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A New Year's Eve Roundup 

It stands to reason, that if you’re planning on leaving the house to enjoy some sort of public celebration of the coming of 2006, then you’ve more than likely already cast Saturday evening’s festivities in stone.

You’ve done your homework, checked the ads that have been running in our paper for the past few weeks, and asked friends, family and co-workers where “the place to be” is this time around. However, the truth is that although plenty of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and public spaces are offering some sort of live entertainment for this most universal of holidays – many of them have chosen not to trumpet their wares through standard channels. Some are simply hoping that word of mouth will do the trick.

But let’s be honest. This is Savannah we’re talking about – and sometimes all that word of mouth gets you is a half-empty room and a lot of unused party favors to box up the next morning.

In the interest of making sure that everyone within eyesight of our paper is adequately informed in advance as to their celebratory options, we offer this admittedly incomplete guide to what’s going on this New Year’s Eve in the Coastal Empire.

Now, we can’t promise that every single event that’s taking place is listed here. Far from it. We’re at the mercy of the info that’s been passed along to us! So be advised, there may be good times and great memories to be had elsewhere. However – as of press time, this is what we here at Connect Savannah have been hepped to.

If you’d planned to spend the night bundled up inside your own home watching that Ryan Seacrest buffoon, but now realize that’s just no way to live, then by all means, consider supporting one of the establishments and musical artists listed below. They’ll appreciate it, and so will you.

Remember, there are few things in life as wonderful as experiencing live music firsthand.

If – on the other hand – you can’t even bear the thought of staying in Savannah for the whole mishegoss, check out our Good Show, Will Travel section. That exhaustive regional concert calendar includes dozens of great club, theatre and arena shows within a few hours drive of here. You’ll find a much wider selection of shows to take in on December 31st, but of course, it’ll take you a while to get there and back.

Which brings up another very important point: There’s never a good time to cause or to be involved in an automobile accident, but I can’t think of many worse ways to start off a new year than to hurt someone needlessly or to be hurt yourself.

Between the surge in gas prices and the reluctance of the city to allow them the rate increase they so dearly deserve, cab drivers have been hit pretty hard financially this year.

If the holiday spirit moves you – or you’ve had one too many – save your health, your pride, and your license. Ditch the car, and pay a few extra bucks to get you and yours home safely.

Like Hank Kingsley says, “You’ll be glad you did.”

Don’t forget that many of these parties and dances sell out in advance, so if you want to make sure you’re where you want to be when the glitter is thrown, call the venues ASAP and reserve a seat...

Here now, the shows – broken down by broad musical category.

Jazz

Big Band enthusiasts will be happy to know that American Legion Post #135 on Bull Street at Park Avenue is bringing in Sophisticated Swing, a 9-piece Florida orchestra playing swing and Latin jazz. It’s part of the 2nd Annual Stardust Memories Ball, the proceeds of which benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. The retro-themed ball includes a champagne toast and catered midnight breakfast.

A few blocks North, the tony Mansion on Forsyth Park has got the potent double bill of Eat Mo' Music with vocalist Trae Gurley. Eat Mo’ is a local quintet specializing in funky, rock-edged soul jazz that’s perfect for dancing. Gurley is a singing actor who pays tribute to Frank Sinatra by performing the late icon’s signature tunes. Music at 9 pm.

The newly-formed Consuelo's Duelo is an instrumental, organic jazz combo led by acoustic guitarist Jon Dunn, and featuring several young, promising musicians. They play the Luna Lounge inside Il Pasticcio restaurant at 9:30 pm.

The Jazz Corner on Hilton Head is the area’s heaviest jazz supper club, and they’re hosting one of their most popular acts, The Noel Friedline Quintet. This critically-adored Florida act features piano, bass, drums and vibes, as well as three-part vocal harmony.

Acoustic Acts

At 10 pm, prolific local songwriter and guitarist Greg Williams draws on his back catalog of acclaimed indie CDs for an evening of folk and blues-influenced modern rock at Jen’s & Friends, a small bar on the corner of Bull and Broughton that’s quickly developed a loyal following.

