How good are these minor legends of the Athens, Ga. music scene? If you enjoy no-bullshit roots-rock and roll with a Stonesy swagger that comes from within and not from endless hours in front of a full-length mirror, they’re extraordinarily good. Frontman and principal songwriter Daniel Hutchens has been called “the Mark Twain of rock & roll” by no less than Capricorn Records founder Phil Walden, and that unusual compliment gives you an idea of the singing guitarist’s lyrical bent.
That flair certainly connected with the folks in Widespread Panic, who’ve chosen to record and release covers of three of the band’s songs and often play other Bloodkin originals in concert. Their version of the radio favorite “Can’t Get High,” even cracked the Top 30 on Billboard’s AOR Charts. This band goes through periods of relative inactivity, but now they’re back and seem to be on a roll, with a string of dates and a slot at this year’s Austin, Tx. music industry showcase South By Southwest. So don’t miss this chance to dig ‘em up close and personal. This laid-back eatery is bringing in jam, roots and neo-Southern rock bands, and may just wind up becoming the hippest hang on the island.
BloodkinListen & Learn: myspace.com/bloodkinmusicWhere: Terrapin Station (Tybee)When: Saturday, 9pm
The first local show in years from this Nashville-based band that's been plying their unique brand of so-called "stomp music" for ages, both on major and DIY labels. They blend equal parts roots-rock, bluegrass, country and percussion-heavy worldbeat with an almost messianic fervor. It's won them a sizable, devoted international cult following, but their approach isn't for everyone. Some will see it as out-sized and bombastic, yet those who dig it simply can't get enough. They're known for giving their all in sweat-soaked shows that blur the line between progressive acoustic music and soulful, U2-style anthemic rock. Listen & Learn: bonepony.com. Sat., 10 pm, Wild Wing Café (free 21+ show).
Every once in a while, this funky restaurant and bar on Lazaretto Creek hosts some sort of all-day music-related festival, but this one may be their biggest curveball yet. Organized by the groundbreaking Dope Sandwich Productions (a positive-leaning, alternative hip-hop and funk posse of DJs, rappers and musicians that's done more to change the way our community views urban music —for the better— than anyone in the past two decades), it features 14 hours of live rap, funk, modern R & B, reggae, ska-punk (and even "Death Pop" courtesy of DIY indie-rocker Pink Kodiak). Bands and artists represented include Street Circus Symphony, Jon Doe, Kid Syc, The Co-Workers, Knife, Basik Lee, Zone D, Righteous, Lyrix and Blue Collar. If you've never availed yourself of the local hip-hop scene because you were wary of the thuggish aspects of much of the music coming out of the C-Port, give this show a try. Dope Sandwich is on an inclusive and easygoing tip — which is drawing friendly folks of all races, creeds and backgrounds. Plus, it's a restaurant, which means it's open to ALL-AGES. Booyah, VJ. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/dopesandwichmusic. $5 for 21+, $8 for minors.
Sun., 12 noon - 2 am, Café Loco (Tybee) - ALL-AGES.
Though actual tickets to the Widespread Panic shows at the Johnny Mercer have been gone for weeks now, there's still time to plan where you'll head when the house lights come up and you've yet to have your fill of soulful, vaguely Southern rock and jam. Area bars and restaurants are hoping to grab some massive spillover business by booking acts with some genuine connection to the Athens icons (in hopes of course that some or all of Panic will eschew sleep to show up and sit in).
Tuesday night, Locos welcomes Aquarium Rescue Unit and H.O.R.D.E. Tour co-founder Col. Bruce Hampton with his latest project The Quark Alliance with opening act Sherman Ewing & The Hoodoo Revival (Ewing's a rising NYC songwriter who's recorded with Panic's JoJo Hermann and Dylan drummer George Recile, among others), while a few blocks away on River St., Live Wire's got Col. Bruce's last band The CodeTalkers, now solely fronted by Savannah's own amazing jazz/funk/rock/fusion guitarist and vocalist Bobby Lee Rodgers. Tybee siblings (ex-Nashville) Kurtis & Kody open with a set of guitar and percussion-based folk-pop. Finally, the Wild Wing presents local Southern roots-pop combo WormsLoew (who's touring more frequently of late), a group which features Panic bassist Dave Schools' brother. Which After-Party will reign supreme? Listen & Learn: colbruce.com, shermanewing.com, thecodetalkers.com, myspace.com/kurtisandkody, myspace.com/wormsloew.
All shows start at approximately 11 pm.