Last year, Connect did a lengthy interview with rock legend John Mellencamp on the subject of his No Better Than This album, sections of which he recorded (with T-Bone Burnett) in First African Baptist Church.
(Mellencamp, of course, owns homes on Tybee and Daufuskie, and is a frequent visitor to our city.)
The No Better Than This tour has been on the road for a while, and John Boy is finally bringing it all back home. He'll play the Johnny Mercer Theatre Nov. 11. The concert begins at 6:20 p.m. with the screening of It's About You, a documentary film chronicling the making of the rootsy record.
Tickets, from $39.50 to a whopping $250, will go on sale Friday, Aug. 5.
Big bowl of dates
Here are a few unrelated dates to, ahem, mark on your calendar. These are annual events that always attract lots of people, so forewarned is forearmed, or something like that. Anyway, we thought you'd want to know.
Labor Day Beach Bash. It's Tybee Island's fourth annual September-thon, from 7 to 11 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4 at the pier and pavilion. South Carolina's Swingin' Medallions ("Double Shot of My Baby's Love") will perform, followed by one of Tybee's patented pyrotechnical displays of awesomeness (aka fireworks). Free.
Picnic in the Park. The Oct. 2 event (in Forsyth Park) is themed "Rock & Run," in honor of the upcoming Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon coming in November (see below). Prospective picnickers, sponsors and the overtly curious are asked to call (912) 651-6417.
Rock ‘n' Roll Marathon. Here's the deal: You can register to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) or half marathon (13.1 miles), with rock ‘n' roll bands planted at every mile marker, and a "headlining concert" at the finish line (we're hoping for Survivor playing "Eye of the Tiger"). The event tours the country - they'll be runners here from all over the place - and the Savannah date is Nov. 5. See runrocknroll.competitor.com.
Singing/songwriting cellist Ben Sollee returns to our fair city Sept. 3 for a free Savannah Stopover show in Forsyth Park. Sollee and his band will be preceded by the incredible Cheyenne Marie Mize, who was one of yours truly faves during the inaugural Stopover festival in March.
The show is part of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign's third annual Midnight Garden Ride. Sollee, as he did for his last local appearance in 2009, is expected to travel to Savannah by bike.
Find out how to ride the ride at midnightgardenride.com
And now, this
@ Savannah singer/songwriter Jan Spillane, who makes some of the most interesting jazz/folk music in the area, is doing a show with Mike Futral (lead guitar), Michael McDougald (bass) and Marc Cordray (percussion) this Friday, Aug. 5 at J.F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill. The free 7 p.m. concert is a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project, a national organization dedicated to assisting the families of those men and women who were injured, or died, in the line of duty. See wounded warriorproject.org
@ Jerry Butler, Candi Station and Gene Chandler are among the veteran "Hitmakers of Beach and Soul" who'll deliver the R&B goods Sept. 17 to the Johnny Mercer Theatre. Tickets are $37.50-$49.50.
@ There was plenty of confusion surrounding the Lucinda Williams concert that had been announced for July 30 at Fort Stewart. This show was confirmed by Williams' management office, and appeared on her official website, but it seems the folks at the base knew nothing about it. When the dust finally cleared, everybody was pointing the finger at everybody else - but the upshot was that Williams never played here.