The Roger Moss Quintet
This charming group of exceptionally talented and sympathetic jazz musicians is becoming one of the most popular attractions at this swanky hotel cocktail lounge. Led by the powerful and engaging classically trained vocalist Moss, the remaining members (violinist Ricardo Ochoa, bassist Peter Berquist, pianist Eric Jones and drummer Josh Safer) invest plenty of feeling and nuance into timeless chestnuts from the Great American Songbook, as well as assorted cabaret-style numbers. Occasionally, Moss will roam this small room, singing without amplification to individual audience members — a charming, if overused shtick that never fails to delight and surprise newcomers and tourists. As if that weren’t enough. At a recent Mansion gig, the group closed the night with a strangely compelling arrangement of Madonna’s “Like A Virgin.” Dig it. Fri., 9 pm, The Mansion on Forsyth Park.
Paul Parr & Band
If you’re wondering whether or not our area will see another local country artist rise to the level of Rincon native Billy Currington, the smart money’s on this 35-year-old Savannah native. With a tremendously expressive 3 and 1/2 octave vocal range, and a genuine flair for writing the kind of barnburners and weepy ballads that pay respect to the pioneers of the genre without lapsing into mimicry. Parr (who’s also one hell of a guitarist as well) cut his first CD in Nashville a few years ago, and it’s easily one of the best indie releases from a regional artist that I’ve ever heard. Rumor has it he’s got a major record deal of some kind in the works, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him getting a substantial push in the near future. This nightclub about an hour from downtown is under new ownership, and this is a great opportunity to catch an up-and-coming artist in a small honky-tonk while you still can. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, Red Leg Saloon (formerly Silver Dollar Café, Hwy 204).
I know plenty of people who just “don’t get” Celtic punk. To them, it’s a silly cross-breeding of two distinctly separate genres that go together about as well as chalk and cheese. Fair enough. It’s not for everyone, and —like rockabilly, which it resembles slightly— there is undeniably a certain sameness that pervades even the best examples of the form. That said, there are few things as exhilarating as being in the presence of a Celtic rock or punk band that’s tight as a whipcord and firing on all cylinders. The owner of these sister venues knows that, so she’s kicking off a long series of nationally-known Celtic rock bands with these Savannah faves, who’ve trekked here from Canada many times in the past. They’re following in the footsteps of icons like The Pogues, The Dubliners and The Waterboys. Plus, one of their heroes, Finny McConnell of The Mahones is touring with them as a special guest. Saturday’s show is the Grand Opening Party for Murphy’s Law, with free food and prizes on hand. That show will likely sell out, so get your ticket early. Fri., 10 pm, Finnegan’s Wake + Sat., 10 pm, Murphy’s Law.
The Tennessee Rounders
This Chatanooga-based retro-country and honky-tonk band has a gritty, no-bullshit approach, memorable original songs that don’t deviate too far from their chosen format, and a working knowledge of classic covers by the acts that built the outlaw country movement. Their shows are sweet and touching, loud and boisterous. They’ll put a tear in your beer and a boot in your ass. Yip! Fri., 10 pm, The Jinx.
Red Eye Jedi
This improvisatory funk and rock band recently relocated here from Rome, Ga., but their humble beginnings can be traced to this area. In the short time since they’ve been back, they’ve found themselves welcomed into several area venues, either as headliners, or as Open Mic Night hosts. That’s probably because their laid-back explorations and danceable, organic grooves are noticeably different from the standard-issue jam noodling that is pervasive around these parts, and it can also function well as delightful background music, rather than brash, in-your-face guitar wonking. The fact that they boast a decent horn section doesn’t hurt either. Sat., 9 pm, Dolphin Reef Lounge (Tybee).
The Sentient Bean’s 5th Anniversary Party
It’s hard to believe this counterculture haven and community art space has been around for a half-decade, but we’re all getting older, aren’t we? Whether it’s doling out Certified Free Trade java, hosting touring songwriters and poetry slams, facilitating forums for local activist groups, or partnering with area film societies to create a DIY screening room, The Bean has become a hub of the local infotainment scene. They’ll celebrate their success with an evening of music, food, beverages, prizes and a round of live Savannah-centric trivia hosted by yours truly. See you there? Fri., 7 pm, The Sentient Bean Coffeehouse.
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