THE MYSTERY THREE HOLIDAY JAM
"I have a lot of pedals that'll make the guitar sound like anything but a guitar," says P-Groove stringbender Brock Butler, "and try to combine them in a unique way that doesn't sound cluttered."
The decidedly uncluttered Mystery Three consists of Butler, his Perpetual Groove drummer Albert Suttle, and keyboard player Matt McDonald, a former member of Perpetual Groove (he left midway through 2008) and still a pal.
That's Butler and McDonald in the photograph.
They're playing at Loco's, which was something of a home base for the group when they were still gigging primarily in Savannah.
Butler started P-Groove while a student at SCAD; he and the band moved to Athens two years ago, where they were more or less the "house band" at the Georgia Theatre until it burned down last summer.
P-Groove is a neo-psychedelic jam band based around Butler's abstract, electronic and improvisational lead lines - as he says, he uses synthesizers, computers and other sound-altering gizmos to produce his distinctive six-string sound.
He plays a lot of solo shows - in fact, he's at the Rye Bar in Athens on Wednesday, Dec. 16 - but the Mystery Three is a relatively new concoction, with a "let's get up there and see what happens" spirit, a bit of a mystery even for a musician who delights in confounding expectations. Listen & learn: www.pgroove.com. At 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17 at Loco's Grill & Pub, 301 W. Broughton St. $8.
SAVANNAH SONGWRITERS IN CONCERT
With a bill that includes Dare Dukes, Jan Spillane and Lauren Lapointe, Savannah's acoustic hierarchy is ably represented at the show, a charity drive for West Broad Street YMCA's Christmas Miracle on May Street program. Eric Britt, Mark Chester and Bill DeYoung (yes, that guy) will also performing. There'll be Savannah-era poets, too, and hopefully, a cozy room-ful of good cheer. At 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17 at the Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave. Admission: A new (or gently loved) unwrapped gift/toy for a child ages infant through teenager (please - no electronics, video games, food, or anything computer-related.)
COL. BRUCE HAMPTON
You say all you want for Christmas is a little Colonel? Your wish is granted, Georgia music fans, as the emperor of eclecticism returns for a full-on show of guitar antics and high-octane rock ‘n' jazz jambandery, with Underhill Rose opening. In the last week, Hampton's opened shows for the Derek Trucks Band, and performed at Warren Haynes' Xmas Jam in Asheville. His band, as far as anyone can tell, is still called the Quark Alliance. One thing's for sure, though, with him on guitar and at the microphone, you won't be disappointed - no matter whoever else is on the stage. Listen & learn: www.bratoganibe.com. At 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at Live Wire Music Hall, 307 W. River St. $10.
SOUTH CAROLINA BROADCASTERS
Vintage Appalachia from Ivy S. Lindley on fiddle, guitar, banjo and vocals, and David Sheppard on guitar, fiddle, and vocals. The Charleston-based acoustic twosome specializes in close harmony, a la the Carter Family, and will occasionally lay down raucous clawhammer-friendly tunes and traditional Cajun two-steps (sung in French, no less.) They dig the Louvin Brothers, which makes them OK in my book, and list the Balfas, Chet Atkins and Washington Phillips among their greatest influences. Listen & learn: www.scbroadcaster.com. At 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19 at Blowin' Smoke BBQ, 514 Martin Luther King Blvd.
OPEN MIC NIGHTS
It seems as if every nightspot in Savannah has at least one evening a week set aside for the non-professionals, those who like to strum a bit of guitar but don’t have an overwhelming desire to make it to Madison Square Garden. The open mic night isn’t just for the amateur, either: Sometimes even the pros like to come out and jam. Either way, it’s usually a nice night out for those of us who get to nuzzle a bewski and enjoy the varieties of music. Among this week’s open mics: Wednesday night at the Wormhole (for poetry and hip hop at 9 p.m.); Wednesday at Tantra Lounge (10 p.m., for singer/songwriters); Thursday at the Wormhole (for everyone, at 9:30 p.m.); Thursday at 9 p.m. at Molly MacPherson’s in Richmond Hill, and at 10 p.m. at the McPherson’s in Savannah); at 7 p.m. Tuesday (hosted by Not Here Now) at the Live Wire Music Hall. And the Eric Culberson Blues Band’s regular blues jam (all electrified and stuff) is every Tuesday night at the Mercury Lounge. We’re planning an upcoming story on open mic nights, so clubowners, if you’ve got such a thing planned for the immediate future, please remember to let us know about it.