The Beatles & Widespread Panic play Broughton St. 

The Beatles & Widespread Panic

Well, not really. Athens, Ga.’s established Fab Four Tribute Abbey Road Live return for their first public gig in our area for quite some time. Featuring some of the Classic City’s more versatile, veteran rock players, the group does an admirable and faithful job at conjuring the Liverpudlian magic (while still injecting just enough of their own personalities to make it more than a slavish recreation).

Abbey Road Live (Beatles Tribute Band)
  • Abbey Road Live (Beatles Tribute Band)

Plus, their second set is usually the entire, never-performed-live 1969 LP which provides their name.


Here's the group's promotional video:


The following night, Florence, Al.’ s Big Wooly Mammoth (named for the WP tune) makes their Savannah debut. The group “considers it their responsibility” to convey Panic’s famous proclivity to improvise and/or alter the feel of their songs from show to show. Bassist Jonathan Williams says adding their own stamp to someone else’s music is “a delicate balancing act,” but, “if you’re playing Panic, you’ve got to jam.” Listen & Learn: abbeyroadlive.com, myspace.com/bigwoolymammothband. Fri. (Beatles show) & Sat., (Panic show),11 pm, Locos (downtown).

Black Swan, Port City Music ***

The dreamy, lush-yet-minimalist sound of this up-and-coming Columbia, S.C. prog-rock quartet is rooted in the lilting keyboard lines of lead vocalist Courtney Vincent and the dagger-like electric guitar lines of Reid Hardaway. The result is an ambitious, tightly-constructed and multi-layered type of mid-’80s art-pop that will likely appeal to fans of modern-day retro indie-rock. Regardless, their earnest, song-oriented approach is a welcome change of pace from the vast majority of rock club bookings Savannah has seen for quite some time. Opening will be the latest original musical project from multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Philip Palmer (ex-Vermillion X). Something of an habitual lineup revamper, Palmer (playing baritone and bass guitars) debuts PCM v.2.5 with the help of longtime bandmates Chris VanBrackle (drums) and the excellent Toby Taylor (lead guitar), plus new keyboardist Greg Geller (of Pets and Animals). Their set is said to include reworkings of his older tunes and a few choice covers. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/blackswansc. Sat., pm, The Wormhole (2307 Bull St.).

Wagatail Presents: The Chicago Afrobeat Project ***

One of the most buzzworthy bands leading the charge of the current U.S. Afrobeat resurgence, this Windy City ensemble injects experimental rock and jazz fusion into the fiery politically-charged message music this heady, danceable genre was originally known for. With a lineup that swells to as many as 14, this Afro-Cuban powerhouse is yet another example of left-of-center acts which hold appeal for jam-band fans — and thus make them a natural fit for this burgeoning River St. venue.


Here's a two-part 2007 interview with the band, shot backstage in Boulder, Co.:


Listen & Learn: chicagoafrobeatproject.com. $8 cover. Sat., 10 pm, Live Wire Music Hall.

Clinton Kids Benefit Concert ***

Coach’s Corner employee Michele Clinton died unexpectedly a few weeks ago at the age of 36 from injuries sustained in a car crash on the Thunderbolt Bridge. Now, the popular sports bar and restaurant on E. Victory Drive is holding a benefit concert for her two young sons’ education fund. It will also serve as the inauguration of their new band stage. All-day entertainment includes performances by acoustic pop, rock and country cover duo The Courtenay Brothers, classic rockers Chief & The Homewreckers, Southern rock and bluegrass combo Keith & Ross and the versatile longtime area guitarist G.E. Perry, among others. All proceeds benefit the children. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/thecourtenaybrothers, myspace.com/keithandross, myspace.com/chiefofsavannah, myspace.com/gperrymusic. Admission is $5. VIP passes ($25) include tent access, food and drinks. Tix available in advance at the venue. Sat., 1 pm, Coach’s Corner (Thunderbolt).

The Sapphire Bullets

This 13-member R&B revue with a full horn section (which primarily plays private receptions and corporate events) is throwing a public, old-school dance party almost in their own backyard. Expect plenty of groove-heavy blues, soul and funk. $10 at the door for 21+. Listen & Learn: belove.us. American Legion Post 184 (Thunderbolt).

6 Day Bender

This Charlottesville "mountain rock & roll" quartet is more twangy and raw than most of the blues and jazz acts that entertain diners and drinkers at this swanky subterranean hang underneath The Gap on Broughton St., blending bluegrass, neo-folk and shit-kickin' alt.country. They've been named "C'ville's Next Big Band" by The Hook Magazine, and frankly, sound like that market's answer to our own Train Wrecks. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/6daybender. Free admission (21+ only). Wed., 7:30 pm, Jazz'd Tapas Bar.


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Jim Reed


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