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Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows 

Rachael Sage ***

With a growing international following for her exquisitely arranged and beautifully performed original, melodic, piano-based pop, a brand-new album (Chandelier) mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Kevin Killen (who’s been behind the boards for some of Elvis Costello’s best albums of the past 20 years), and featuring backing musicians who’ve recorded with the likes of Coldplay and Cyndi Lauper), this buzzworthy songwriter is one to watch.
click to enlarge Rachael Sage
  • Rachael Sage

She mostly tours solo in this part of the country, because that’s about the only way an indie act of this sort can stay afloat, and this return to Savannah is —believe it or not— free. She’ll just pass the hat like in the old days. Anyone interested in seeing what many perceive to be a star on the rise in about as laid-back a setting as one might imagine should consider catching this up close and personal gig. Listen & Learn: rachaelsage.com. Free with a suggested donation. Thurs., 9 pm, Metro Coffee House - ALL-AGES.


Oicho Kabu, The Floorboards, Aux Arc

Lately, Savannah has seen its fair share of adventurous triple-bills, and this time it’s a trio of ultra-indie regional acts on the fringe of the rock, psych, pop and anti-folk genres. Headliners Oicho Kabu (sax, cello, viola, bass, drums, guitar) hail from Charleston. Their multi-lingual lyrics augment an eclectic sound they describe as a mix of late-’70s British doom-dance (think Factory Records) and the Northeast’s seminal, low-fi cassette label K Records.The Floorboards is the name of local Paul M. Goerner’s one-man pop project based around natural soundscapes, looped and sequenced samples of his own original music and found-sound recordings. He’s kicking off his first tour and will soon release a full-length debut. Aux Arc is the stage name of Savannah resident Marshall Trotter, who draws sparse psychedelic folk from just an acoustic guitar and applied electronic effects. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/oichokabu,myspace.com/thefloorboardz, myspace.com/sundaesailor. Sun., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.


Sleepy Horses ***

Described pithily (and aptly) by one journalist as “West Texas Yo La Tengo”, this Athens-based ( by way of Lubbock) trio’s sprawling, dreamlike melange of atmospheric electric guitar soundscapes and alt.country influences is both mesmerizing and invigoratingly gloomy. It helps to know that frontman Nic Goodson claims to have been certified dead in a hotel room in late 2006, only a week into the band’s first major tour. After being revived and enduring a long recuperation, he’s reformed the group with a new lineup and a renewed sense of purpose. Lubbock pals Thrift Store Cowboys open with a set of sensual, violin and pedal steel guitar-infused Americana that some term “gypsy desert music” and one reviewer likened to an imaginary soundtrack for “an Italian bisexual porn Western”. Laws have mercy. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/sleepyhorses, myspace.com/thriftstorecowboys. Fri., 11 pm, The Jinx.


Jack Williams

This off-the-beaten path venue near Pooler is a hidden gem in our area — a smoke and alcohol free acoustic listening room with a shallow, small stage, great little PA system and just enough room for about 100 folks of ALL-AGES to enjoy bluegrass, country, folk, blues and even jazz music in an environment that’s respectful to both the audience and the performers. Owner Randy Wood is a famed mandolin and guitar maker who’s known around the world for finely crafting sweet-sounding instruments by hand, and those connections allow him to book internationally acclaimed artists such as John Jorgenson, Doyle Lawson, David Bromberg and others for special, intimate shows. Although he may not be a household name, this Columbia, S.C.-based singer/songwriter’s nuanced tenor vocals and exemplary guitar skills have made him something of a musician’s musician.

Of late, he’s toured extensively with the legendary Mickey Newbury (writer of numerous country hits), and opened for the likes of Dar Williams, Guy Clark and Kevin Welch. Regardless of his profile in the mainstream, I’m assured by those who saw him the first time he was here that this is a show not to be missed. Listen & Learn: jackwilliamsmusic.com. $20 adv. tix at randywoodguitars.com or 748-1930. Fri., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale) - ALL-AGES.

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Jim Reed

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