NEED INSPIRATION in the new year? Break the creative ice this weekend by checking out two singer-songwriter showcases. Both First Friday for Folk Music and the Savannah Songwriters Series offer original music in a quiet, listening room environment.
First Friday for Folk Music features Alice Rye and Jeff Beasley.
A Savannah resident since 2011, Alice Rye performed with her husband, Albert Williams, in the duo Alice and Albert; the couple toured across the country performing their unique takes on folk and country music.
Alice and Albert played First Friday in 2012; sadly, Williams passed away in 2013. Rye, a guitarist and singer-songwriter, carries on the tradition in her return to the eclectic evening of song, as Chris Desa will contribute guitar and vocals to songs that Williams loved to play.
Jeff Beasley is a Savannah native. Alongside bassist Mike Perry, Beasley is a multi-tasker, drumming, playing guitar, and singing all at once. Their blend swamp-steeped blues entertains audiences in all manner of venues downtown; it will be refreshing to see in it in a listening room environment.
On Sunday, head to Johnny Harris for the Savannah Songwriters Series. Thomas Oliver hosts the monthly showcase of regional talent.
St. Petersburg-based Dean Johansen returns for a second SSS performance. Fans of Velvet Caravan and story-driven songwriting will enjoy his narrative gypsy jazz style as he brings the tales of the prohibition era to life (appropriate in the environment--Johnny Harris allegedly was a secret drive-thru package store when the nation was dry).
Augusta’s Rick Williamson has penned hits for the likes of Kenny Chesney and Engelbert Humperdinck. He brings his impressive songbook to SSS for the first time.
It’s a bittersweet return for Kyrsten Roseman of hard-gigging Savannah folk family duo The Rosies: the sisters will be moving home to Nashville in March.
“We will be plugging into the songwriting scene heavily,” says Roseman. “Open mics at The Bluebird Café, writer’s rounds, co-writing with other artists. We are hoping this could be a backdoor way of getting signed.”
The Rosies are gearing up to release an LP, Efflorescence.
“This project represents change, growth, and blossoming, hence the title,” Roseman explains.
The new album, recorded with a full band, is a mix of old and new songs spanning seven years.
“The newer material has maturity to it only found by exploring different thoughts and feelings as you age,” says Roseman
This marks Roseman’s third time at SSS. “I really find so much joy in these rounds,” she says. “I love that people show up to hear originals — not covers. Their ears are perked, eyes are wide with anticipation, and listening intently at the lyrics you’ve poured hours into. It’s incredibly gratifying and most humbling.”
First Friday for Folk Music
First Presbyterian Church
Friday, January 2, 7:30 p.m., $5 suggested donation
Johnny Harris Restaurant
Sunday, January 4, 6 p.m., free