Dierks Bentley, Cross Canadian Ragweed
Once a year as a sort of a tradition, this phenomenally talented —and popular— country singer/songwriter (who sang the hell out of his contribution to a Louvin Brothers tribute CD a few years back) heads out on a tour with his buddies in the band Cross Canadian Ragweed, a fist-in-the-air alt.country group from Oklahoma that lives for the road like it’s going out of style. The idea is for both of them to get back to their down and dirty roots playing frat parties and college clubs, so those are the only places they go. This show in the ‘Boro will likely be a louder, raunchier , more up close and personal affair than most of Bentley’s theater or package tour engagements. Fri., 9 pm, Legends (Statesboro).
Black Eyed Susan
This buzzworthy and funky Charleston power trio has only been around for a short while, but has already established themselves for their impressive abilities on their instruments (including drums, slide guitar, bass, organ, piano and synth), and for their strong sense of groove. It probably helps that two of them are brothers. In their brief professional career, they’ve already shared bills with Santana, Crosby Stills & Nash, O.A.R., Aerosmith and Derek Trucks. Fri., 10 pm, Loco’s (Downtown).
Something of a minor legend, this Atlanta/Athens-based jam act is all over the musical map, and prefers to think as far outside the box as possible. They blend free jazz improv with hillbilly music, like Vassar Clements on Vivarin. Banjo player and titular band leader The Rev. Jeff Mosier is a respected elder on the Southern jam scene who has been cited by the members of Phish as a major influence on their own band’s development. Fri., 9 pm, French Quarter Café (Statesboro) + Sat., Wiseguys (Statesboro).
Bottles & Cans
One of the most entertaining bands to watch in this town, these guys hardly shift from their spots on stage, but it’s the mixture of intense concentration and seemingly effortless flippancy with which they ply their rotgut, Tom Waits-inspired trash can blooze-rawk swing that is mesmerizing. They get down deep into the soul of their grab bag of obscure covers, and don’t come up till they’ve had their way with them. Thurs., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (River St.) + Fri., 8 pm, The Warehouse + Sat., 9 pm, Bay Street Blues.
The Bryan Clees Band
Born in Tampa, Fla., this young C & W songwriter and guitarist now resides in Sylvania, Ga. (no TV jokes, please), and has opened as a solo act for Kenny Chesney, JoDee Messina, Tracy Byrd and many more. His band has become one of the best honky-tonk groups on the tiny country nightclub circuit around these parts. If you enjoy slick, smooth contemporary country that’s danceable as often as not, pick up on it. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, Island Grill (Pt. Wentworth).
Eric Culberson Blues Band
If you’ve never caught Eric’s live show, shame on you. He and his rock-solid rhythm section lay down fiery, expressive Chicago and Memphis-style blues with just the right amount of sass and flash. They’re one of the finest acts to ever come out of Savannah. Tues., 6 pm, The Boathouse (Hilton Head) & 10:30 pm, Mercury Lounge (hosts Open Jam Night) + Wed., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge + Thurs., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (River St.) + Sun., Fiddler’s Crab House (Southside).
This regional classic rock cover band specializes in playing rarely heard album cuts as well as popular favorites. They’ve recently shifted gears and dropped their acoustic guitar, and tell me they’re now proud to be “all electric.” Expect stuff like CCR, Stones and Pink Floyd. Fri., 9 pm, Jukebox Bar & Grill (Pooler).
Eat Mo’ Music
Local instrumental soul-jazz quartet (based around trumpet and wah guitar solos) that dips into rocking funk now and again. Fri., 9 pm, Jazz’d Tapas Bar.
This songwriter quit grad school to pursue his dream of being a full-time musician, and since then, he’s become one of the most popular indie artists on trendsetting CDBaby.com, and seen his songs get placed on major MTV shows such as The Real World, Road Rules and Sorority Life. He’s on the road constantly, and has opened for Carbon Leaf, Angie Aparo and Martha Wainwright, among others. Sun., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean- ALL-AGES.
This 7-piece “acousticelticore” band hails from Foxboro, Mass. and throw a fiddle, mandolin and banjo in with their more standard punk-inspired lineup of guitars, bass and drums. Hey, even Tommy Ramone digs ‘em... Sat., 10 pm, Murphy’s Law Irish Pub. *****
Southern, classic rock and modern country cover band (made up of longtime area players) that boasts a setlist of over 150 songs and a loud sound that packs a mighty wallop. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, Red Leg Saloon (Hwy 204).
This shit looks plum silly, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be entertaining, or should be dismissed as lacking in worth. This boy/girl duo of Mike iLL and Rivka compose the songs then rap/sing and dance along to electronic sequencers live on stage. Tom Tom Club visionaries Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth produced their latest tracks, and they definitely scream old-school naive-white hip-hop. I dunno. Sat., 8 pm, The Sentient Bean - ALL-AGES.
Rick & (Liquid) Ginger
Unplugged, stripped-down version of this immensely popular local female-fronted modern rock act (covers & originals). Fri., 10 pm, Jen’s & Friends.
G.E. Perry & Strange Brew
Rock and blues band (covers and originals) led by a veteran local guitarist known for his technical prowess. Wed., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (Southside) + Sat., 8 pm, The Warehouse + Mon., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (Southside).
This Oregon country band relocated to Austin, Texas in ‘97 and wound up reinvented themselves as a kickass, stomping bar band that had intense rock chops as well as dyed-in-the-wool C & W roots that won’t quit. They’ve since backed Steve Earle and hooked up with the respected roots label Sugar Hill Records. Currently out on tour opening for Big Head Todd & The Monsters, they’re picking up a stray headlining date at this small pizza joint, and the way they work crowds up with their harmonies and rabble-rousing, I can only imagine they’ll blow the roof off the joint. Get there early for the best view. Thurs., 11:30 pm, Rude Rudy’s (Statesboro).
Roy & The Circuit Breakers
Popular blues, boogie, pop, rock and country hits geared for relaxing and dancing from a versatile and well-established local player and singer. Thurs. - Sat., Doc’s Bar (Tybee).
“Georgia Kyle” Shiver & The Marshgrass Boys
The latest project from this “Gypsy Boy” and singing guitarist who honed his chops busking and playing on the Northeastern folk circuit, and returned to his Peach State roots a few years back. He’s adept at a variety of acoustic folk, country, bluegrass and roots-rock styles, and usually is backed by Fiddlin’ Scott Holton and (sometimes) Dennis “Lorax” Goldbaugh. Wed. & Sat., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (River St.).
This locally-based singer/songwriter has released a handful of indie CDs that run the gamut from earthy folk to balls-out ‘70s rock to dreamy contemporary acoustic pop, but at the roots of his sound is the holy trinity of ‘60s rock: Dylan, Hendrix and The Beatles (all apologies to Mick and Keith). He’s known to dip into a deep bag of traditional blues and rock covers from time to time, but when he does, it’s usually only if he’s given them a twist of his own. The real focus here is on his original material, which, as often as not, fits in quite nicely alongside the work of his idols. No small feat indeed. Fri., 10 pm, Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub + Sat., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge.
One of the more entertaining local rock bands to emerge in recent memory, this young group (although not as young as they once were) mine the same basic territory as the Drive-By Truckers, Skynyrd, Son-Volt and Drivin-N-Cryin — in other words, classic Southern rock with a modern, Americana flair that takes into account the evolution of the roots-rock genre over the past couple of decades. They’re playing road dates more frequently, and I’m told will soon release a full, debut CD. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, Tubby’s (Thunderbolt).