Relentlessly funky guitarist/percussionist/synth player from Bluffton whose soulful and highly controlled vocals and jam aesthetic incorporates reggae and dub rhythms, call and response singing (and patois), human beatbox riffs, and even a hint of Balkan folk or gypsy jazz. Recommended for fans of G. Love, P-Groove, Dave Matthews and even Matisyahu. Sat., 10 pm, Loco’s (downtown).
Despite having his songs covered by the likes of such esteemed folk and contemporary acoustic pop greats as Richie Havens, Buffy Sainte-Marie and Dar Williams, the average listener likely knows nothing of this Greenwich Village stalwart. Yet, says The Washington Times, “If life was fair and stardom based on raw talent, Cliff Eberhardt would be a household name.”
The latest in a long and ongoing line of critically heralded artists brought to town by the good folks at the Savannah Folk Music Society, Eberhardt will no doubt showcase material from his latest CD on the respected Red House label, as well as gems from his back catalog — delivered with the emotional vocals and finessed fretwork that are his calling cards. As with virtually all the SFMS shows, this one’s open to ALL-AGES and would probably make a great outing for any young, budding songwriter. Tickets available at the door ($10 for the general public/$8 for SFMS members). For more info, call 786-6953 or go to www.savannahfolk.org. Thurs., 7:30 pm, First Presbyterian Church (520 Washington Ave.) - ALL-AGES.
Ernie Evans & Southern Lite
Here’s a great double-bill of heavy-duty bluegrass. Evans and co. hail from the fertile musical greenhouse of Fla., and each of the members have been staples on the bluegrass circuit for the past 2 decades. This group, which formed in 2001 specifically to back up the late, great hillbilly jazz fiddler Vassar Clements, quickly ascended the ranks to became a top draw at clubs and festivals alike on their own. As if their fresh and contemporary sound (with respectful nods to tradition, of course) wasn’t enough, newcomers The Wilson Family open the show, and the members of that group are said to be no slouches either when it comes to chops — especially their two youngest members. Call 748-1930 to reserve your $20 seat at this ALL-AGES show. Sat., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale).
Essentially a stripped-down version of popular 13-piece R & B party band The Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love, this quintet may lack the full horn section of that in-demand soul revue, but they more than get the job done with a core group of some of the better and most experienced ringers in the area, including guitarist John Banks, bassist Phil MacDonald and vocalist Tim Love. Expect plenty of good-time danceable groove music, heavy on the backbeat. Fri., 8 pm & Sat., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (Southside).
The Hellblinki Sextet, Creech Holler
Hellblinki wears its Swordfishtrombones jones proudly on its sleeve, and while they probably tire of hearing that from writers such as myself, it’s a much more interesting shirt than most Southeastern bar bands even have in their closet. Anyone who appreciates the creepy, Shanghai surprise of Tom Waits’ unhinged sailor bit will dig this freaky, rattletrap pirate cabaret. Creech Holler mines the same territory, but their nightmare visions are straight out of a dank W. Va. lake, rather than an old steam-driven sailing vessel. This Tn.-based trio soaks old Harry Smith-caliber mountain ballads in a rotgut whiskey barrel before straining them out through electrified, house-rockin’ garage blues. This is one unsettling and occasionally terrifying bad trip you’ll actually hope goes on for a while Sat., 10 pm, The Jinx.
The Judge & The Jury
A very welcome one-off reunion gig from this great old-time/bluegrass/Southern gospel/alt.country act that drew large crowds years ago at the now-defunct Jim Collins Bar and Velvet Elvis Lounge. Frontman and guitarist Aaron Parrett is now an English “perfesser” up in Montana, while sideman Jason Anderson divides his time between Superhorse and The 8-Tracks. This surprise show coincides with local recording sessions for Aaron’s next solo CD, but their set will include plenty of fondly-remembered fan faves as well as some brand-new material. Guitarist and singer Tony Beasley opens under his own name with a set of rarely-heard original folk and country tunes not geared to his better-known (and fouler-mouthed) stage persona Whiskey Dick. Note the early start time! Fri., 9 pm, The Jinx.