New Years Rockin Highlights 2006 

OK, by now everyone’s heard about the poor timing of New Year’s Eve celebrations this year, and the tsooris it’s causing bar and club owners, right?

Well, in case you haven’t — here’s the deal: Because the holiday falls on a Sunday this year, and Georgia is one of the last states in the U.S. with so-called “Blue Laws” on the books banning alcohol sales on the Christian sabbath, you’ve got to be a bona-fide restaurant to pour any beer, wine or cocktails to help ring in 2007.

That means most pubs, taverns, music clubs, etc... can’t legally open their doors on December 31 this year, which is putting no small crimp in their bottom lines.

As of press time, a compromise was in the works, which might allow them to be open from exactly one minute after midnight on January 1 till 3:30 am (rather than the usual 3 am), but that’s an awful lot of hassle to go through for a few hours’ worth of sales.

Still, there’s no shortage of live musical  entertainment being offered around town this year, and while the following is by no means a definitive list, it does include all the events we’d been made aware of by our editorial deadlines.

Hopefully there’s a little something here for everyone. Reservations are recommended (if not required) for most of these shows, so the sooner you pursue the one that speaks the most to you, the better your chance of scoring entry.

Please remember — even if you choose not to imbibe this weekend, be most careful on the roads. If you do drink, make sure you give your keys to someone sober, or better yet, call a cab. That’s what they’re there for, and I’m sure with gas prices the way they are, every taxi driver in the greater Savannah area could use the business...

Now, if you’re looking for a cool night of jazz, Savannah’s newest jazz club, Kokopelli’s on Broughton St. has a great lineup of buzzworthy vibraphonist Christian Tamburr’s Quartet, featuring their special guests local trumpet prodigy Alex Nguyen and James Brown’s legendary trombonist Fred Wesley! The sets start at 7 pm.

Guitar Bar has local jazz bassist Carlos Rivera & Friends at 10 pm, and The Jazz Corner supper club on Hilton Head welcomes The Noel Friedline Quintet for two seatings, at 5 pm, and again at 8:30 pm.

Blues fans can choose between The Jeff Beasley Band’s 9 pm show of blues, old-time rock & roll and twangy originals at Jazz’d Tapas Bar, or Deep Blue 3’s 10 pm gig at the Mercury Lounge made up of standards and contemporary numbers covering the Delta, Chicago and Texas strains of electric blues. Bottles & Cans offer up their unique blend of psychedelic swing, jump and garage-band boogie at The Mansion on Forsyth Park at  9 pm.

On the funk tip, The Savannah Soul Project (formerly known as Red Eye Jedi) lays down a horn-enhanced groove at Murphy’s Law Public House on Congress St. near City Market, while A Nickel Bag of Funk plays plenty of choice old-school hits at Broughton St.’s Tantra Lounge.

“World Famous” DJ Sam Diamond will spin popular hits at Doubles in the midtown Holiday Inn, while fans of serious electronica should gravitate to Il Pasticcio’s Luna Lounge for a 2-level dance party featuring a gaggle of turntablists, including DJB, Terry Thurston, RelaxedAction, DJ Poison Ivy, N:03, Hamrick and Nick J.

Popular local modern rockers Liquid Ginger mix covers and originals for the 3rd year in a row at the Desoto Hilton from 9 pm on, while Tybee Island’s Christy Alan Band plays rock, soul and pop covers at Fannie’s on The Beach. Roots-rockers The Train Wrecks offer twangy Americana at The Warehouse on River Street, and versatile roadhouse cover band High Velocity tears it up at Spanky’s in Pooler.

Country fans can choose between The Courtenay Brothers Band at the Knights of Columbus Hall downtown on the corner of Liberty and Drayton Sts., and the recently reunited Kim Calhoun & Friends at Pt. Wentworth’s Seagrill (at 7:30 pm).

If you’re looking for acoustic music, Celtic troubadour Harry O’Donoghue will bet at Kevin Barry’s on River St. with his guitar and bodhran, and the traditional folk duo of Bob & Judy Williams serenade the Southside Billiards Club from 9 pm on.

And finally, for those who just can’t choose a genre, Randy “Hatman” Smith plays a mix of beach, boogie and blues at Stingray’s on Tybee, while the Hyatt Regency presents Atlanta Sound, an 8-piece show band with a bizarrely inclusive setlist ranging from Miles Davis to Rascal Flatts! ƒç


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Jim Reed

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