This Week’s Featured Story: Stayin’ Alive

Tony Allen, Savannah native and front man for the punk rock band Dead Stays Alive, comes with all the accoutrements of a rock star: blue hair, studded and outrageous jewelry, tats, an entourage, and a killer voice that shakes whatever space, no matter the size, in which he wields a microphone. However, Google his name and more photos of Lindsay Lohan pop up than mention of his music, which, despite not being Jack Johnson catchy, has a decent fan base and, more importantly, is constantly evolving and improving.


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American Idol Arrives in Savannah

If you take a walk down River Street today, you may spot a celebrity or two. The American Idol team arrived in Savannah yesterday morning to film auditions for the next season of the popular television show.


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Savannah Rock City

Savannah’s music scene is heating up, and these are the musicians that are fueling the fire. Today, beats and chords mingle down Savannah streets alongside tourists’ carriages and warm summer currents. A city once rife with musical goings-on, Savannah is again working overtime to appease a populace demanding, with revitalized enthusiasm, the fever and authenticity of the live show.
The Hostess City’s recommitment to being a live music destination and to cultivating a rich local music scene comes as the result of a collective push by area venues, promoters, musicians, and concertgoers. But it is, perhaps, the local musicians who carry the weight of the load—playing night after night to crowds or empty rooms, even after a full day of work or class—reminding the rest of us that Savannah’s got talent.
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Kidsyc

Hometown to notable hip-hop artists Big Boi (OutKast) and DJ Lord (Public Enemy), Savannah has long held its place in the world of hip-hop. But this year, Savannah’s hip-hop face got a makeover, compliments of Lloyd “KidSyc” Harold.

KidSyc is known around town for his affability, passion for music, and commitment to youth and education. With signature red cap and his unique merger of hip-hop with a live band, KidSyc was barely a year into playing together with KidSyc@Brandywine when they decidedly upstaged the overhyped national-touring Das Racist on opening night of the 2011 Savannah Stopover Music Festival. Having won the Georgia Lottery All-Access Music Search competition in early 2011 with his band KidSyc@Brandywine, he is now known far beyond Savannah for his talent as a songwriter, rapper, and front man.

KidSyc’s inaugural music video, “Fire,” was recently released to great fanfare. “The ‘Fire’ video is taking off quite nicely,” says Harold. “We’ve gotten almost 2000 views (between Vimeo and YouTube) since it was posted a month ago.” “Fire” is off of The Kid, produced by Alex Goose. The video was created by Savannah Film Company Production and Meddin Studios. But the best, it seems, is yet to come. “Next up is the KidSyc@Brandywine EP release with the tracks recorded at Capitol Records,” says Harold, “and a music video by Savannah Film Company for the crowd favorite ‘Forever.’” facebook.com/kidsycmusic


Images by Josh Branstetter
Read more on our
August/September Issue now!


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Category: Entertainment, Entertainment Features, Music, Stage & Screen

SCAD New Alumni Concert 2011: Cold War Kids

The SCAD Alumni Concert in Forsyth Park has been making waves since its inception. It has evolved over the years featuring acts such as the funk legends George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelics to last year’s headliners, G. Love and Special Sauce. This free concert has become a tradition not only for recent graduates of SCAD but also for Savannahnians as a whole. This year’s headlining act, the Cold War Kids, are an indie rock band hailing from Long Beach, California. Their sound is raw and emotional and goes back to times and messages for which they got their name. For those who are unfamiliar with the Cold War Kids, check out one of their most popular and well known singles, Hang Me Up to Dry off the album Robbers & Cowards. This years concert will be on June 3rd in Forsyth Park with the show beginning at 7 p.m and as always, it’s free.


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Together with Records

The music scene in Savannah is constantly changing with one exception, peoples’ passion for good, melodic tunes. Two local students have recognized this passion and developed a plan to bring that to the Savannah community with assistance and ease in buying your favorite music. Some people may see record stores as relic of the past with almost every song in the world accessible at your fingertips with just one click of the mouse; but Emily Chao and Tyler Duddy would disagree with you. Their vision for music, Together with Records, will not only serve as a place to buy music but will also help the community in several other ways. They want their business model to include blogging as well as supporting and promoting local bands.


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Mistress of the Arts

As a Jane of all trades, the Savannah-born Haviland Stillwell just came out with her debut CD, but that didn’t stop her from finding time to land a guest spot on CSI: NY, lend her voice to a national children’s program, or live out her dream of performing on Broadway. She says she’s doing whatever it takes to make it big, but we think she already has.


