Chris Chandler’s “Southern Charm & Swing: The Music of Johnny Mercer”
This locally-based pianist and singer has a long history of interpreting the tunes of this legendary songwriter. He’s released his own versions of many of Mercer’s compositions, and now —with help from bassist Johnny Kennedy— Chandler’s put together this show which intersperses Mercer tunes alongside historical notes and personal reflections on the material (plus anecdotes provided by those who knew the man well). The second half of the show takes the style of a 1940s radio broadcast and features many talented ‘Boro and Atlanta-based performers. Call (912) 212-2787 for $10 advance tickets. Sat., 7 pm, Emma Kelly Theater in the Averitt Center for The Arts (Statesboro).
This dazzling funk/jam/jazz/oddball trio features the extremely talented and idiosyncratic singing guitarist/songwriter Bobby Lee Rodgers, who actually makes his home in Savannah, but rarely plays here. Previously, they were known for featuring renowned Southeastern jam-band and freak-rock guru Col. Bruce Hampton (of the Aquarium Rescue Unit and The Hampton Grease Band), but as he’s moved on to other projects, the group now focuses even more squarely on Rodgers. They regularly play major music festivals and tour internationally. This show is one of several bookings designed to increase the stature of this Broughton St. bar, which has installed a new sound and lighting system just for such events. Also, wonder of wonders, as they are a full-service restaurant which strictly polices the conduct of those under 21, this show is open to those 18 or older. Sat., 7 pm, Locos (downtown).
First Friday for Folk Music
This installment of the long-running acoustic showcase features the local debut of Nashville’s Katy Bowser who blends country, jazz and folk with the help of her partner Kenny Hutson. She’ll be joined by Pensacola’s Cripple Lillies, who offer a rootsy brand of Americana influenced by both classical music and post-rock. Savannah’s own Michael Amburgey (a singer/songwriter known mostly for his finger-style blues work with harmonica player Bobby Hansen), opens the show. $2 suggested donation (to the Savannah Folk Music Society). This is a family-oriented, smoke and alcohol free event. Fri., 7:30 pm, Wesley Monumental United Methodist (429 Abercorn St.) - ALL-AGES.
Landers & Yarbrough
Jake Landers is a fantastic singing guitarist who’s penned scores of original tunes, many of which have become bluegrass standards and even crossover country hits. Rual Yarbrough is a masterful banjoist known for working alongside the late, great Bill Monroe. Call 748-1930 for $25 tickets to this intimate show. Sat., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale) - ALL-AGES.
This up-and-coming drummer, composer, and arranger has toured with Jazz Hall of Famers, and jammed with his uncle, the legendary vocalist Little Jimmy Scott (!). He’s worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder and Milt Jackson to Wynton and Branford Marsalis and Donald Harrison. He’ll play this rare Savannah date with his backing band The Jazz Prophets. $10 cover. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, 10:30 pm & midnight, Kokopelli’s Jazz Club.
Second City Comedy Troupe
Chicago’s Second City is considered the birthplace of modern improvisational comedic acting. The last time one of their road companies played this venue, it was a lackluster and at limes leaden affair with horribly tinny sound. Hopefully this time around will be more challenging and aurally pleasant. I’d tell you more about the gig, but the college informed us of this show about 15 minutes before our deadline (rolls eyes). $10 for the public, $5 for SCAD students. Wed., 8 pm, Trustees Theater.
The Southern Ga. Symphony
This regional orchestra is made up of both professional players and students from Georgia Southern University, under the direction of Cheung Chau. This program (entitled “Music In Memoriam”) includes Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 3 “Eroica.” Tickets range from $15 to $40, and can be ordered online at www.lucastheatre.com. Tues., 8 pm, Lucas Theatre.