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Abel, Rawls & Hayes

This Atlanta-based trio (of Ward Abel, Steve Rawls and Sloan Hayes) has just completed their third indie CD, and it’s a winner. Over the course of fourteen songs, the tightly-constructed pop tunes they’re known for seem to be on the verge of sonically bursting at the seams.

Each tune is filled with all manner of production and arrangement flourishes (some subtle, some not so subtle) that betray what must have been a painstaking and arduous recording process. The heart of the band continues to be their meticulous songcraft – an organic-sounding blend of Cat Stevens, early (pre-disco) Bee Gees, and John Prine – but with Flash On A Film, they seem to be flexing their rock muscles a bit more than usual. Sometimes this works and sometimes it comes across as a tad forced, but if you appreciate mature, sincere, guitar-based pop that isn’t aimed at teenagers, you can’t help but be impressed with what ARH has accomplished completely on their own. Fri., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.

Greenbriar Center Benefit featuring The Embers

Members of the South Carolina Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, The Embers represent decades of Southern pop music history. They've opened for the Stones, done commercials for Budweiser, played the ‘96 Olympics and entertained throngs at Bill Clinton's inauguration.

Led by drummer Bobby Tomlinson and billed as The Heart and Soul of Beach Music, they still pack in the crowds after all these years with a dance-oriented mix of R & B and shag tunes by themselves and many of their contemporaries. Proceeds from this annual Cabaret Fundraiser go to support local children who have become victims of abuse, neglect and homelessness.

Tickets can be purchased at Greenbriar Children's Center or the Trustees Theater Box office for $30. For more information please contact Greenbriar Children's Center at (912) 234-3431. Fri., 7 pm, Trustees Theater.

The Yonrico Scott Band

Over the past quarter of a century, drummer and percussionist Yonrico Scott has played with an amazing list of important (and influential) musical artists.

Just to rattle off a few brings to mind a whirlwind of different styles and moods: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis, Jr., The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Mose Allison, Joshua Redman, Gregg Allman, George Benson, Tinsley Ellis, Ray Charles... Yet, despite the obvious differences between each of those performers (and there are many, many more), there is one quality they all share: soul.

Well, okay, maybe not the ASO, but you get my point.

Scott is a phenomenal talent behind the traps, and his calling card is a gift for expressive and inventive improvisation. That’s served him very well since 1995. That’s when he joined The Derek Trucks Band – an association that has brought him more notoriety with the general public than most of his past work put together.

When Derek’s not on the road playing slide guitar in The Allman Brothers Band, Yonrico’s out with him. But, when Derek’s otherwise spoken for, Yonrico splits his time between leading his own group and touring with Earl Klugh.

This two-night stand is being billed as featuring “special guest appearances,” and while one might be tempted to assume that Trucks himself will show, word on the street is that at least one guest will be vocalist Angela Fish, frontwoman for Savannah’s own alt.rock combo Vermillion X.

Regardless of who sits in, the core group of Scott and infamous Atlanta ringers Kofi Burbridge and Todd Smallie will be on hand to lay down plenty of funky, soulful, blues-based grooves until the wee hours. Thurs. - Fri., JJ Cagney’s.

The Howard Paul Trio

The Casimir Lounge in this luxury hotel bordering Historic Forsyth Park has quickly become one of the most important venues in town to regularly present live jazz music.

What is setting this room apart from the (very sparse) competition is a willingness to regularly book both A-list local talent (who usually have to gig elsewhere to be paid what they deserve), and exceptional regional and national acts who happen to be passing through our area. Even more noteworthy is the fact that there’s never a cover charge to get in.

This killer combination has made it a wonderful place for anyone – regardless of social status or bank balance – to catch great live jazz in an upscale environment.

Howard Paul is one such local artist who rarely plays in town. He’s an ace guitarist who uses a custom-made Benedetto instrument. It;s a 7-string variation on a traditional guitar that is notoriously difficult to master, but affords a wealth of creative options simply unattainable on a standard-issue axe. Expect a full evening of challenging, virtuosic improvisation and interpretation from Paul and his all-star group of sidemen. Fri., 9 pm - 1 am, The Mansion on Forsyth Park.

 

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Jim Reed

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