Finding their Niche

Country/punk band returns to the Jinx

Many followers of the Savannah music scene will recognize the names Justin Dick and Mike Redmond. For over ten years, the Savannah born and bred boys have thrashed in local punk and country bands including the Bricks, Two Days of Freedom, Whiskey Dick, and Arum Rae among many others.

Long time players since the days of the Velvet Elvis, a portrait from their Bricks years hangs alongside one of Baroness at the Jinx. After Two Days' 11 years of thrashing as a proud, signature Savannah band, Dick and Redmond stepped out of the music scene after drummer Tyler Newberry's departure in Fall 2008. Lucky for us, they didn't stay away for too long, and they're back to give the Savannah music scene a much-needed edge.

On Aug. 3 the Jinx welcomed back Dick and Redmond alongside new drummer Tim Clough, for the debut of their new project, Niche. Unlike other bands the native musicians have played with, Niche's sound acts as a fusion between different genres.

Their songs move from melancholy, country-inspired riffs to head-thrashing breakdowns. Dick and Redmond growl lyrics into the microphone and battle on bass and guitar, while Clough complements their enticing sounds with a fluid, hard-rock drum style.

Niche's members describe their sound as "punk rockers playing southern rock" - a departure from their former genre heavy projects.

"Niche encompasses more than our past bands," Dick comments on his genre-bending project. "Every other band had a very specific genre, like the Bricks were straight up street punk. We're more mature this time around."

On a special Monday night show for bartender Tony Beasley's birthday, Niche filled the venue with family, long time fans, and curious first timers anxious to see what the musicians have been planning in their absence. Starting with Clough's hard, steady drum roll followed by Dick and Redmond's fast paced, scale sliding intro, Niche brought down the crowd with their hard southern rock flavor. Songs transitioned between down home rock n' roll, reminiscent of the 70s glory days, and somber, doo wop tunes.

Whiskey, tobacco, drunk driving, empty pockets, the crowd loved everything Niche was crooning as they raised their glasses and broke into hollering applause after each song. Their hard, contagious edge remained strong until the final encore performance of "Blitzkrieg Bop"-a salute to their punk rock roots.

Since their debut, Dick and Redmond feel confident in their ability to rise to the top and rock Savannah once again. With a new drummer, a matured sound, and over a decade of experience under their belts, the boys plan to excel beyond what they've accomplished in the past.

"We've never been successful, but we've done everything a band is supposed to do," Redmond comments. "We've recorded, been on tour, had merchandise-now we get to do all of that in a fresh way. We've grown up and now we have Tim [Clough] to make everything more exciting. No doubt we're gonna hit the ground running."

Check out Niche Aug. 21 at the Jinx and see what a life in the Savannah music scene sounds like..


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