A rare local set by this terrific, Columbia, S.C. indie-rocker turned swinging, jazzy Americana chanteuse who made a name for herself in the early ‘90s as frontperson for both Lay Quiet Awhile and later The Tantrums. Before long, Howle was touring with the Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco and the late Elliot Smith, as well as playing second stage at some Lilith Fair dates. Blessed with a great set of pipes and a captivating lyrical sensibility, she’s a risk-taking artist who’s skirted with mainstream notoriety, but like so many other talented, unique singer/songwriters, that sort of public acclaim has escaped her. Regardless, she’ puts on great shows and —given her current bag—fans of everyone from Lucinda Williams to Kelly Hogan to the Squirrel Nut Zippers should check this gig out. Listen & Learn: www.myspace.com/daniellehowle. Thurs., 6 pm, Wild Wing Café.
Billed as one of the hottest new bluegrass acts on the circuit today, this amalgam of ace acoustic pickers and vocalists —some of whom have worked together for over three decades— includes mandolin whiz Alan Bibey. This marks a return engagement for the group at this cozy, 100-seat listening room just a short drive from Savannah. There’s no smoking or alcohol allowed inside this wonderful venue (which is completely unique in our area), so both young and old alike can focus on nothing save the beautiful music. For $25 advance tix call 748-1930 or see www.randywoodguitars.com. Fri., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale) - ALL-AGES.
The last time this jazz star-in-waiting played this small Broughton St. bar and venue, it was most intriguing to catch the rhythmic similarities between how he approaches the vibraphone and how he plays the traps (his main instrument when backing legends like pianist Marcus Roberts). The youngest sibling of Wynton, Branford and Delfeayo, he’s every bit as talented as those established players, and if anything, even more intuitive. That sense of risk-taking comes through in his unpredictable melodic phrasing and off-kilter punctuation on this notoriously unwieldy instrument. His backing group is top-shelf as well. You’ll dig watching him iron the wrinkles out of this new suit. Listen & Learn: www.myspace.com/jasonmarsalis. $20 cover. Fri. - Sat., 8 pm, Kokopelli’s.
This area songstress splits her time between the Low Country and Music City, USA, where she’s a regular face at famed acoustic showcase venues like The Bluebird and the Douglas Corner Café. She’s independently released a number of impressive CDs filled with soulful and immensely personal takes on blues and pop-based ballads, laments and light folk-rock numbers tinged with gospel and smooth jazz — all of which feature her impressively expressive vocals). Most of her shows find her alone at the keyboard or joined by one or more talented friends on guitar or bass. Listen & Learn at:www.myspace.com/1janspillane. Fri., 7 pm, Café Ambrosia.
Currently there are three notable local film societies: The Reel Savannah Film Group regularly shows new foreign and indie flicks at the Victory Square Stadium 9 and the Jepson’s auditorium; the Psychotronic Film Society screens all manner of cult, foreign and indie films each Wednesday at The Sentient Bean Coffeehouse; and the Savannah Film Society sporadically offers a variety of classic and first-run movies at the Lucas Theatre.
The SFS’ latest attraction is ‘Tis Autumn - The Search for Jackie Paris. Made by the Oscar-nominated Raymond De Felitta, it traces the mysterious life of the late jazz vocalist (who worked with the likes of Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Charles Mingus and others) Combining archival footage, unreleased recordings and exclusive interviews, the movie (screened at Sundance) is called a fascinating window into the legendary NYC jazz scene of the ‘40s and ‘50s. $8 for the public, $6 for seniors and military or $4 with SCAD ID or a Savannah Music Fest ticket stub or pass. Sun., 7:30 pm, Lucas Theatre.
This “celebration of the music and spirit of U2” is pretty damn impressive. They use the same type of gear found at the official gigs, and most of this band’s members bear more than a passing resemblance to their more famous counterparts — especially “Bono.” How close do they come to approximating that dense arena-rock sound in a small club? Well, U2’s people hired the band to play VIP parties at several stops along their 2005/2006 Vertigo Tour. Video at: www.myspace.com/VertigoU2tribute. 11 pm, Locos (downtown).