strings and playing you playing the instrument. Perhaps that magic happens just a little more frequently in family bands. I only know that I like it.

Matrimony consists of Ashlee Hardee Brown, her husband Jimmy Brown, and Ashlee’s brothers Jordan and CJ Hardee. They are scheduled to play at 6 PM on the Paint Shop stage at Revival Fest this Saturday, September 14. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online, or at the gate the day of the show.

Below is a fairly new video for what might be their most popular song, Obey Your Guns.

In no particular order, I thought I might make a short list of some other family bands to think about:

  • Allman Brothers
  • Kings of Leon
  • Radiohead
  • AC/DC
  • Orbital
  • The Beach Boys
  • The Kinks
  • Everly Brothers
  • Jackson 5
  • Corrs
  • Crowded House
  • The Neville Brothers
  • The Gap Band
  • Cowboy Junkies
  • Sister Sledge
  • Van Halen
  • Louvin Brothers
  • The Stooges
  • The Replacements
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • The National
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • Devo
  • Arcade Fire
  • The Black Crowes
  • CCR

1st Revival Fest coming up on Saturday, 9/14 at the Roundhouse

I’m really excited to hear some of the 12 bands playing the 1st annual (well, we hope it will be annual) Revival Fest on Saturday, 9/14 at the Roundhouse (officially the Georgia State Railroad Museum) off MLK here in Savannah.

The schedule will has pretty much continuous music on the two stages — one in the old paint shop and another outside. MusicFile Productions is putting on the event, with Capital A Productions handling the staging.

hissing lawns will be posting previews throughout the week of some of the acts we’re excited to hear on Saturday, so first here’s just a Soundcloud playlist of almost all the bands:

Btw, because of permit problems involving the health department, Revival Fest can’t hold the long-planned oyster and pig roasts, but other options are in process. Those who bought the higher-priced $55 tickets can get the food portion of that refunded. All tickets are now priced at $35. (We’ll save our rants about the local bureaucracy for a future post.)

For updates about logistics and other offerings, check out the Revival Fest Facebook page.

UPDATE: Click here for info and links regarding food and drink for Revival Fest.