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The Rail Pub’s 10th Anniversary Luau w/Dash Rip Rock

It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire decade since this tiny, darkwood boozehall opened its doors. Tucked into a narrow, two-story space on Congress Street a stone’s throw from Vinnie Van Go-Go’s, and within sight of the sorely missed 606 Café (Michael Brown, how could you?), the brainchild of owners Trina Brown and Melissa Swanson has become a favorite watering hole for an unusually wide variety of locals and tourists.

For this public celebration of their ongoing success in a notoriously tough business, Brown and Swanson are throwing a Low Country Luau, complete with complimentary grub while it lasts (Hawaiian Burgers and Teriyaki chicken kabobs), Polynesian libations, free shots to the first hundred folks to buy drinks, free T-shirts, and a midnight raffle for a locally custom-shaped long board.

At 10 pm, they’ll somehow shoehorn infamous Louisiana roadhouse semi-stars Dash Rip Rock into their upstairs area, and that’s when all hell’s bound to break loose.

A terrific alt.rockabilly power trio that’s been keepin’ it between the ditches for twenty years (and that’s no lie), DRR has toured with everybody from Southern Culture On The Skids to The Reverend Horton Heat and The Supersuckers.

They put on a wild, liquor-fueled live show that’s one part Cowboy Mouth (that notorious group features DRR’s original drummer), one part Bottle Rockets (they were doing the alt.country thing long before those Midwestern icons), and one part Dead Kennedys (they’ve dropped albums on the pioneering Bay Area indie punk label Alternative Tentacles).

The group used to be a regular draw here back in the heyday of the glorious Night Flight Café, but they haven’t graced our city in years, so there’s bound to be plenty of thinning, grey hair in The Rail for this shindig. Anyone who’s interested in seeing what a killer, hard-livin’, down and dirty, old-school indie band looks like won’t want to miss this show. Plus, there’ll be plenty of leis.

Food is served starting at 5:30 pm. Dig it. Fri., 10 pm (live show), The Rail Pub.

Jake Landers & The Southern Strangers

A repeat engagement by one of the most beloved and respected names in the old-school bluegrass world, this intimate show is led by a former member of both The Dixie Gentlemen and The Blue Ridge Mountain Boys (!) who’s been been playing guitar since the early ‘50s with cats like the late, great Vassar Clements and dobro genius Tut Taylor. He’s written many songs which have become standards, including “Walk Softly On This Heart of Mine” which was a major crossover country hit for The Kentucky Headhunters.

There aren’t many artists of this man’s caliber left who still hit the road, so if you fancy yourself a bluegrass fan, you won’t miss this great opportunity to see a true sensation backed by some of the finest pickers in his home state of Alabama.

Tickets are only $15 at the door, and can be charged in advance by calling 748-1930. This show may sell out, so check first before leaving home. Sat., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (Bloomingdale).

Tybee Beach Music Festival

This is the second year in a row that Sounds of The South Productions has put on a massive (by Tybee standards) outdoor music festival on the North Beach “in the shadow of the lighthouse.” The 2005 incarnation finds plenty of beer, food and (hopefully) beautiful weather, not to mention all the live shag, boogie, pop and country you can shake a glowstick at.

Friday night’s lineup starts at 7:30 pm, and includes Jive Train, Heather Lutrell, and Liquid Ginger. Saturday, things get underway at 12 noon, and for one low price you can catch sets by Jive Train, The Drifters, The Tams, The Embers, Heather Lutrell, Mustang Sally, and regional C & W favorites The Kinchafoonee Cowboys.

Lawn chairs are allowed but outside food and drinks are not. There will be shuttle buses running from nearby parking lots. Two-day and one-day passes are on sale now at the Tybee Market IGA, and the Savannah Civic Center Box Office. Charge them at (800) 351-7469 or www.tybeeislandfestival.com. Fri., 7:30 pm - 11 pm & Sat., 12 noon - 11 pm.

"Summer Sweat Tour" w/Keith Sweat, et al

“New Jack City was a long time ago,” cracked comedian Chris Rock during his latest HBO standup special, and the film that helped launch his career is about as old as the New Jack Swing movement it was named for. In the ‘80s, Keith Sweat was one of the biggest stars of that R & B sub-genre, with hits like "Don't Stop Your Love," "Make You Sweat," and "Merry Go Round." Yet, he’s still on the circuit, and is touring behind a new LP. He headlines this package tour which also features hot Caribbean funk/soca sensations Elvis White, and K-Ci & Jo-Jo. Sat., 8 pm, The Johnny Mercer Theatre.

Blues & BBQ Party w/Bottles & Cans

A few weeks back, this historic American Legion Post inaugurated their new monthly Sunday Night Concert Series, to overwhelming success.

Apparently, its organizers (The Sons of The American Legion) were right: there are plenty of folks eager to find something fun and music-related to do downtown on Sunday nights, which – except for a few scattershot restaurant gigs here and there – has traditionally been something of a mission impossible.

The first installment of these 21+ events found The Jimmy Wolling Band laying down traditional and progressive bluegrass, while the crowd danced, drank and scarfed down Memphis-style barbecue from Angel’s (a brand-new take-out joint profiled in last week’s edition of Connect).

However, the turnout was so much greater than expected that all the food was gone within thirty minutes of the dinner bell. This time out, Angel’s is back to provide a sit-down meal of smoked pork, slaw, beans and Creole gumbo, and one assumes there will be enough to last.

Live music comes courtesy of Bottles & Cans, one of the only local electric blues bands to intentionally avoid the more glitzy and showy trappings of that feel-good genre. Their lineup of guitar, bass, drums and mouth harp is more closely aligned to the gutbucket ethos of such famed juke-joint kings as the late R.L. Burnside and Hound Dog Taylor than the slick, urban approach of Robert Cray or Bobby Bland.

The lounge opens at 5 pm, food is served at 6 pm, and the band plays from 6:30 pm till 9:30 pm. $5 cover, $7.50 dinners, and all proceeds go to benefit local charities. Sun., 6 pm, American Legion Post #135 (1108 Bull St.).


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Jim Reed

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