Noteworthy shows this week 

Oteil Burbridge & The Peacemakers

This Broughton St. eatery ups the ante for live entertainment by hosting another nationally-known act. Bassist, vocalist and band leader Burbridge is a true legend in the jam-band community, having been in many of the most notable and influential such groups in the past few decades.

A notoriously rock-solid groove player and facile improviser (not to mention scat singer), he’s held down the bottom end for the seminal Aquarium Rescue Unit, Warren Haynes’ monster combo Gov’t Mule, and —for the past decade— superstar road dogs The Allman Brothers Band, in addition to leading his own group and working on projects with Phish’s Trey Anastasio and God Street Wine. Burbridge, who considers himself “a funk player with strong jazz and Latin influences,” recently called this lineup of The Peacemakers (featuring drums, guitar and keyboards) “the best ever.” Expect a night of baddass, rump-shaking R & B-inspired rock explorations — but get their early for the best view, as it’s difficult to actually see the stage from more than a few rows back. Sat., 10 pm, Locos (downtown) 18+.

Buddy Greene & Jeff Taylor

Luthier to the stars Randy Wood presents another evening of top-shelf acoustic string music, with this Nashville area duo. Greene was born and raised in Macon, and played in a succession of regional pop, folk, rock and bluegrass bands before being asked to join legendary guitarist, showman (and Snowman) Jerry Reed’s road band, where he’d remain for almost half a decade. He’d later release several Christian albums under his own name and tour for ten years with The Gaithers as an ace harmonica player with the ability to blow complex fiddle lines and melodies on what is commonly dismissed as a novelty or “blues-only” instrument.

His release Rufus, found him joined by a Who’s Who of country and rock sessioners, including Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Chuck Leavell and Byron House, and was named one of the Top 10 Bluegrass Albums of 2002 by the Chicago Tribune. His latest CD Happy Man continues in that mold. On tour, Taylor accompanies Greene on accordion, keyboard, mandolin, bouzouki, penny whistle and assorted percussion instruments. Call 748-1930 to charge $20 adv. tix. Fri., 7:30 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale) – ALL-AGES.

Malcolm Holcombe

Appreciate the raw, unfiltered emotion of Townes Van Zandt or Skip Spence? Desperate to find an artist who reliably brings everything to bear when they step out on the stage? Curious to see what sort of player a Grammy-winning modern folk and alt.country icon like Lucinda Williams has cited as a personal hero?

Straight-up one of the finest and most affecting singer-songwriters in the U.S. today, this hardscrabble, maniacally gifted guitarist and deeply personal lyricist from the N.C. mountains is criminally unknown to most. However, those who live for the kind of passionate, mesmerizing connections that can only be made between attentive audiences and piercing, otherworldly talents should make a beeline to this gig. Most everyone I’ve ever turned on to Malcolm has walked away a proselytizing convert — intent on spreading the gospel of this quiet man’s unique and irrepressible musical take on humanity. The rest? Well, some folks just can’t seem to receive even the most solid of senders. Still, you’d have to be wearing a tin-foil hat not to be touched resolutely and deeply by this artist’s unflinching intensity.

“Sometimes on stage you get so deep into a song that you kinda dissolve away into the song itself,” Holcombe told me once — adding: “If I can roll around some thoughts between someone else’s ears, that’s all I can really hope for.” Jump into his fire, and get burned by (and for) the best. Fri., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean – ALL-AGES.

King of Prussia

Along with rock, pop and Americana acts like The Winter Sounds, The Whigs, Modern Skirts and Ken Will Morton, these truly buzz-worthy psychedelic alt.rockers (with a strong pop sensibility) are helping to redefine and push the famed Athens underground music scene into the 21st Century. Simultaneously dreamy and straightforward, they turned their back on a promising major label deal to become the flagship band of the newly reconstituted ultra-indie hometown Kindercore imprint (previously home to such lauded, left-of-center artists as Japancakes, Dressy Bessy and Of Montreal). Acknowledged influences such as The Magnetic Fields and Belle & Sebastian shine through in their recorded work. You can hear a full gig from this past January online at www.gpb.org/public/radio/index.jsp?pcode=streaming) With rising local electro-pop act Unsolved Mysteries (whose quirky, synth-heavy efforts deserve more notoriety). Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean – ALL-AGES.

Peter Tavalin & Friends

Almost since the Mansion on Forsyth Park opened a few years back, keyboardist Pete Tavalin has been a regular attraction in both their piano bar and in “Casimir’s Lounge”, the top-floor hang that features live jazz, blues and funk several nights a week. A noted jazzer and established composer who also specializes in improvised scores to silent films, Tavalin is leaving Savannah on Friday, and in honor of his tenure, a handful of notable players on our jazz scene will sit in with him and his talented vocalist partner, the L.A. transplant Claire Frazier. Look for larger-than-life cabaret singer Roger Moss, bassist David Keller, violinist Ricardo Ochoa and other local luminaries to add their own stamp to “A Farewell to Pete.” Thurs., 8 pm, Mansion on Forsyth Park.

Josh Turner

With three smash LPs under his belt, this C&W sensation is one of the most notable country stars on the scene today. The Platinum-selling 30-year-old baritone from Hannah, S.C., has found equal success in the religious music field as well, as his inspirational songs have been embraced by Contemporary Christian radio. Known for #1 hits like “Your Man” and “Would You Go With Me”, the Grammy-nominated (Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Album, 2006) singing guitarist’s star status and peer respect were cemented when Vince Gill inducted him into the Grand Ole Opry a few weeks back. $29.50 - $32.50 at www.etix.com or call 651-6556. Fri., 8 pm, Johnny Mercer Theater.

Charles Wadsworth & Friends

This third show of The Savannah Concert Association’s 2007-2008 season features the acclaimed talents of pianist Jeremy Denk, violinist Soovin Kim, and cellist Edward Arron. They’ll perform chamber works including Bach’s Sonata in D Major (transposed to cello and piano), Ives’ Sonata No. 2 for Violin & Piano, Liszt’s Rhapsody Espagnole for Solo Piano, and Dvorak’s Trio in F minor for Piano, Violin & Cello, Opus 65.

As always, their series is hosted by the noted, award-winning pianist and pioneering classical music promoter Wadsworth, known for helming Spoleto’s chamber music series and for his 20 seasons of performing at Lincoln Center.

For more info on the rest of the season and discounted admission for music teachers and students: www.savannahconcertassociation.com. $35 - $12.50 at www.lucastheatre.comor call 525-5050. Sat., 8 pm, Lucas Theatre.


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Jim Reed

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