Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows 

The Savannah Orchestra: Masterworks One

One of the city’s best-known classical organizations opens it’s 2008-2009 season with two concerts under the baton of guest conductor John Morris Russell, who’s earned substantial worldwide acclaim for his progressive approach to both fine art music and educational efforts related to the genre. Currently the Music Director of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra in Ontario, as a guest conductor, he has led an impressive number of North America’s more notable ensembles, such as the Dallas, Louisville, Oregon, Colorado, Detroit and Minnesota orchestras, as well as the NYC Ballet and New York Philharmonic.

click to enlarge Maestro John Morris Russell
  • Maestro John Morris Russell

Maestro Russell once also served as associate conductor of the now-defunct Savannah Symphony Orchestra, so this should be a homecoming of sorts not only for himself, but for the many musicians involved in this current organization who are former SSO members.

Guest soloist Terry Moore will be featured on a program of classical Masterworks by Weber, Bruch and Schumann. As with most of the Savannah Orchestra’s events, this program will be performed twice in smallish venues, as opposed to once in a large room. Tickets are $35 - $10 at savannahorchestra.com, (800) 514-3849 or at the door. Fri., 8 pm, The Landings’ Plantation Club + Sat., 8 pm, Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church.

Eddie & Martha Adcock

This longtime husband-and-wife duo are known as the “Best Little Band in Bluegrass,” which is not surprising, as Va.-born Eddie’s been playing banjo professionally since 1953! He’d later go on to become a member of both Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and The Country Gentlemen, two of the genre’s most famous outfits. He and Martha have played this intimate, smoke and alcohol-free listening room to great acclaim several times in the past, but this gig may be a little more poignant, as it’s the first appearance since Eddie made history (and found some measure of fame on the internet) for participating in brain surgery to treat a hand tremor which threatened to derail his career.

Awake and alert during the painful procedure, he played his banjo throughout so doctors could pinpoint the exact part of his brain affecting those particular motor skills. Now he can manually control direct electrical stimulation of his brain in order to eliminate his symptoms.


Here's a TV news report on Adcock's wild surgical/musical experience:


Wild, huh? Wish him well and hear some great acoustic music at this ALL-AGES show. Charge $20 adv. tix at randywoodguitars.com. Listen & Learn: eddieandmarthaadcock.com. Fri., 7:30 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale).

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, The Felice Brothers ***

Once deemed “the new Dylan,” at just 28, this Neb. native and Daniel Johnston acolyte has already won international cult stardom for his work in Bright Eyes. This latest sextet blurs the line between Gram Parsons’ Cosmic American alt.country, earnest emo indie-rock and the ragtag ennui of The Basement Tapes.


Here's the new music video from Oberst's current project:


The boozy, spelunking vibe of those informal 1968 recordings from Saugerties, N.Y. dovetails nicely with the overt Band-isms of The Felice Brothers, whose haggard, thrift-shop approach comes closer to the early, catch-all folk/blues/rock/balladry of that timeless Canadian/Arkansan group than most anyone you’ll find these days.


Here's a fan-shot clip of the group from a gig about a year ago:


RIG 1 opens with a set of loopy, hipster-hop one might hear in Beck’s pool house. Listen & Learn: conoroberst.com, myspace.com/thefelicebrothers, myspace.com/akafigureitout. $18 adv./$22 door at shorelineballroom.com. Sat., 8:30 pm, Shoreline Ballroom (Hilton Head).

Tim Reynolds & TR3

Wagatail Productions presents another high-profile booking at this adventurous venue on River St.’s far West end: the renowned rock/funk/jazz singer and guitarist Reynolds, who is best-known as a key member of the Dave Matthews Band and Matthews’ foil in their own acoustic duo. For this rare local appearance, he’ll lead a reportedly amazingly tight and entertaining trio through updated arrangements from his own back catalog, newly-minted TR3 originals and an unpredictable batch of covers from the likes of James Brown and Prince.


Here's a fan-shot clip of Tim & TR3 rocking out earlier this year:


Word has it this is something of a return to hard-rocking form for the dazzlingly talented guitarist, who for years now has concentrated mainly on quieter, solo gigs. The CodeTalkers’ Bobby Lee Rodgers opens. $15 cover. Listen & Learn: timreynolds.com. Wed., 9 pm, Live Wire Music Hall.


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