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B.B. King

What really needs to be said about B.B. King that hasn’t been said before?

Not much. It should be noted however, that for anyone who’s been sequestered in a cave of some sort for the past half a century or so, that Mr. King is without a doubt, the single most recognizable figure in the world of blues music – and arguably, one of the most important electric guitarists who’s ever lived.

His stinging, ringing lead lines are instantly recognizable around the world, and while many have done their best to emulate his style, none have yet been able to come close to actually imitating him.

Legendary for his dedication to his craft, as well as his generous nature and artistic spirit, he’s been sought out by poets and princes, paupers and kings.

An inveterate roadhog (he still performs well over 100 dates a year, despite failing health and the ravages of time), he’s still sharp as a tack, as is evidenced by the deserved acclaim given his 2000 collaboration with Eric Clapton, Riding With The King.

This show is being billed as part of B.B.’s “80th Birthday Tour,” so, as if it even needs to be said: if you have never enjoyed seeing this incredible performer live in person, do yourself a favor, and catch this show before you wake up one day and realize the thrill is gone for good. Fri., The Johnny Mercer Theater - ALL AGES.

First Friday for Folk Music

This monthly coffeehouse-style ALL-AGES concert series provides family-friendly (read: no smoking and no alcohol) entertainment for young and old alike,a nd is a great way to spend a Friday night.

Sponsored by the Savannah Folk Music Society (who benefits from the suggested $2 donation), it allows local acoustic artists – playing both traditional and original tunes – an opportunity to perform with regional and national acts.

This time around, that includes the classically-trained Pamela Bruner on vocals and Celtic harp, whose known for her lively shows and educational workshops. Also on hand will be Kevin Danzig, who’s known as one half of the celebrated duo Danzig and Wooley. Now pursuing a solo career, he’s been a finalist at many prestigious folk festivals and his entrancing approach (which includes elements of both British and American folk) has been likened to Cat Stevens and Paul Simon, among others.

Rounding out this month’s bill will be Peter Donnelly, who cites singing Canadian poet extraordinaire Leonard Cohen as a main influence, as well as Cohen and Dylan acolyte Greg Brown. his gigs are marked by his whimsical delivery and good humor. Fri., 7:30 pm, Wesleyan Monumental United Methodist Church (429 Abercorn St. on Calhoun Square).

Cory Branan

This buzz-worthy Memphis-based songwriter is on something of a run of late. He’s hitting this intimate coffeehouse as part of a short leg of dates in preparation for a larger tour this Summer to promote his second LP.

His first album, The Hell You Say, received plenty of gushing press and even landed the indie artist on the Letterman show, a full-page feature in Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Hot Issue,” and a spot on Billboard Magazine’s top ten critics’ picks of the year. He's often compared to both John Prine and Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst, which is a heck of a range.

But then again, Branan’s one heck of a songwriter. This may be worth showing up to see what all the fuss is about... Wed., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean.

Captured! By Robots

So, this guy used to be a member of a bunch of established West Coast punk and ska bands (like Skankin’ Pickle). But he was a real jackass. He barely got along with anyone he played with. It seems they could never do things exactly the way he wanted them to.

And they talked back.

So, instead of continuing to search for the right bunch of sidemen, he sat down and put his engineering and computer experience to use. He designed and built a “band” of computer-controlled, pneumatically-driven robots who actually play real instruments.

He plays along with them on humorous punk-tinged songs he wrote, but the party line is that he’s being held captive against his will by the bandmates who heckle him mercilessly throughout the show. It’s a bizarre shtick, but between the amazing accomplishment of the musical robots, and his dedication to this nutty idea, it’s a must-see. “Their” latest album is a rock opera based on the Old Testament, and I’m not kidding. Wed., The Jinx.

Acoustic Showcase Night

Curated and hosted by local tunesmith Lauren Lapointe, this monthly series spotlights unsung acoustic talent from our area, as well as travelling singer/songwriters, in an effort to jumpstart more of a viable local scene for such touring acts.

This month’s showcase features Savannah native John Martin, who besides penning the theme song to the TV show It’s A Miracle, is also the Regional Workshop Coordinator for Nashville Songwriters International.

Also appearing (in addition to Lapointe, who recently released here sophomore effort) will be 18-year-old local emo songstress Megan Garrison, who is just embarking on a solo career, and Jacksonville, Florida’s Jon Murphy – who cites Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young as key influences on his writing style.

Murphy’s songs are practically screaming for the full-on rock band treatment. Many of the arrangements are tailor-made for the dynamic shifts and finishing touches that a muscular backing group could offer. Thurs., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL AGES.

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Jim Reed

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Connect Today 12.09.2016

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