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Best Kept Secret in Funk and Soul

Jazz musician Ellis Hall already had a very successful career when he met Ray Charles in 2001 and soon after became his protege. The Savannah-born legend is now helping keep his mentor’s greatness alive.


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Meet Music Man Bob James

Now regularly playing for Lowcountry Jazz Lovers, Savannah resident Bob James got his break by writing music for a little show called Taxi.


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Great, Good, Crazy

For country music singer Billy Currington, being a true Southerner has nothing to do with coordinates or state lines. Quickly dismissing mega-cities like Atlanta and even Nashville, the home of country music, he says the soul of the South lies in a certain spirit—and the distance you have to drive to dip your toes into the water.


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Groove Attitude

No Dreadlocks, no political agenda: This is the new reggae music-and it resides in Savannah

Among the myriad of popular music styles that have emerged over the past century, only a handful claim to have inspired-or at least to have come to represent-an entire way of life. Blues, jazz, rockabilly, and punk immediately come to mind as niche genres that boat loyal die-hard fans worldwide, but immerse global popularity of reggae dwarfs them all. From it’s humble beginnings in late-60’s Jamaica as laid-back dance fodder to it’s current status as the preeminent form of grooveoriented protest music, reggae is, simply put, one of the most beloved forms of music in existence today.

The basis of reggae’s appeal is its insistent, mesmerizing rhythmic foundation. Essentially a hybrid of America soul, R & B and traditional African and Caribbean folk, it’s been closely aligned with the Rastafari ideological movement since the late superstar songwriter (Rasta icon) Bob Marley used his own brand of “roots reggae” to spread that universal message of human rights and equality. Marley also promoted the overriding philosophy that all people should strive to attain “irrie,” a sense of well-being and harmony oneself one’s surroundings.

Yet along the way, reggae has diversified and grown. Offshoots such as dancehall, dub, reggaeton and reggae fusion now update the genre, incorporating outside elements forum other forms of pop music. As one of the hottest rising acts on the modern U.S. reggae scene, Savannah’s own Passafire continues that forward evolution. Over the past seven years, they’ve striven to create a unique sound by infusing reggae with their own alternative rock and psychedelic-tinged, trip-hop sensibilities. Known as much for their devoted work ethic and keen business senese as for their knakc of crafting memorable crowd pleasing tune, the group- made up of singing guitarist Ted Bowne, singing keyboardist Adam Willis, drummer Nick Kubley and his brother, singing bassist Will Kubley- is currently riding a growing wave of success.


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Best Southern Fests

Pencil this season’s crop of weird, wacky, and wonderful soirees into your social calendar.

Sandy Springs Festival

WHEN: September 25 – September 26 WHERE: Atlanta, Georgia THE LOWDOWN: This two-day festival includes a wide array of happenings including an artist’s market, a business and civic expo, a car show, entertainment for teens, the Doug Kessler Lightning 10K/5K (which kicks off the festival on Saturday at 7:30 a.m.), a food court, heritage crafters demonstrating 19th century traditional activities, and a silent auction. New to the festival this year are the following activities: Me and My BFF Photo Contest, Interactive Game Zone, Georgia Grown Market, and an Antiques and Collectibles Market.

INSIDER’S TIP: Cooper – Atlanta Transportation Services will provide a free shuttle service to the festival from Century Springs West parking lot, located at the intersection of Hammond Drive and Lake Forest Drive. MORE INFO: 404.851.9111, sandyspringsfestival.com

Savannah Jazz Festival

WHEN: September 19 – September 26 WHERE: Savannah, Georgia THE LOWDOWN: A must for lovers of both jazz and blues. Visitors and locals can experience live performances by local and regional musicians outdoors in beautiful Forsyth Park and a variety of other venues around Savannah. This festival boasts the best in international, national, regional and local jazz talent. Since its inception in 1983, the Savannah Jazz Festival has been held every year and has featured some of the best artists in the world including Lionel Hampton, Ahmad Jamal, Clark Terry, Carmen McCray, Nancy Wilson, Maynard Ferguson and numerous others. INSIDER’S TIP: Sponsored by the City of Savannah, the Savannah Jazz Festival is a free event and open to the public. MORE INFO: savannahjazzfestival.org


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Music: Matt Pond PA


MattPond_20100519_0230

Indie folk group, Matt Pond PA, is yet another big name to play at Live Wire Music Hall as of late. Last Wednesday night, the formerly Pennsylvania based band played an intimate set in the depths of Savannah’s underground. These are the types of shows that critics and music goers alike live for. There isn’t quite anything like seeing a musically refined show in a dark, humid bar. The experience is entirely personal and intimate where the audience finds themselves on the same level as the performer. What results is a rare dialogue and a lasting memory.


