Eric Culberson has two passions, music and fishing. The Savannah-born electric guitarist is gigging pretty much every night of the week — he doesn't need a day job, thanks — so while the sun is up, when he isn't sleeping off the sweats from one late-night show or other, he's on his boat someplace offshore, hooking the big ones.
That, however, is a story for another day. This time, Culberson is here to talk about The One That Got Away.
He'd been bandleader and master of ceremonies for Jam Night at Live Wire Music Hall until the club was shuttered in the spring. Full bands, solo performers, electric, acoustic, whatever, eventually everybody who played anything showed up to sit in.
"You just never know, man," Culberson smiles. "It's Potluck 101. I had one dude show up with an eyebrow piercing; he hung a big triangle off it, and played that for Jam Night. And that's why I do it."
Jam Night differs from Open Mics in one important respect — rather than being let loose on your own, in front of an open microphone (hence the name), you're actually supported by some cool musicians. Like Eric Culberson.
"When I was not playing music for a living, Jam Night was huge for me," he says. "Because I could go out and do my thing with a band. On a stage."
Starting Sept. 3, Jam Night returns to River Street. Bayou Café, and Culberson, will be there for you every Tuesday night.
Culberson sees this as an essential element of the city's musical alchemy. "A lot of bands have come out of Jam Night," he enthuses. "It helps musicians get together, available musicians. It's a good hub.
"It's good for the community, and it's good for tourists coming through town that are here for a couple of nights and want to go out and have fun."
It's good for traveling musicians, passing through town for an evening and looking for an after-hours place to play.
And, rest assured, it's good for Eric Culberson. "When this cranks up," he says with a broad smile, "it'll still be the 24th consecutive year that I've been doing Jam Night in Savannah."
Are you Safe & Sound?
Our friends at Safe//Sound Productions are back swinging this week and next with some cool shows. Virginia's Daniel Backman, who plays "psychedelic Appalachia," has a gig Thursday, Aug. 29 at the "Safe//Sound Lodge," 633 E. Broad St. (that's the corner of Broad and Hall). Pale Grasses and Richard Leo Johnson are also on the bill.
Hang Fire's got a house/techno dance party on the 31st with Samantha Vacation, Jeff Zagers, Reconns and Cheedoh Dust. "Samantha Vacation" is the mixmistress de plume of Daryl Seaver from Chapel Hill, N.C.
On Sept. 3, Safe//Sound brings Detroit's quirky pop duo Jamaican Queens to Hang Fire, with Dip and Make Westing.
And the Brooklyn-based, all-woman sludge/pop trio Advaeta has a Safe//Sound date at the Jinx Sept. 5, with support from our own Blackrune and Hot Plate.