Veteran local keyboardist and vocalist Chuck Courtenay, Sr., reunites with his guitar playing sons The Courtenay Brothers for a rare trio show of pop, country and soft rock standards at the Knights of Columbus Hall #631 (on the corner of Bull and Liberty Streets). That starts at 9 pm.

And local legend Jude Michaels plies his wares at Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub starting at 9 pm. Michaels plays both acoustic guitar and cello and peppers his setlist of covers with original tunes.

Pop

The Desoto Hilton nabbed Liquid Ginger this year. The extremely well-liked local modern rock group recently shot a music video to help promote their second DIY CD. They’ll play originals and pop hits from 8 pm on.

The Savannah Theatre slightly modifies its existing Jukebox Journey musical production show to include a special post-show set of mainstream dance music (folks can join the band onstage) and requests. There will be a champagne toast at midnight. It all starts at 9 pm.

The Greg Snyder Trio (featuring Annie Allman) will be on hand at Tybee’s Tango restaurant for a wide variety of danceable hits in a wide variety of genres.

Country & Southern Rock

Up-and-coming regional singer/songwriter Bryan Clees brings his band to the Tubby’s in Thunderbolt for an evening of honky-tonk hits and original material that begins at 9 pm.

Popular area bar band High Velocity play the second of a two-night stand at The Silver Dollar on Highway 204. Their show starts at 9 pm, and includes songs by everyone from Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers to The Doors and Led Zeppelin.

The Georgia Rhythm Band returns to Scandals on the far end of Tybee Island (see Music Menu).

Tommy’s in Pooler hosts Southpaw (see Music Menu).

Blues and Rock

Local sensation (and internationally-known recording artist Eric Culberson and His Band hold court at Congress Street’s Mercury Lounge, no doubt playing fiery Memphis and Chicago-style material from his new live album.

A few blocks away in City Market, the gritty, Delta-influenced blooze rawk of Bottles & Cans will be heard at one of their favorite subterranean haunts, the aptly named Savannah Blues club.

Jazz’d Tapas Bar underneath the Gap on Broughton Street presents regular attraction The Jeff Beasley Band. While also known as one of the frontmen in the group Too Blue, Beasley has recently re-tooled this project, and added plenty of old-school ‘50s and ‘60s rock and roll to their repertoire (think Elvis and Roy Orbison). The show starts at 9 pm.

Down on River Street at J.J. Cagney’s, newcomers Seven Gates To Elsewhere offer up a combination of tried and true covers of the classic rock variety and bluesy, soulful originals that bear a striking resemblance to early Bad Company and other ‘70s British imports.

A few blocks East from Cagney’s, The Warehouse has chosen Texas-bred songwriter Jason Bible and his band The Train Wrecks to keep the crowd rocking till the wee wee hours. This trio features Hazel Virtue’s drummer, and deals in rootsy Americana covers and organic originals with a strong folk and blues influence.

Funk and Jam Bands

The Fundamentals will be grooving hard to funk and R & B party tunes from the ‘70s and ‘80s at Cha Bella (the new eatery located in the former Suzabelle’s location on the corner of Broughton and East Broad Streets).

Cosentino’s (another recently opened downtown eatery on the opposite end of Broughton Street) welcomes P.R.O.F. – or the Peoples’ Republic Of Funk. Based in Macon, they dabble in jazzy dance music and cool bebop with plenty of nods towards Miles’ fusion period. That show starts at 10 pm.

Local favorites Absylom Rising return to Fiddler’s Crab House on River Street for the second night (see Music Menu).



Hard Rock

Savannah’s only dedicated indie-rock, metal and punk venue is aiming to outdo its own recent Halloween show. That impressive undertaking found a handful of local bands (some of which formed specifically for that gig) dressing up as and performing the songs of some of their major musical influences. This time out, members of Kylesa, Black Tusk and Whiskey Dick will be teasing their hair up mighty high when they appear as Looks That Kill, and play the songs of noted feminists Motley CrÜe. This 21+ gig also boasts a “champagne gulp” at midnight.

And finally, there will be some sort of live enetertainment and celebration going on for free in the City Market Courtyard. No details available at press time, but anyone looking for a chilly good time may want to suss that one out.

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Jim Reed

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Connect Today 12.10.2016

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