A Savannah musician is helping lead the way to a new era of folk and bluegrass music. Cory Chambers, an artist homegrown in Georgia, is helping lead the charge for the resurgence of these traditional music genres with his bands City Hotel, Swamptooth, as well as his solo work.
Cory began his love for music as a child growing up in Atlanta.
“Somehow I got really into community radio. I ended up liking a lot of independent music and fell in love with jazz and bluegrass and country music,” he explained.
Though his music interest began early, it wasn’t until his late-teens that he began learning what would become his life long passion.
“My parents got me a guitar for highschool graduation. I started taking a folk guitar class at the local university.”
During his time in college he recognized his ability to create music akin to what he had been listening to most of his life.
“From there it was kind of a sprint,” he reminisced.
For Cory, the goal of his music is to combine traditional elements of the genres with modern times.
“Old folk music that is still loved and appreciated today connected with people because they were talking about stuff that was going on in their lives. I try to do the same thing,” he explained.
Today life is much different, though. For many people, modern life is inextricably connected to technology for better or for worse.
“I sing a lot about the internet and cell phones, that sort of thing.”
He said he wants to create music that people will identify with. What comes out is a fascinating blend of nostalgic sound with topical influences.
Cory relocated to Savannah about a decade ago and continued to develop his musical career.
He started City Hotel which eventually branched into his newest endeavor Swamptooth, a popular band that plays around town and on the road.
The success of the group indicates the ever growing local music scene and the local talent that exists in Savannah.
“I have met most of my friends through playing music and have gotten to play with some legendary people like Jimmy Wolling, the banjo player in Swamptooth.”
The five-person band which formed in 2020 fought through the adversity of being live performers during the pandemic to create their first studio album, “B-Flat Earth”.
The record, which features a blend of traditional bluegrass with more modern and psychedelic sounds, was released in September of last year to glowing reviews.
While the band has experienced an increase in popularity and has been traveling more for shows, they haven’t forgotten their Savannah roots.
Locals can often catch the bluegrass outfit playing on Friday nights at Service Brewing Company as well as other spots around town including the Plant Riverside District.
2020 turned out to be a milestone year for Cory. While Swamptooth was formed, Cory also released his debut solo album in March of that year.
In his solo work, Cory reminds listeners of folk musicians of the past. Cory focuses on acoustic guitar and harmonica and leans on his strong lyrical writing, something fans of the genre will be very familiar with.
For fans of his solo work, Cory performs at many of Savannah’s favorite local hangouts. He frequents Foxy Loxy, The Perch, and other local live music hotspots.
No matter if you like his grounded solo performances or the experimental and complex sounds of Swamptooth, fans of folk and bluegrass have a lot to be excited for when Cory Chambers is performing.
Follow his work at coryfchambers.com and on Instagram @chamberssav