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What's Next: The John Cowan Band
John Cowan will play Randy Wood Guitars March 6

Savannah may not have the smoking big-name concerts they get in Atlanta, Jacksonville or the other mondo metro towns, but a careful examination of the acoustic music schedule around these parts reveals that we get some of the very best of the genre. With pleasurable regularity.

Coming to the Pickin' Parlor at Randy Wood Guitars (Bloomingdale) March 6 is the John Cowan Band. This world-class bluegrass outfit is fronted by (and named for) the former lead vocalist of New Grass Revival, the first band to feature young upstarts dragging the old form (sometimes kicking and screaming!) in bold new directions.

New Grass also included Sam Bush on mandolin and Bela Fleck on banjo.

Cowan, who was also the band's bass player, has performed and recorded again with Bush over the years, and in the 1990s had a band (the Sky Kings) with Patrick Simmons of the Doobie Brothers, Rusty Young of Poco and Bill Lloyd of Foster and Lloyd.

The John Cowan Band features in the incredible Jeff Autry on guitar, John Frazier on mandolin, Shad Cobb on fiddle and Bryon Larrance on percussion.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert are $30.

And hold on, because Randy's booked bluegrass legends J.D. Crowe & the New South for a March 19 appearance. Those tickets are $40.

Check out

Heritage concerts

The Savannah Black Heritage Festival, which kicks off with this week's appearance by the Lula Washington Dance Theatre, doesn't stop there. Grand Festival Day is Feb. 20 in the Martin Luther King Arena, and although events begin at 9 a.m., the big entertainment news is a concert featuring R&B's classic SOS Band, with K'Jon and Savannah's Stephanie Edwards, at 6:30 that afternoon. Admission is free.

And Sweet Honey in the Rock sings Feb. 21 at First African Baptist Church. Those free tickets - limit four per person at the Savannah Civic Center box office - will be made available Wednesday, Feb. 17.

This, that, the other

... The first theatrical production from Indigo Arts (at the Old Seaboard Freight Station) will be Reginald Rose's claustrophobic courtoom drama Twelve Angry Men in April. Open auuditions (for men age approximately 2-60) will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 at the venue, 703D Louisville Road. For more information, call director Christopher Soucy at 631-2068...

... The Cultural Arts Theatre’s Readers’ Theatre series presents a staged reading of Call Forward, a new play by local playwright Pam Newton, at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the city's S.P.A.C.E facility on Henry Street. The reading will be followed by a discussion with the playwright. Free and open to the public...

...The Perm Ballet - from Perm, Russia - performs Tchaikovsky's Sleeping Beauty Feb. 19 in the Johnny Mercer Theatre. The cast members are all graduates of the Perm Vaganova School. Tickets for the 7 p.m. performance are $42.50-$62.50.

...Local thrillmeister Chris Cook is retiring his fabulous Friday theme parties in May. The last one, "Sex and Candy," will be May 4 at the B&B Ale House ...