Homegrown Summer Jam strikes the right chord at Victory North

Eric Britt with CC Ellington and Andrew Sovine
Eric Britt with CC Ellington and Andrew Sovine

As locals already know, Savannah is home to a vibrant community of folk and Americana artists. Their performances are woven into clubs throughout the city’s energetic nightlife and their charming and melodic stories are tucked into anywhere decent that is worth grabbing a bite to eat. It’s not often that the tight-knit community gathers in mass, which is what makes the Homegrown Summer Jam somewhat of a Savannah gem, and thankfully, that gem is bringing their all-star lineup of folk/Americana back to Victory North for a third year in a row this Friday, July 7.

Hosted by local singer-songwriter Eric Britt, and organized by Britt and fellow local, singer-songwriter Stan Ray, this year’s event will feel more like a family reunion of familiar faces with a couple of new additions thrown into the mix.

 “It’s as good music as you’re going to see anywhere, right here from your local, homegrown musicians,” said Ray.

Ray, who is well-known as the singing drummer of hometown favorites The Accomplices and American Hologram (among many others), will be stepping out from behind his kit to lead the newly-established Stan Ray’s Soul Satisfaction.

“I put this together just for the show, but we’ve been brewing on it for a while,” Ray explains. “It’s all original music that I’ve written over the years and I’m doing it with a funky, horn band.”

Stan Ray’s Soul Satisfaction will feature local, guitar virtuoso Ben Keiser, Homegrown native Ryan Kelly on bass, Chris Fullerton of Damon and the Shitkickers and Ander Thomsen on drums, Jared Hall of Velvet Caravan on Keys, Eric Nelson (father of local musician Maggie Evans) on sax, Ray’s brother Kyle Ray all the way from Kentucky on trumpet, and backup vocals from Lyn Avenue’s CC Whitt and Patti Kelly, along with American Hologram’s Eric Britt.

Other familiar favorites in the lineup include husband and wife country/Americana duo, Lyn Avenue. Born and raised in Savannah, the pair has honed a sound that is classic, timeless and refreshingly modern, with inspired songwriting that leans into the genre’s genuine, southern charm and boot-stomping rhythms. Pair that with rich vocals that fold into electrifying leads, and you are left with a show that feels more like a musical awakening.

Lastly, but certainly not the least, is Savannah’s favorite country-music outlaws, Damon and the Shitkickers. Founded 15 years ago by Damon Mailand upon his arrival to Georgia from Montana, the charismatic group favors the traditions of country music legends like Hank, Waylon, Willie, Johnny and Merle. If you have been a patron at a beer joint downtown, then you already know that the Shitkickers are all about spreading the joy of authentic country music to anyone within listening distance.

According to Ray, this year’s Jam is particularly special because this same group of performers is still buzzed on the overwhelming success of the “Georgia on My Mind” concert that took place in January at Victory North.

“It’s the best attendance we’ve ever had,” said Ray. “We’re keeping the momentum going.”

Speaking of momentum, while this may only be the Jam’s third annual concert, the Homegrown brand has been trucking for more than a decade. Ten years ago, The Accomplices and The Trainwrecks started the Homegrown Holiday Hoedown to spread holiday cheer by way of rocking, chowing down, dancing, sipping and supporting local, charitable causes.

“This has been a growing collective over all these years,” Ray explained. “Homegrown is a brand.”

According to Ray, the brand doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon, in large part because of the overwhelming support and partnership with Victory North.

“We local musicians are so thankful to have a venue like Victory North who continues to support local music as well as touring acts,” said Ray. “I would also like to emphasize the fact that in Savannah, we still have a loyal group of patrons that still want to hear live music.”

While I don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, I will let him slip a paw, because according to Ray, Savannah can look forward to another "Georgia on My Mind" concert in January 2024 at Victory North.

But in the meantime, you can journey through the sounds of country, soul and more by attending the Homegrown Summer Jam this Friday, July 7.

The courtyard opens at 6 p.m. with the classic, southern hospitality of savory BBQ provided by Preachers Wood Fire Grill and Soul BBQ and at 7 p.m., the eclectic lineup of four of Savannah’s best folk/Americana bands begins. Tickets are available at VictoryNorthSavannah.com.

About The Author

Brittany Herren

Brittany Herren is a freelance writer and a passionate supporter of the local art and music scenes. As a musician turned 30-something professional executive, she lives vicariously through her story subjects and usually writes while listening to 60s, French pop or Patsy Cline. Herren has a B.A. in English from...

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