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Mark Your Calendar: A big bag of rocks?
Sweden's Carolina Liar will play the Rock 'n Roll Marathon Nov. 5

Given past Rock ‘n Roll Marathons, where the likes of Bret Michaels, Blues Traveler, Journey and even Seal have performed for tired but adrenalized runners, many of us were expecting that Savannah would get someone from the respectable has–been closet, along the lines of Smash Mouth, or R.E.O. Speedwagon, or maybe even Molly Hatchet.

On Nov. 5, we’re getting Carolina Liar.

Who? What? Huh?

The singer/songwriter in this group is Charleston native Chad Wolf, who was “discovered” by Swedish record producer Max Martin and flown over to the Land of the Midnight Sun. Martin paired him with a bunch of Swedish studio guys and voila, Carolina Liar.

Their songs are nice enough (Wolf has a Bono–like tenor, the music is a bit poppy but has that angsty, anthemic thing that seems to thrill the ears of the college crowd), and they’ve been used in various movies and TV shows.

Here are the facts. The band has never had a hit, but scored on the lesser Billboard charts like “Heatseekers” and “Alternative Songs.” They’ve been heavily pushed on ITunes.

This is what is referred to in the music business as a “baby band,” one that is (hopefully) on the way up through aggressive promotion and exposure.

Not exactly the “national headlining act” we were promised.

This announcement came within a week of the company neatly side–stepping a local controversy by insisting they never meant to short–change Savannah performers through giving first–hire status to those who would work for free. Even though their initial online form clearly said that this was the case.

(If you’ve followed the controversy, you will know that the wording on the form was hurriedly changed.)

Carolina Liar’s second album, Wild Blessed Freedom, will be released Sept. 27.

The issue here is not with the relative quality of Carolina Liar. I’m sure Wolf and company are nice guys, and they’re not a hack band by any stretch of the imagination. They’ll probably put on a great show.

The issue is with the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon, which has not delivered on its promise. An estimated 23,000 runners have paid in the vicinity of $100 each to participate in the Savannah marathon and finish up with a “national headlining act.”

Glory days

Hot on the heels of our story about .38 Special coming to Richmond Hill, with the band’s original singer/songwriter still very much in the ranks, comes news that Styx has reserved a December date in the Johnny Mercer Theatre. Tommy Shaw and James Young are still in the band – but of course Dennis DeYoung (no relation), who wrote (and sang) nearly all of those great old Styx songs, flew the coop years ago for a solo career.

“Come Sail Away,” “Babe,” “The Grand Illusion,”  “The Best of Times,” that was Dennis. Although Shaw gave us “Renegade,” “Fooling Yourself” and many of the band’s other rockers.

So, what’s your take on this? Is it still Styx?

(Too bad they couldn’t get the band to play for the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon.)