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Jekyll Island's 30th Annual New Year's Bluegrass Festival

It's interesting to note that a few days ago, Savannah's Coastal Jazz Association  celebrated their Thirtieth Annual Christmas Day Concert and Jam Session, and here we have another extremely long-running musical event that also focuses solely on one of America's only truly indigenous art forms.

When Bill Monroe first created this hopped-up, improvisatory hybrid of country, gospel and mountain music in the 1940s, he might have found it hard to imagine that now, some six decades later, there would be literally thousands of artists worldwide who have devoted their lives to this extremely technical style of acoustic picking, and millions of listeners who not only swear by the music itself, but pledge allegiance to the bluegrass lifestyle ; a relaxed, reverent attitude that (if one were to try and describe it in basic terms) focuses on homespun values, a strong work ethic, and compassion for one's fellow man.

This three-day event about an hour-and-a-half drive from here features some of the biggest names in the genre, and is sure to thrill those from seven to seventy.

Thursday's lineup includes Audie Blaylock & Redline, The Steep Canyon Rangers, The Primitive Quartet, The Larry Stephenson Band, The James King Band, and Nothin' Fancy.

Friday's lineup includes Williams and Clark Expedition, The Gary Waldrep Band, TheÊVillage Singers, Bobby Osborne and The Rock Top X-Press, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, and Pine Mountain Railroad.

Saturday brings The Carolina Road Band, The Bluegrass Brothers, The

Cherryholmes Family, The Josh CroweÊBand, The Lewis Family, Jesse McReynolds and the Va Boys, and a ninety-minute set from living legends Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. At 11:45 pm, all the bands will join together onstage to ring in the New Year.

Tickets are very reasonably priced, considering the staggering amount of talent on hand. Grab them in advance online at www.aandabluegrass.com. Thurs. - Sat., starting at 12 pm each day, Jekyll Island Convention Center.

Industrial Resurrectionw/DJ Copper Top

Formerly known as DJ Duracell (can we say possible infringement issues?), this female turntablist has gone by this catchy moniker since 2003. She's been spinning wax and promoting club events since rave heyday of the early '90s, but for the last decade, she's been deep into the darkwave and synthpop scenes.

She specializes in beatmatching, and runs her sets more like an electronica artist than a typical club DJ. She's put out four different mix CDs on a variety of underground labels, including her own, and has played shows in over fifty cities in six different countries. For this special

engagement, she'll share the decks with local DJ Pimpsatan.

This weekly event is normally hosted by award-winning local DJ Shrapnel. It is billed as the "premiere techno-gothic-industrial dance party" in the area, and provides a singular outlet for fans of manic, grinding, and mesmerizing underground dance music. Thurs., 10 pm, Club One. 

Unpersons, Two Days of Freedom

This double-bill of unapologetic metalcore and melodic, scream-heavy punk provides a nice encapsulation of everything folks seem to like about the so-called "Savannah Sound."

I say so-called, because most of the locally-based bands of this type who've followed in the wake of the city's pioneers of abrasive and brutal rock have in some way or another either aped or collaborated with musician and producer Phil Cope. As bassist for the increasingly high-profile act Kylesa and Damad before that, he's been at the forefront of developing a mood, tone and production technique that has won his own groups a worldwide following, and those newbies he works with a certain imprimatur.

However, the funniest part about the "Savannah Sound" is that it's always captured at a studio in Columbia, South Carolina!

Both the Unpersons (who tour nationwide) and Two Days of Freedom (who have yet to hit the road as hard) offer up their own unique takes on the loud/louder and scary/scarier variants of their chosen genres ; but within that sometimes overpoweringly similar rubric, they moods they create are quite different from one another.

Unpersons' cacophony invokes nightmarish vistas of distorted guitars and maddening rhythmic structures that practically beg the listener for submission to a vision of morbid distress and despair.

Two Days of Freedom used to be known as Roswell, and while they don't care much for being tagged with the emo/screamo bit, in some respects they do fly that flannel. Their blistering and frenetic punk definitely shows the influence of melodic pop, but cracks a whip and packs a punch. Their latest release (a split seven-inch with fellow locals The Bricks on ultra-indie Hyperrealist) has been getting high marks for its fresh take on an established format. Fri., 10 pm, The Jinx. w 


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Jim Reed

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