With Bronzed Chorus and Eszett
At 10 p.m. Saturday, July 16
The Jinx, 127 W. Congress St.
It would behoove loyal fans of Cusses to catch this show, as it will be the high energy band's last in town until September. "We just have a really big summer ahead of us," singer Angel Bond reports. "And we know it's kind of quiet - we don't want to overplay Savannah. We've been playing quite a bit here, and we want to space it out. We need to keep some elements of surprise and mystery!"
Ah, but Bond, drummer Brian Lackey and guitarist Bryan Harder won't just be lounging around on the beach at Tybee. The band has momentum and they intend to further explore it.
Next week, they're traveling to Asheville to record the first full-length Cusses album, with producer Dan Hannon (Manchester Orchestra) at the helm. On July 29, they'll play a show in that North Carolina mountain town.
"Then we head off to New York, Philly and Boston for the first two weeks in August," Bond says. "After that, we're back south with a few shows in Columbia, Charleston and a lot of the surrounding cities before everything here gets back into full swing."
Bond and her bandmates are excited about the new songs they've been writing. "Our last show in Savannah, we did basically a whole new set of music," she explains. "And we had a really good response from it. It's a little scary at first, but every time we get into the studio we write three or four new songs."
The album will include a number of new tunes, along with the very first recordings of some of Cusses' road-tested faves. "It's been really cool to see the music evolve with us," says Bond, "and we're really digging our new stuff. It's a fun process."
They will be back, she promises. "I think it's always good to welcome the kids back. I love the summertime, but it's also an amazing energy when SCAD and the other schools are back in full swing.
"We love this town, and we always want to show our support and loyalty to the community." See myspace.com/cussesmusic
JONATHAN BYRD & THE MCMAKEN BROTHERS
At 6 p.m. Friday, July 15
Huc-a-Poos, 1213 E. Highway 80, Tybee Island
Also: At 6 p.m. Saturday, July 16
North Beach Grill, 33 Van Horne, Tybee Island
Also: At 6 p.m. Sunday, July 17
Blowin' Smoke, 514 MLK (Savannah)
A critic from the Boston Globe had this to say about singer/songwriter Jonathan Byrd: "This rootsy North Carolinian may be the most buzzed-about new songwriter in folkdom. He displays John Prine's gift for stark little songs that tell big, complex stories, Guy Clark's lean melodicism, Lyle Lovett's wry mischief, and Bill Morrissey's knack for the revealing image."
Well except for the bit about Morrissey, whose spunky New England-isms have never been to my taste, I find this a glowing endorsement. Those Texas guys (Clark and Lovett) are wordsmiths of the highest order, and Prine, a Midwesterner, is one of the most astute (and funny) songwriters I know.
Add to this the fact that Byrd is an astonishing good flat-top guitar picker, and you get songs and stories told with wit and insight, and the acoustic construction of a fine-tooth-comb. His voice reminds me of Robert Earl Keen, another of those talented Texans.
For this Chatham County mini-tour, Byrd will be accompanied by his old N.C. pals Ryan and Rob McMaken, on dobro, mandolin and a whole grab-bag of traditional music goodies. Ryan McMaken is a resident of Savannah. See jonathanbyrd.com