Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows 

Louis Ledford

Most songwriters (especially those wielding an acoustic guitar) whose press materials liken their repertoire or delivery to Woody Guthrie’s usually not only disappoint but confuse. In this case, however, it’s an apt characterization.
click to enlarge Louis Ledford
  • Louis Ledford

This touring multi-instrumentalist (guitar, harmonica, banjo, mandolin, fiddle) occasionally exudes the same world-weary bluster integral to much of Guthrie’s appeal, while also channeling a direct approach to songwriting that pulls the listener into his plain sung poetry without crushing its sense of lackadaisical romanticism. Based on his recorded material, there’s good chance for this show to be a memorable booking at this no-frills venue. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/louisledford. Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.

The Beer Parlor Ramblers

Habitués of the Crystal Beer Parlor know that more than a few things have changed since the landmark downtown eatery re-opened a few years back. True, most of their signature dishes are still available, and taste similar to the way they did before the current owners injected their own attitude into the fabled menu, but one of the most noticeable additions to this 1933 restaurant has been Dixieland jazz.

A few nights after Christmas 2003, one of the owners (he’s the drummer) and a few like-minded musicians —who’d reportedly never met before that evening— played in the corner, and out of that show, lasting friendships (as well as a house band) were born. Since that time, they’ve entertained diners on most Friday nights, played private functions, and concerts for the Coastal Jazz Association and the Savannah Jazz Fest. Some may remember them for their high-profile gig on the Savannah Music Fest’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade float a while back.

Now the group (featuring tuba, trumpet, trombone, piano, clarinet, flute, sax and banjo) is heading up the road a piece. Expect an evening of upbeat, toe-tapping acoustic swing and wholesome, old-time humor. Info and $10 Adv. Tix: averittcenterforthearts.org. Sat., 8 pm, The Emma Kelly Theater at the Averitt Center for the Arts (Statesboro) - ALL-AGES.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

For 30 years, this famed N’awlins group have been the premier exponent of Big Easy-style party music. However, their shifting lineups have edged farther from trad N.O. feel-good music to modern funk, soul and even improvisational jam-rock. Sessions and tours with groups like Widespread Panic, The Black Crowes and artists like Elvis Costello, Norah Jones, John Medeski, DJ Logic and Dr. John (all of whom have guested on the DDBB’s albums) have earned them a diverse following worldwide. For this gig at a brand-new 1,000+ capacity showcase venue with top-notch sound and lights, they’ll play two full sets with no opener. Listen & Learn: dirtydozenbrass.com. Adv. Tix: $12 at shorelineballroom.com. Fri., 9:15 pm, Shoreline Ballroom (Hilton Head) - 18+.

Ron Fetner

This irrepressible Appalachian guitarist and singer draws on traditional folk, Southeastern roots music and early jazz to create his own earnest brand of Americana. In the decade since he released his solo debut CD, he’s become a rising star on the U.S. acoustic music circuit — winning the prestigious Kerrville NewFolk Competition and Austin’s Songwriter Group. He was also named a songwriting finalist at Doc Watson’s famed MerleFest.

His latest release, 2008’s Sunday Morning Blue, was tracked informally in his own home studio and features his own snazzy interpretations of tunes he adores playing live in concert, such as “Route 66”. When not playing major events and venues like Fl.’s Gamble Rogers Folk Fest and Nashville’s Bluebird Café, he can be found opening shows for luminaries such as Trisha Yearwood, David Wilcox and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. For this Savannah appearance, Fetner is enlisting local folk society stalwart John Powers to back him on bass. Listen & Learn: ronfetner.com. Tix: $10 or $8 for SFMS members and $5 for children and students. Sat., 8 pm, Montgomery Presbyterian Church (Ferguson Ave. & Shipyard Rd.) - ALL-AGES.


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Jim Reed

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