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Jata

One of the best Savannah bands to never quite make good on their promise was A Luta. On the scene close to a decade ago, they were ostensibly a reggae act – yet they exhibited a healthy smattering of other influences as well – from electric Delta blues to Southern soul. This Philadelphia-based combo features A Luta’s erstwhile percussionist Paul “Rootsy” Downie, and in many respects, the two groups share the same M.O.

Downie and co-founder Paul Brion (guitar) display a keen interest in everything from zydeco and Creole rhythms to contemporary acoustic folk music. Brion previously served as the frontman for Philly’s popular roots reggae group The Raucous Brothers, who played the East Coast circuit for two decades.

Jata’s debut album, Dirty Roots, is an above-average collection of hard-grooving material that ranges from straight-up Rasta odes to the sort of laid-back white soul excursions typified by “Under The Bridge”-era RHCP. To date, they’ve opened for such name acts as

Terrence Simien, The Wailers, India.Arie, and Marcia Ball, as both as a duo, and with a full backing group. No word on which format will be on display at this gig. Sun., Riders Lounge (Hilton Head).

Monthly Songwriter Showcase

Curated by local tunesmith Lauren Lapointe (who also serves as a master of ceremonies), this regular event at The Bean brings together touring and regional singer/songwriters for an evening of intimate music and stories. It’s a great opportunity to pick up on artists who otherwise would likely never play our area. This time around, the featured musicians include Arlington Priest, Sam Thacker and Kathy Waters.

Arlington Priest is a married duo (he plays guitar and sings, she just sings). They both have varied musical experience – she used to appear at noted NYC piano cabaret Don’t Tell Mama, for instance. Now based in Decatur, Ga., they have made a name for themselves in just 2 short years, and so far have shared the stage with a number of established acts, such as HEM, Tres Chicas and Ellis Paul. Their musical influences are wide ranging, but the common denominator which runs through all their harmony-laden material is a tangible sense of both heart and soul.

Atlanta guitarist and songwriter Sam Thacker is touring behind a bold new debut CD, Above The Underneath. It’s a lush and romantic collection of in-the-pocket romantic ballads and emotionally-charged declarations that recall the radio-friendly recorded work of Shawn Mullins, John Mayer, Tonic, and Peter Searcy (who guests on the disc).

Kathy Waters is a self-taught acoustic guitarist from right here in Savannah who grew up idolizing folk heroes like Peter, Paul & Mary and Joni Mitchell. An active artist since the late ‘90s, she has recorded two indie CDs with harmony singer and flutist Kate Jacobson, and may be known for the benefit concerts of spiritually-informed material she regularly gives at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church.

This show is free, but donations to the touring artists are greatly appreciated. Thurs., 7:30 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL AGES.

Genghis Tron

This Poughkeepsie, New York grindcore band writes almost incomprehensibly exacting pastiches of industrial noise, blinding guitar fuzz and trip-hop sequencing.

Sound hard to fathom? It is. Just when you think you have an idea of what’s coming next, or where a particularly relaxing melody or groove is headed, a jarring – if not completely incongruous – blast of furious and abrasive metal comes out of nowhere to turn the whole thing on its head.

In an early publicity salvo, the band claimed to be influenced by both Napalm Death and Depeche Mode. However, most bands that make such seemingly ridiculous assertions are trolling for laughs. Not Genghis Tron, whose music truly represents a bizarre merging of these two disparate musical sensibilities. Screaming, atonal vocals and piercing guitar feedback meets burbling synths and Kool Moe Dee beatbox patterns.

Many in the underground music community are viewing this band as one of the first in a long while with the capability to not only make bold artistic strides in the relatively ketonic brutal metal scene – as well as the world of electroclash. I would not be surprised if this challenging, but refreshingly inexplicable group achieves some sort of major success across the board as well. See them now, before they blow up or implode. Fri., The Jinx.

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Jim Reed

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Connect Today 12.04.2016

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