Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows

Bloodkin ***

One of Athens, Ga.’s best straight-up rock and roll bands for the past two decades, this raw, rootsy, guitar-based act has never received their due — although those in the know have long called them one of the most powerful and musically potent groups in that fabled music town.

That potency (plus a knack for penning memorable, killer riffs and turns of phrase) is surely what propelled Widespread Panic to record and release covers of three of the group’s tunes (such as that jam-band phenom’s Top 30 hit “Can’t Get High”), and to take them on the road from time to time as a standout opening act.


They rarely tour as a full, electric band — opting instead for the lower hassle (and cost) option of stripping down to an acoustic duo format featuring Danny Hutchens and Eric Carter, the “heartbeat of the band.” Like Jagger and Richards, Lennon and McCartney or Million and Mercer, their songwriting partnership and the creative sparks that fly when they’re together keeps this band relevant and vital.


Here's an intimate solo performance by Danny Hutchens, shot just a few months back:


They recently wrapped up a new LP produced by David Barbe (who’s also done great work with the Drive-By Truckers, Son Volt, Sugar and soul legend Bettye LaVette, and word is they’re renewed and looking forward to hitting the road for plenty of full-lineup dates in support of that disc, to be released in 2009. I’m told it was tough to get them to agree to come down for this Halloween night gig (which also includes a 1 am costume contest), so try to make the scene and get an earful of a killer group that deserves much greater recognition. Listen & Learn: Fri., 11 pm, Locos (downtown).

GAM, Jimmy & The Teasers ***

For the past few years, this mythical Savannah prog-rock group led by frontman Keith Kozel and guitarist Kevin F. Rose (of Superhorse) has been reforming specifically to bring down the house at this venue on Halloween night. In a previous incarnation, the band had a lengthy, amazing run as one of the more buzzed-about DIY bands on the East Coast, but ultimately, their fairly uncompromising and theatrical mixture of glam, psychedelia, art-punk and noise-rock was too much for any established label to get behind. Still, their confrontational, hedonistic shows were once known far and wide for their bombastic, sensory-overloaded frenzy, and tricky, rat-maze musical arrangements. The current lineup includes jazz drummer Josh Safer (letting it all hang out), classical violinist Ricardo Ochoa (here playing synth and theremin) and the band’s original bassist Ronny Kersey. Rumor is the band’s second bassist, Mike Walker (of Bottles & Cans) will be sitting in for a few songs.


Here's a low-budget music video taken from the band's second CD, and shot inside the now-defunct Velvet Elvis club (now The Jinx) a decade ago:


N.C. psychobilly garage-rockers Jimmy & The Teasers open the show with a blast of manic, besotted, Romweber-style chaos, and later in the night, a handful of half-naked females get sticky and red during the club’s annual Blood Wrestling Competition.


Here's classic slice of Jimmy & The Teasers with an earlier lineup of the group:


Costumes are expected at this (freak)show. Listen & Learn:, Fri., 10 pm, The Jinx.

John McCutcheon ***

The Savannah Folk Music Society welcomes back this acknowledged master of modern acoustic music, whose last local appearance was as headliner of the annual Savannah Folk Music Fest several years back. McCutcheon, who sings as well as accompanies himself on everything from hammered dulcimer to fiddle to jaw harp, is as much a musicologist as he is a songwriter. As a young man, he travelled to the Appalachian Mountains to study at the feat of some of the last living exponents of Old-Time Americana, and he’s as comfortable offering old standards from those genres as he is with originals from his more than 25 albums.


Here's John McCutcheon displaying his deft touch on the hammered dulcimer at a recent theater show:


He’s also known for thoughtful and captivating children’s music, so feel free to bring the whole family to this rare rain-or-shine gig underneath a massive tent in the rear courtyard of this beautiful, historic facility. $10 at the gate/$ for SFMS members/$5 for students. Listen & Learn:, Sun., 7:30 pm, Ships of The Sea Museum (41, MLK, Jr. Blvd.) - ALL-AGES. cs

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