Black Oaks Gathering
It’s the first time this area Goth and Vampyre group has thrown one of their signature nightlife events at this recently re-tooled club on River St., but one can only imagine this room (which previously housed the decidedly more funky JJ Cagney’s music venue) has never experienced the vibe this Parisian Cabaret-themed gathering will enjoy. Besides tunes spun by their faithful servant DJ Analog Kid, famed underground performers Anders Manga (a repeat attraction to Black Oaks’ events) and Veronique Diabolique will be on hand as well. Expect lots of costume contests, drink specials and general good-natured creepiness. For more info, check out www.blackoakssavannah.com. Fri., 9 pm, The Rocksbury (305 W. River St.).
Brad Davis & Friends
This Grammy-winning guitarist spent a decade in Marty Stuart’s band, so you know he’s about as good as they come. When not recording with the likes of Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris or the late, great Warren Zevon, he plays live with Earl Scruggs, John Jorgenson and Billy Bob Thornton. I’m told there are still plenty of great $25 seats left for this intimate ALL-AGES bluegrass and country show. Call 748-1930 to reserve yours. Sat., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale).
The Flight Out, Vanity
I’m sad to say this may be your last chance to catch one of the better and most interesting indie-rock bands to ever form in Savannah. TFO is apparently splitting up amicably, but that’s little consolation for those of us who know a good thing when we see it. At least they left a solid EP of intense, technical and multi-layered prog-core behind. Infinitely more rehearsed and serious than most other area groups, if you like to be challenged by your rock music, you owe it to yourself to check out what may be their farewell show. Openers Vanity dig into what they term “free blues” by mixing up deep Southern imagery with improvisatory riffage. Thurs., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.
The Near Misses
It’s almost scary how beautifully this all-female Charlotte folk/Americana/roots-rock/contemporary pop quintet harmonizes vocally with each other. Their sound is dreamy, lush, and stripped-bare all at once. Named Best New Band in their hometown weekly’s own Reader’s Choice Awards, this group is like a breath of fresh air, and should appeal to fans of an unusually wide variety of other artists, from the Cowboy Junkies to Calexico to The Roches. Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.
Fans of Widespread Panic (and specifically their late guitarist Michael Houser) will no doubt already be familiar with this Panic-related project which features Houser’s former guitar tech and confidant. While the loose-limbed jam-informed organic rock this group plays has a great deal in common with the Panic vibe (and the aforementioned Sam Holt does at times seem to channel Houser’s tone and feel), they are most definitely their own band. This should be another standout show in this bar and restaurant’s ongoing string of noteworthy live music events. Members of the popular local rock act Turtle Folk serve as openers. $15 tickets on sale now at the venue or at www.wagatailpresents.com. Thurs., 10 pm, Loco’s (downtown).
Sol Driven Train
Charleston-area jam quintet known for their vocal harmonies, Southern rock-meets-world music approach and punchy horn section (a nice touch). They’re a fixture at larger venues along the coast, but have only recently begun to make inroads into the Savannah club scene. Thurs., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge.
Almost 20 years ago, while touring behind his only smash album, this two-hit wonder of a hip-hop star (“Wild Thing,” “Funky Cold Medina”) showed up for a gig at our very own Civic Center, only to find that the newbie promoter had only managed to sell about 100 tickets out of a possible 8,000. Allegedly, he punched the guy in the face before cancelling the show and heading over to a now-defunct live music club in hopes of sitting in with an original alt.rock band I was playing in at the time. Instead of jamming with us, he opted to head to the basement, where he hustled people at pool all night, only to then apologize, hand them $50 bills and explain that he had the #1 record in the country. True story. Now he’s back. Fri., 9 pm, Malone’s.