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Theresa Andersson

A regional phenom for half a decade in her homebase of New Orleans, this singer/songwriter/violinist is touring in support of her debut CD Shine, which is reaping praise from jazz and roots music critics alike.

The Swedish-born bombshell first came to notoriety as a bandmate of the well-known bluesman Anders Osborne, and did her time in both Nashville and Austin. She is consistently named Best Violinist in New Orleans (no small feat), and recently nabbed Best Female Artist.

What’s most intriguing about Andersson, though, is how she merges a number of disparate elements into one catchy package that does not seem at odds with itself. One can immediately hear snatches of slick, commercial modern pop in her debut album, as well as traces of zydeco and worldbeat – yet at no time does this record resemble a “kitchen sink” approach to a career path.

Shine features a host of top players, including slide guitar master Sonny Landreth. Said one writer, “She’s the most naturally gifted artist I’ve seen in a decade. She plays fiddle like Vassar Clements, sings like Aaron Neville, and writes songs like Carole King.”

While St. Simons makes for a bit of a road trip, this funky live venue near the water is a change of pace from the Savannah club scene. Fri., 10:30 pm, Rafters (St. Simons Island).

Edwin McCain Band

Some of us who’ve lived here for a good while may remember Edwin McCain as the shlub from Hilton Head with the pretty voice and the faded tie-die who played in the corner of hot wing joints for $100 and tips.

The rest of the world, however, knows McCain as a multi-platinum recording artist whose signature songs "I'll Be," "Solitude," and "I Could Not Ask for More," have earned him tons of radio and video airplay.

While it’s true that famed tunesmith Diane Warren actually penned “I Could Not Ask For More,” McCain is no slouch as a writer, and long ago left the shadow of his friends and mentors Hootie & The Blowfish (who helped him land a major-label deal with Atlantic Records, and still use him as a frequent opening act).

His last album, The Austin Sessions, was a stripped-down and primarily acoustic affair that took him back to his roots, but he has lately been collaborating with – of all people – Kid Rock.

The last time he played Savannah, it was at the much larger Trustees Theatre, so fans can expect this to be an intimate and more personal appearance.

This is one of the first live shows to be held in the spacious digs of the Deja Groove dance club, which is hoping to jumpstart a regular Thursday night live music series at the bar.

Can such a thing work in this location?

In the past, local dance clubs that tried to host bands (and vice versa) have always met a bit of an uphill battle, as it seems those trains were never really designed to meet.

However, there is a strong and vocal demand for quality live entertainment in this area right now, and a lack of rooms large enough to hold name bands (and enough folks to pay their asking prices).

Hopefully, these shows will look and sound good. If so, music fans in our area may have much more to look forward to in coming months.

Opening for Edwin will be local songwriter Jason Bible. Tickets will be $12 at the door. Thurs., 8:30 pm, Deja Groove.

Raoul Björkenheim & Lukas Ligeti

A challenging concert that will probably fly under the radar for most folks, but deserves to be seen and heard.

Raoul Björkenheim is an avant-garde electric guitarist from Finland, and Lukas Ligeti is a brilliant modern drummer who’s played with the likes of Henry Kaiser, Elliot Sharp, Michael Manring and Thurston Moore. This duo plays unrehearsed, improvisational instrumental music that is white-hot.

The fact that this show is being presented by violinist Ricardo Ochoa is not surprising. he is a member of the similarly unconventional instrumental combo The Richard Leo Johnson Trio. Fans of that locally-based guitar whiz, take note: Here’s another great example of envelope-pushing mind music. Tues., 8 pm, Starland Center for Contemporary Art (2424 Bull St.).


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Jim Reed

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