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Teddy Adams

This trombonist is one of the most noted Savannah jazzmen. For years he has been a key figure in the Coastal Jazz Association (the folks at the helm of our annual Jazz Festival among other things), and is the co-director of the massive Savannah Jazz Orchestra.

In addition to gigging and doing sessions with tons of heavyweight musicians over the years, he’s also released a number of his own albums as a bandleader, and has a working knowledge of many facets of this most American of art forms. Anytime one can catch this tasteful horn man do his thing, it’s a safe bet it’ll be well worth showing up. Fri., 9 pm, The Mansion on Forsyth Park.

GAM, BlackwÜrm

This pairing of two of Savannah’s more ambitious prog-rock bands will likely delight many adventuresome listeners.

BlackwÜrm is a collaboration between bassist and guitarist Mike Walker (of Bottles & Cans), keyboardist and thereminist Ricardo Ochoa (of The Richard Leo Johnson Trio), and drummer Josh Safer (of The Tango Kings). Though they rarely play in public, they have been together for some time now, and are the closest thing our town has to a bonafide space-rock outfit. Their droning, hallucinatory dirges and pounding, metal-tinged freakouts echo the more exploratory and self-indulgent moments in both the Hawkwind and Krautrock canons.

Fans of Can, Neu! and Spacemen 3 will probably get a big kick out of the synth-heavy instrumental group, while those who appreciate the dreamier side of Yo La Tengo or Stereolab should find some common ground there as well.

GAM, on the other hand, is perhaps the closest thing to a legendary Savannah band that currently exists (sort of). In their late-’90s heyday, the band toured the country, dazzling crowds at each stop with a pastiche of ‘60s acid-rock, ‘70s glam and Sabbath-style metal, angular ‘80s post-punk, and then-contemporary deconstructionist satire.

Their hometown shows were major events and rites of passage for those in the growing Savannah rock scene, but most locals never knew that the band’s road gigs jettisoned most of the campy, Alice Cooper-meets-Peter Gabriel stage props and elaborate lighting rigs in favor of a stripped-down, take-no-prisoners onslaught of volume, energy, and seemingly unrehearsed mayhem that had some in major markets like New York and Chicago thinking they were “the next big thing.”

Well, the truth is, they were, but not enough of the right people paid the right kind of attention when it mattered most. Whether or not they still are is perhaps a question best left unasked and unanswered. However, after a few years in hibernation, the core group of guitarist Kevin Rose and frontman Keith Kozel have regrouped with onetime bassist Walker and newly deputized drummer Safer to cobble together a reasonable representation of what made them the shit in their prime.

No, they’re not as well-rehearsed as the old lineup. No, they aren’t gonna fill the stage with crazy props like they used to. And, no, they don’t even pretend to have the same sort of drive they once did. but, they’ve still got a back catalog of anthemic, mind-blowing songs that are quite unlike most anything you’ll hear even on college radio these days (something close to a cross between The Jesus Lizard, Enon, Bowie and The Glands), and that’s reason enough to make this rare gig.

On another positive note, I’m told that at long last, The Jinx is attempting to attempting to become more user-friendly by starting their notoriously late-night shows a bit earlier in the hopes of attracting folks who’ve been staying away due to the late curtain calls. Beginning with this show, the opening acts will go on at 10 pm sharp, regardless of how full the room is – so get there early or miss the boat... Fri.., 10 pm, The Jinx.

Southern Lite, Ernie Thacker

Once again, luthier Randy Wood welcomes some extraordinary bluegrass talent to the 100-seat picking parlor off his guitar shop. Check these boys out:

Southern Lite has turned in great shows here in the past. The Florida band was formed in 2001 to provide backup to fiddle great Vassar Clements, but has since gone on (with his blessing) to do their own thing. In just a few short years they’ve become one of the most in-demand acts on the road today, and can flat tear up some mountain music.

Guitarist Ernie Thacker, on the other hand, used to sing lead in Ralph Stanley’s band, and now he’s leading his own impressive group, Route 23. This formidable quartet offers “traditional bluegrass with a contemporary edge.”

Tickets for this show are only $15, and can be charged in advance (always a good idea at this small venue) by calling (912) 748-1930. Fri., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale).


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Jim Reed

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