Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows 

Mountain Heart ***

Fresh from three major shows opening for Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd, this universally praised bluegrass supergroup returns to the no-frills environs of a 100-seat smoke and alcohol-free acoustic listening room they’ve sold out many times in the past. Known for their amazing vocal harmonies, lightning-fast fretwork and good-natured humor, they truly are one of the shining lights of modern, traditional mountain music — and their exceptional songwriting skills have them crafting tunes that may likely become standards for the next generation of pickers.


Here's a recent music video by the band:


You can watch them on CMT or hear them on the Grand Ole Opry, or you can head out to Randy’s and get close enough to rub shoulders with ‘em. $30 adv. tix while they last at randywoodguitars.com or 748-1930. Listen & Learn: mountainheart.com. Fri., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (Bloomingdale) - ALL-AGES.

Paul Reeves - CD Release

Now based in Atlanta, this Savannah native (and new father) returns for a string of local solo dates in support of his latest indie CD, Winter’s Over — a tremendous leap forward in both recording quality and self-assuredness from his previous three DIY releases. Recorded in Nashville and featuring a studio band of ace players drawn from the ranks of hip singer/songwriters like Matt Wertz and Christian modern rock acts like TobyMac. Slick and radio-friendly, the disc is brimming with Britpop-influenced vocal harmonies, clever wordplay, crisp drumming and atmospheric, layered production. Reeves, who avoids the tag “Christian artist”, does cite spirituality as a key component of his subject matter, and has a long history of church youth leadership (he plays the vast majority of his shows in houses of worship or for related organizations). However, he also books club and bar dates, and there is plenty for non-believers to grab onto in his increasingly nuanced tunes. This show should attract plenty of friends and family.


Here's a fan-shot clip from one of his solo shows:


Listen & Learn: paulreevesmusic.com. Wed., 7:30 pm, Tubby’s (Thunderbolt).

JR & SR (The Riddle Brothers)

It’s only been a few months since guitarist Jeremy and drummer Stephen Riddle (late of standout local rockers Argyle) split for the West Coast, but a friend’s wedding brought them back to the area, so they booked a few gigs to help with travel expenses. Since moving to Ca., they’ve done well “from Sunset Blvd. to Venice Beach” with a club act called “Fat, Drunk and Ugly”, which they describe as “offensive, satirical, misogynistic, Southern two-step”.


Here's a fan-shot clip from one of their recent Ca. shows under this guise:


No word on how Dixie mockery will go over on this side of the Miss., but here in town they’ll also feature plenty of the older material that endeared them to local fans. Check our Soundboard for complete dates (one backed by Listen 2 Three, one joined by Keith & Ross and one feat. Rhythm Riot bassist Bill Hodgson). Listen & Learn: myspace.com/argyletheband. Sun. & Mon., 10 pm, Fiddler’s (River St.).

2nd Annual Rod-A-Billy Riot ***

This all-day classic car and bike show is aimed squarely at Hot-Rodders, Gassers, Rat Finks, Bettie Pagers, PBR enthusiasts and the vamped-out, tattooed. Organized by the Bomber Girls Ladies Riding Club, proceeds send care packages to our troops overseas. Indoors, live blues, greaser-punk, rockabilly and roots-country come courtesy of local acts Bottles & Cans and Joe Nelson, plus touring groups like Thee Crucials, The Deadtowners, Das Manics and headliners Rocket 350 — one of the best known rockabilly bands in the Southeast for close to a decade.


Here's a dimly-lit, but rockin' fan-shot clip of Rocket 350 from Columbia, S.C.'s Art Bar:


The car and bike show is free; concert tix are $15, which also covers registering any car/bike show entries. More info: info@bombergirlslrc.com or 349-0160. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/rocket350, myspace.com/thedeadtowners, myspace.com/theecrucials, myspace.com/dasmanics, myspace.com/bottlescanssav, myspace.com/fiddlinjoe. Sat., 2 pm (music at 6 pm), Yong’s Country Club (5115 Ogeechee Rd.).


This buzzworthy metal act from the San Francisco Bay Area has been tearing up Europe with their equally dazzling label mates The Sword, and now bring their punishing brand of prog and thrash-inspired HARD rock to Savannah’s best-known outlet for brutal and heavy music. Out in support of their acclaimed Kemado Records debut Into Abaddon, they’re known for their frenzied harmonized guitar leads and a range of avowed influences that’s wide enough to include Black Sabbath, Metallica and even Irish blues-rock icons Thin Lizzy.


Here's the band playing an in-store set at famed Frisco music store Ameoba Records:


Metal fans in our area have been eagerly anticipating this show for weeks now. Atlanta’s juggernaut trio of experimental, avant-metal, Zoroaster, opens. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/saviours666, myspace.com/thezoroaster. Sat., 11 pm, The Jinx.

Soft Targets ***

Good lord, but this Tallahassee modern-pop/rock trio has crafted a wholly realized sound and vibe on their second indie release. Produced and engineered by the imminently tasteful and talented Atlantan Tim Delaney (bassist for The Swimming Pool Q’s), Heavy Rainbow showcases a fairly stunning collection of semi-restrained, chiming electric guitar-and-keyboard-driven rave-ups and dreamy, lopsided laments that should appeal mightily to anyone enamored with The Shins, The Glands or Canada’s ever-so-terrific Golden Dogs. Their occasionally falsetto vocals are more effete and contemplative than boastful, and the obtuse lyrical constructs only serve to highlight how much thought has gone into both the songwriting and arranging of these positively beatific tunes.


Here's a pro-shot peek at one of their recent hometown shows:


The band (featuring former Savannahian Steven Gillespie on drums and vocals) plays a full set before GAM frontman Keith Kozel’s weekly eclectic DJ set (under the stage name KZL). Listen & Learn: softtargetsmusic.com. Mon., 10 pm, The Jinx.


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