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The Savannah Folk Music Society’s First Friday For Folk Music

Every month, The Savannah Folk Music Society holds an old-fashioned coffeehouse-style concert at this downtown church. It’s a family oriented show, which means there’s homemade snacks and soft drinks for sale, but no smoking and no alcohol allowed.

The shows are free and open to the public of all ages, but there is a suggested donation of $2, which goes to help fund the Society’s events – such as the upcoming annual Savannah Folk Music Festival featuring Tom Russell and John McCutcheon.

They always try to mix up the local talent with touring musicians, and this time out the opening act is an old Savannah favorite: Dodd Ferrelle.

Ferrelle, who relocated years ago to the music mecca of Athens after leading the local alt.rock band Me ‘an Mills, now fronts The Tinfoil Stars, a raucous Americana group that’s finally starting to generate some deserved national buzz in faraway industry hubs like New York City and Nashville.

With a raspy, weathered voice and a raw, unvarnished take on roots-rock and (slightly) outlaw country, he comes off as Steve Earle’s kid brother with a chip on his shoulder, or a less self-indulgent (and self-absorbed) version of Kevn Kinney. He’ll likely play tunes from his most recent release, which focused on songs about his upbringing in our area.

His upcoming release is already being touted as his finest and most commercially viable work to date, and it looks as though the timing might finally e right for Dodd to emerge as a legitimately national artist.

Next up will be Joni Bishop, whose four indie CDs cast her as an impressive fingerpicking guitarist as well as an accomplished vocalist.

Additionally, she has been known to pull out the traditional mountain dulcimer from time to time in the service of her organic, folk-based compositions.

Rounding out the show will be locally-based singer/songwriter Jason Bible, who augments his original guitar and harmonica-based tunes with covers from some of his musical heroes, such as Dylan, Tom Petty and the ever sublime Daniel Lanois. Raised in the fertile songwriting soil of the great state of Texas, Bible gigs frequently around town bith as a solo act and with his acoustic trio Uncle Sam’s Medicine Kabinet.

One thing worth noting, is that the artists who appear at these First Fridays For Folk Music, do not receive any compensation of any kind, and the only way they can earn any money from their gig is through the sales of their albums and merchandise. So, if you enjoy what you hear, and you want to let them know it, consider buying one of their CDs or shirts. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to sign them for you.

Friday, 7:30 pm, Wesleyan Monumental Methodist Church (429 Abercorn St. on Calhoun Square).

Big Collapse

These guys (who've recently relocated from NYC to L.A.) sound like a distinctly American cross between Division of Laura Lee's jackhammering post-punk, and the the call and response power-pop of amazing unsung indie heroes like Poole.

They can (and sometimes do) drift into the overly whiney and mannered emo of many of the Deep Elm copycats, but it might be more accurate to say Big Collapse's sugary vocal harmonies and punishing walls of guitar suggest what The Posies might have sounded like if they had never heard Alex Chilton and instead fixated more on AC/DC.

Plus, the fact that these guys proudly cop to repeated van-stereo spins of PJ Harvey's latest, Helmet's Size Matters, and the recently-released official Coachella Fest boot of the Pixies reunion tour probably says more about where this muscular quartet's coming from than any quippy comparisons I could make.

Listening to their new album I get the same "standing on the precipice of major success" vibe that I did from my first glimpse of The Counting Crows back in '93. In other words, they're gassed and stoked and ready to go.

If they can pull this shit off on stage, this will be a show to remember when they've long since moved onward and upward. Fri., The Jinx.