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First Friday for Folk

Well, it’s hard to believe that The Savannah Folk Music Society has made it all the way to the 98th installment of their coffeehouse-style concert series, but sure enough, here we are.

As Sandy Denny would say, who knows where the time goes?

This time around, they’ve scored one hell of a coup in bringing headliner Malcom Holcombe to town (more on that in this issue’s Music Interview), but the bill’s other two performers are no slouches, and this looks to be a great evening of acoustic music for all ages.

Nashville singer/songwriter Steve Jackson is returning for his 3rd First Friday engagement. Considered something of a rising star in that notoriously competitive town, at the time of his Savannah debut, he was barely out of his teens, but I’m told his delivery and lyrical sense seemed far older and wiser than his youth would imply.

Since then, he’s moved to Music City, USA and begun to attract the attention of the Americana press, who have likened his talent and intensity to a young Bruce Springsteen. Paste Magazine recently said he uses “words more beautiful, evocative and true than you could ever find yourself.”

The opening spot is occupied by Tuck Brawner, a local podiatrist whose passion is fingerstyle guitar playing. he’s known for using unusual, alternative tunings and unique picking techniques, and will perform both originals and cover material.

This smoke and alcohol-free concert is family-oriented, and free to the public. There is a suggested donation of $2, which helps to cover the costs of the visiting artists. For more information, call Society President Hank Weisman at 786-6953. Fri., 7:30 pm, Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church (429 Abercorn St. on Calhoun Square).

Rise Records Summer Tour

The Oregon-based record label behind this warm-weather outing specializes in post-hardcore, emo and indie-rock. As such, they’ve assembled a pretty impressive lineup of some of the more compatible acts in their roster in hopes of boosting fanbases across the country.

Small Towns Burn a Little Slower began in 2001 as a Twin Cities trio. Ditching much of the overt hardcore posturing, they leaned into melodies (as do so many lapsed hardcore acts these days).

Farewell My Enemy (Jeez, where do they get these names?) has roots in the Salt Lake area as well as Chicago. Formed by Chris Envy of the band SHOWOFF (who sold close to 50,000 albums through Madonna’s Maverick label). This group writes more complex music than his past projects.

Finally, Portland, Oregon’s Ever We Fall is a young group that’s filled with spunk and full of promise. Signed after months of strong regional buzz and an impressive home-cut demo, they tracked their debut EP in 4 days with producer John Goodmanson (Death Cab For Cutie, Vaux, Sleater-Kinney), and it finds them bringing layers of acoustic guitars and piano into the otherwise in-your-face mix.

The label seems to be banking on big things coming from this last group, and after seeing tons of similar-sounding bands get their 18 months of house party and rec room superstardom, that’s probably a safe bet. Tues., 8 pm, Teaser’s Café - ALL AGES.

A Fir-Ju Well

It’s not often I lay it down hard and fast for a band I’ve never heard (and/or heard of) before, as it usually comes back to bite me on the ass in the form of being taken to task for sending someone out to see a group that flat-out sucked.

Nevertheless, once more into the breach, dear readers.

Atlanta’s A Fir-Ju Well may just be the first band I’ve heard in... well, weeks, I guess, that seem to live up to their hype.

The mere fact that Creative Loafing name-checked The Flaming Lips, Ween, Captain Beefheart and The Doors in a recent review was enough to make me skeptical to the point of avoidance, but I must confess that based on the two tracks I was able to preview, they may just be correct.

When terms like “acid-drenched” are bandied about, it’s usually time to start pulling out “The Albums That Last,” but this perplexing group might just have what it takes to create one of “those” albums themselves.

They offers visions of both Gutterball mainman Steve Wynn’s Highway 61 fetish and of CVB (circa 1984) aping Jim Morrison’s most theatrical flights of Brecht-ian fantasy. By the time you’re hit dead on with a Sgt. Pepper-worthy bridge (complete with pounding tack piano, almost-clean Fender guitars and cascading vocal harmonies), you’re drowning in a swirl of full-on throwback psychedelia.

Imagine Franz Ferdinand covering Piper At The Gates of Dawn. Then go see this band and yell at me later if I’m wrong. Tues., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.
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Jim Reed

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Connect Today 12.10.2016

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