Savannah’s The Accomplices will play Congress Street Social Club Friday, March 8th at 7pm.
By: Kayne Lanahan and Anna Chandler in Savannah, Ga
When we think of music from Savannah that seeps out into the rest of the world, the city tends to get stereotyped into polar opposites- Metal and Mercer-The Johnny Mercer legends of the past or the raw, modern metal sounds of Baroness and Black Tusk. But those are the big exports.
What’s more interesting is the music that calls Savannah home right now, many known mainly to small local followings but who have the talent and promise to spread both regionally and nationally with the right guidance, dedication, funding and marketing. And the sounds are as diverse as the city itself, from free style rap and hip-hop to bluegrass, singer/songwriters, indie rock, chamber pop, folk and raw, alt-country.
Eighteen of those bands (plus seven emcees) have been selected to play this year’s Savannah Stopover Music Festival. While the festival is primarily devoted to bringing up and coming national acts to town (more than 80); integrating the up and coming local music scene has been a part of Stopover from the beginning but has evolved considerably over the past two years. It’s grown from, “who wants to play a free day show?” to the bands being hand-selected to complement the festival lineup musically through a rigorous application process via Sonicbids.
Last summer’s Squarefest went a long way toward showcasing local talent in an all day festival in Forsyth park that featured thirteen local bands. It’s another example of a robust interest in the local music scene. With Stopover, the breadth of music is even more diverse and many of the local bands will play on lineups with touring acts they share a musical sensibility with; providing an opportunity to make contacts, find touring partners, play in front of national and regional press and to get out of the box of being a local band. The mantra is that these are great bands that just happen to live in Savannah.
As you navigate over 100 performances during Stopover’s March 7th- 9th run, here’s a guide to catching the rising local stars:
mumbledust – Thursday, March 7th, The Sparetime. Ryan McCardle and Rachael Perisho weave hauntingly nostalgic sounds from a guitar, banjo, musical saw, and accordion into exquisite shadowy folk music. Alongside the guitar genius of William Tyler, (Lambchop, Silver Jews) The Sparetime will be hushed save these unique voices filling the room.
KidSyc@Brandywine -Friday, March 8th, Club One. Layering KidSyc’s emcee skills over the funk-soul-rock fusion of the Brandywine band, KidSyc@Brandywine’s impassioned, high-energy shows are renown ’round these parts. It’ll be a dance party for the history books at Club One with Japanese power pop trio The Suzan and Brooklyn’s rising murky princess of synth pop Empress Of (this year’s Grimes?)
Whaleboat –Saturday, March 9th, Knights Of Columbus Hall. With the release of January’s Blue EP, Whaleboat have established themselves as one of Savannah’s strongest young bands, seeking inspiration in shoegaze and power trios like The Police to craft their own distinctly coastal rock sound. They’ll accompany Atlanta’s Ponderosa and Athens’ The Whigs for the Georgia Music Showcase at Knights of Columbus Hall for an evening of rich, melodic indie rock that knows its roots.
Triathalon- Saturday, March 9th, Hangfire. Triathalon’s garage-y surf rock has taken Savannah by storm. They’ll be joined by Beach Day from Hollywood, Florida and world-renowned retro pop master Dent May from Oxford, MS for an all night surf themed sock hop! What to expect? Crowds, dancing, beach balls and massive fun. (P.s. it’s their CD release party!)
Bear Fight! – Saturday, March 9th, The Jinx. Bear Fight! keeps Savannah’s sludgy legacy alive with three thrashing guitars and unstoppable intensity. The Jinx has seen more than its share of hardcore shows, but it’ll be a wonder if the foundation hasn’t crumbled after Bear Fight!, Single Mothers, VietNam, and Turbo Fruits shake the stage on Saturday.
If your leanings lend more to the ‘traditional’ music of the south, then you are in for a treat. Savannah’s alt-country scene has expanded in recent years from local legends The Trainwrecks, Damon and the Shitkickers, and Whiskey Dick (all three play Stopover!) to include fresh talent that dips into bluegrass and old time string band tradition. City Hotel and The Accomplices are two of the hottest new bands on the scene to bring the picking from the front porch to the stage.
For folk and acoustic rock fans, look for one-man-band powerhouse Sincerely, Iris, Americana-tinged Eric Britt, 16-year-old folk prodigy Jamison Murphy, or soulful all-girl folk trio Lovely Locks.
For the full schedule of local bands (coded in orange), visit http://www.savannahstopover.com/schedule/