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High Velocity

It used to be that you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a Southern rock band in the greater Savannah area. (No letters to the editor, please. I love cats.)

However for the past decade or so, it;s been relatively slim pickens around here in that regard. (I love Slim Pickens as well.)

High Velocity, however, are flyin’ the flannel as much – if not more – than anyone in recent memory. The band has only been around for a couple of years at most, but in that time have earned plenty of kudos for their reverent take on the swampy, twang-laden genre epitomized by such superstar acts of the 1970s as Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Outlaws, Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet.

It turns out that at least one member of High Velocity, Ray Thomasino, is only one step removed from those heady days: his old (and fondly remembered) area group Bounty Hunter initially formed to back up Molly Hatchet frontman Danny Joe Brown during his brief solo career.

These days, Thomasino and company can be found playing grueling five-hour gigs in roadside bars and clubs that vary from dives to destinations – as well as appearing as a featured act at some of the area’s most notable outdoor festivals throughout the year. If you dig this sort of thing, their mix of tried-and-true covers and promising originals is hard to beat. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, The Silver Dollar Bar & Grill (HWY 204).

“Heat Check” Spoken Word & Music Showcase

Held in the smaller of two rooms (it’s still pretty damn big) at this cavernous Afro-centric nightclub in the warehouse district near Savannah’s Main Post Office, this weekly event is growing in popularity, and has already played host to some of the bigger names on the Southeastern “Def Poetry” circuit, as well as up-and-coming neo-soul singers and songwriters like Anthony David and Van Hunt.

Curated by the outspoken and invigorating Savannah wordsmith RenaZanz, this free series serves as one of the premiere vantage points to from which to both observe – and take part in – our continuously evolving spoken word community. Sat., 9 pm, Club Oz (Indian St.).

1st Friday For Folk Music

One of Savannah’s most consistently entertaining and intriguing concert series, this monthly coffeehouse-style event matches up local acoustic artists with touring regional and national acts in a variety of genres, from contemporary folk and blues, to traditional and Old-Time mountain music, plus Celtic and English balladry.

This time around, the lineup includes: Canada’s Tia McGraff, and Savannah’s Kathy Waters and Mark Giuliano.

McGraff now resides in the songwriting center of the universe, Nashville, Tenn., and has been hailed by the New York Times as “a wonderful singer and an even better person.” She has written and recorded with Randy Bachman, Andrew Gold and Dan Hill. Bachman himself has likened her talent to that of a young Linda Ronstadt.

Waters performs both old and new material (from humorous to inspirational) with accompaniment and vocal harmonies from her partner Linda Combs. Giuliano draws on such artists as Harry Chapin and Cat Stevens for his story-songs, and has received high marks from his previous appearances at First Friday. The show is alcohol, smoke and admission-free, with a suggested $2 donation to the Savannah Folk Music Society. Fri., 7:30 pm, Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church (429 Abercorn St.) - ALL AGES.


Baltimore is home to some of the more accomplished and impressive extreme metal bands, and this new group (out on the road in support of their recently-released debut CD) is one of the best ones you’ll find on the circuit today.

Their crazy-ass chops are put to good use as they plow through demanding rat-mazes of instrumental prog and math-rock with the ferocity of their neighbors MEATJACK. (In fact, legendary MEATJACK guitarist Brian Daniloski is sitting in with the group on this tour, after opening for them with his side-project, DARSOMBRA).

If King Crimson became meth-heads and started chewing their teeth to Helios Creed, this is what they’d sound like. Also appearing will be The 10 1/2, a new local Black Flag Tribute Band. Go see this show. Wed., September 7th, 10 pm, The Jinx.


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Jim Reed

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