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Oak Ridge Boys

Country gospel returned to Savannah last Friday night with the Oak Ridge Boys. Nearly selling out the Johnny Mercer Theatre, the legendary group comprised most notably of lead singer Duane Allen, tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden and bass Richard Sterban still knew how to woo their audience. Their charismatic and friendly demeanor was engaging and even at times over the top. Nevertheless, the enthusiasm of the the group was contagious and quickly had the women cheering and screaming.


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The Wailin’ Jennys Return to Savannah

The Wailin’ Jennys returned to the Hostess City last Friday in a highly anticipated concert at the Lucas Theatre. Hailing from Canada, this amazing trio of folk singers, wooed Savannahians with their contemporary bluegrass and their jazz vocals that perfectly harmonized with each other. The talent they possess was astounding to see and created great energy for the everyone at the show.

The one male joining the all female trio was Jeremy Penner who heads up the violin and mandolin and appeared to have no problems keeping up with these ladies. His mandolin playing provided the perfect connection to the bluegrass feel of their songs and effortlessly moved from one song to the next with grace and fluidity.


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Third Eye Blind

3EB_20100406_031Third Eye Blind brought their famous post-grunge ballads to the Music Farm last Tuesday night in Charleston. In the days leading up to the show, I was highly skeptical of what the experience would be like. The first thing I thought of when I heard their name mentioned was “has-beens.” Of course they had chart toppers like “Jumper,” “Semi-Charmed Life,” and “How’s It Going to Be,” but that was thirteen years ago. After a substantial hiatus and the lukewarm reception of 2003’s record Out of the Vein, 3EB (in shorthand) is staging their comeback with their freshly recorded, politically charged album Ursa Major.


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A Dynamic Duo: Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi

DerekTrucks_SusanTedeschi20100401_046_1Probably like most people, I’m used to hearing Derek Trucks and his stellar slide guitar play Southern rock with the Allman Brother’s Band or an eclectic mix of jazz and blues with The Derek Trucks Band. But last night, I and the rest of the crowd that packed the show at Johnny Mercer Theatre, was treated to a soulful and sweet surprise as he took the stage with his wife and fellow guitarist, Susan Tedeschi.

The show was highly energetic and infused with Trucks’ signature guitar solos, which have earned him the right to tour with numerous music legends
over the past few decades and garnered multiple Gammy nominations, but it was Tedeschi’s powerful voice that added a sultry sound making the duo
irresistible.


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She & Him

SheandHim_20100327_45She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward respectively) at Trustees Theater on March 27th, 2010 as a part of the Savannah Music Festival.

Photography by Elliot Ross


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Wilco

Wilco_20100325_28“What you once were isn’t what you want to be anymore,” Jeff Tweedy oozed in the song Shot in the Arm. This highly acclaimed, highly accomplished Chicago based band never seemed to forget these lyrics that they wrote over a decade ago. Since then, they have been nominated for five Grammy Awards and won two. It is clear that the success of Wilco is in great part due to their progressive music and on going evolution. These waters never go stagnant. Since their debut album A.M. they have recorded seven records with their latest being what Rolling Stone hailed as, “a triumph of determined simplicity,” Wilco (The Album).


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Chris Thile, Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg

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Chris Thile (formerly of Nickel Creek), Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg performing at the Charles H. Morris Center as a part of the Savannah Music Festival.

Photography by Elliot Ross


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The New Deal

TheNewDeal_20100223_128With jam bands rampant throughout the country, I could understand the apprehension towards listening to yet another one. However, The New Deal has an edge. This group of three guys out of Toronto, Canada has a unique distinction. Jamie Shields, Darren Shearer and Dan Kurtz were all front men of their own respective bands until they collectively decided to leave their own groups and create something entirely different, hence their name. None of them had a background in house or electronica, but according to Darren, “We wanted to leave everything behind and focus on playing new music.”


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