John Prine, Carrie Rodriguez ****
Standard Songs for Average People is the name of beloved singer-songwriter John Prine’s latest album on his own indie label Oh Boy, and that’s an apt description of the kind of beautiful, imagistic Americana tunes he’s been penning for decades now. A former mail carrier who got his start at Open Mics around the Chicago area, he burst on the scene in a big way in the early ‘70s — earning the respect of his peers like Steve Goodman and his heroes, like Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson.
Known for a gentle lyrical touch and a sly, homespun sense of humor that’s at times reminiscent of Bobby Bare or Tom T. Hall, his early, signature works like “Angel From Montgomery” (popularized through Bonnie Raitt’s 1974 cover version), “Hello In There” and “Far From Me” have stood the test of time, become minor classics of the form. Over several more albums, he drifted from raw-boned love ballads to wry political commentary and —at times— flat-out satire, much like Randy Newman. The rough edge now present in his singing voice comes courtesy of surgery and radiation treatments after a bout with throat cancer a decade ago.
This rare Savannah appearance finds him joined by opening act Carrie Rodriguez, a rising star in the contemporary folk and roots-country world since she was discovered by the great Chip Taylor (of “Wild Thing” fame) at Austin, Tx.’s 2001 South By Southwest Showcase. The two have since gone on to release a number of records together and frequently tour as a unit (although this gig sees her fronting a small backing group of her own).---------------------------- Here's Carrie and her band playing her song "Absence" from a recent televised concert:
Coastal Jazz Assn. presents: Equinox Jazz Quintet
This incarnation of transplanted La. tenor saxman Jeremy Davis’ Equinox jazz brand finds him backed by some of the finer area players, including: guitarist Rick Lollar, drummer Dave Potter, bassist Will Goble and singing trombonist Clay Johnson. Together, they’ll offer up a variety of hard-bop tunes, some of which may be familiar to folks who have seen previous incarnations of Davis’ Equinox group — including the large-scale version, which in recent years has appeared at outdoor events such as the Ellis Square Merchants Association Christmas Celebration and the Johnny Mercer Birthday Tribute Concert.
Over the course of his career, Davis has shared the stage with everyone from the celebrated, pioneering David Sanborn to slide guitar wÜnderkind Derek Trucks. He cites Art Pepper, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz and Stanley Turrentine as key musical influences. These evening concerts cost $10 for the general public, but are free to CJA members. As always, anyone who signs up that night to become a member of the CJA will be admitted for free. Learn more at coastal-jazz.org. Sun., 5 pm, Four Points by Sheraton - ALL-AGES.
I Scream presents: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad ****
The newest addition to Savannah’s slowly growing number of independent show promoters continues to bring in unusual and adventurous acts to the LiveWire on River St., and this gig is no exception. Based out of Rochester, N.Y., this mesmerizing sextet blends roots reggae, dub and afrobeat into an intoxicating swamp of loping, heavy grooves.---------------------------- Here's a mini-documentary on the band, featuring live footage and informal interviews: ---------------------------- Known as inveterate road dogs, they are making waves on the outdoor festival scene without the benefit of a major label behind them, and seem well on their way to being firmly established stars of the growing reggae-rock hybrid movement. They’ll play two full sets with no opening act. $7 adv. tickets on sale now at livewiremusichall.com or pay $10 at the door. Listen & Learn: giantpandadub.com. Thurs., 9 pm, Live Wire Music Hall.