THE CONNECT FIVE: Shows to see this week in Savannah

Because that music-free bar you've been making out with isn't going anywhere.

THU APR 25 | 8 PM
The Wailers got their start in 1963, headed by the legendary Bob Marley. The history of Marley and the band is well-known, and they influenced generations of Jamaican and other world musicians, spreading reggae across the world in the 1970s. The name endures today, with the band led by Aston Barret Jr, son of Aston “Family Man” Barret, who played beside Marley for years and was more or less the bandleader, co-producing albums and handling song arrangements. He passed away in February 2024, but the apple, as they say, did not fall far from the tree, and the legacy is in good hands. The current version of The Wailers continues to wail with the spirit and bloodlines of the original recipe. Live reggae doesn’t get much better than this, and on the 40th anniversary of the release of the “Legend” greatest hits record, expect a set list that’ll make you feel irie.

SAT APR 27 | 7 PM
Maintaining a viable band for nearly 40 years allows you to dabble in different styles and makeover the band’s sound if desired. DNC started as a traditional Southern rock band with big, crunchy guitars and a hot and humid twang. About 10 years in, they dialed down the overdrive, added a keyboard player, and grooved into a more roots-rock Americana sound with bits of folk and country. It’s hardly any different than a punk rock band gaining a higher level of musical proficiency and “going metal,” only it worked better than that plan usually does (see DRI, Cro-Mags, Crumbsuckers). Whether increased talent or boredom-induced intention led to the progression, DNC always had the ultimate secret weapon: songwriting chops. Bandleader Kevin Kinney is a pro, he knows how it’s done, and he’s done it successfully in a bunch of genres for decades.

SAT APR 27 | 3 PM
The country matinee train continues to roll and roll and roll like that awful Limp Biscuit song that is inexplicably making a comeback when it was mediocre dreck in the first place. But Saturday afternoons at Over Yonder have been anything but mediocre dreck, and this weekend is no exception. Singer/songwriter Rambler Kane of Jacksonville calls his music “wherever country, folk, blues and soul meet up and talk.” That’s a winning formula to begin with. Add it to a weekend schedule of day-drinking Lone Stars, devouring the best double-stack in town, and finding a Saturday night show to keep the party going (with an energizing nap in between if necessary), and you’re golden. There’s also an evening show at OY with Corey Parsons and Zach Bryon if you can’t make it after a long Friday night.

SUN APR 28 | 7 PM
Emoting for about a decade, Boston’s Horse Jumper of Love exemplifies a popular modern alt-rock style with heavy echo, mid-tempo (or slower) and loads of melancholy. Call it slowcore, and it gets slow and sadly pretty quite often, but it’s not all moping and dreary. Not all, but lots, and they’re very good at it, reminiscent of Sebadoh’s “Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock.” Their self-titled 2017 debut was a revealing preview of what the band is about, and subsequent records dropped in 2019 (“So Divine”), 2022 (“The Natural Part”), and 2023 (“Heartbreak Rules”) remained faithful to the ethos with increasingly better production quality. In what will undoubtedly be the stupidest summer ever of asinine presidential campaign fearmongering, dubious interpretations of the banal, and general intelligence-insulting idiocy, we can all use some Coma Therapy. The Athens band plays post-punk, shoegaze and emo-adjacent alt-rock with elements of metal and Clash-era UK punk.

SUN APR 28 | 9 PM
Trae Pierce has one hell of a resume. He’s won four Grammy Awards, three with the Blind Boys of Alabama. He’s also backed James Brown and George Clinton, toured with Peter Gabriel, was a member of funk legends The Ohio Players, and recorded with Hank Jr, Phil Collins, and Randy Travis. All that, and you probably never heard of him. Remedy that and experience how he’s taken all those experiences, blended them with hard rock, elements of funk and hip-hop, and created what he calls HipHopRockabillyFunk. Plenty of brave artists try to pull off mixing hip-hop with rock, and many fail. Pierce doesn’t fail much, and the high-power musicians he’s recruited to build out his in-demand Florida band get all the jobs and genres done. In a morbid coincidence, Eddie Sutton of NYC metal band Leeway, an 80s pioneer of B-boy style over heavy live music, passed away this week. You’ve probably never heard of him either, but honoring his memory is a good enough reason as any to see how far Pierce has gone with the concept.

Frank Ricci is a music columnist, covering the pulse of Savannah's music scene.

Frank Ricci

Frank Ricci is a freelance writer living in Savannah, Georgia. In his career, he's contributed to many Las Vegas megaresort brands owned by Mandalay Resort Group and Mirage Resorts. He’s also worked with Dell, Root Sports Network, Savannah College of Art and Design, ad agencies in Las Vegas and New York, and a...
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