A few years back, this local (mostly) instrumental combo got its start in the corner of this darkwood brew-pub on bustling Bay Street. It was a relatively inauspicious debut in a venue not particularly known for hosting live music, but the band has grown from those humble beginnings to become one of the more popular funk/soul/smooth jazz outfits around.
Their current lineup of bass, drums, trumpet and electric wah guitar features a few of the most versatile and technically proficient players in the area (including Doug Povie and Bart Zipperer, both of whom are known primarily for their stints in local rock acts), and I’m told the group has been woodshedding, working up their own takes on tunes by everyone from Stevie Wonder and Grover Washington, Jr. to Sade and Santana. If you’ve never fancied yourself a jazz fan, but definitely enjoy laid-back, groove-oriented live music in an informal setting, give these cats and this unpretentious nightspot a try. You may find them both a refreshing change of pace from the standard bar and band scene in Savannah. Sat., 8:30 pm, Moon River Brewing Company.
Dave Harvey & Radiola
Though known for his skills on mandolin, this noted journeyman bluegrass artist hit the road at the age of 14 and soon mastered both guitar and fiddle as well. Later he was tapped by the legendary Larry Sparks to join The Lonesome Ramblers. A recent stint as a featured member of the beloved Claire Lynch’s super-talented band seems to have paved the way for Harvey to start this, his own group, which he now brings to this cozy, smoke and alcohol-free acoustic listening room that’s been a regular stop for Lynch as well. No less than Ronnie McCoury and Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile think the world of Harvey’s skills and knowledge of the mandolin. They both hire him to work on their instruments. Says Thile, “Dave is my ‘set-up’ God. I strongly recommend people use luthiers that play well. It makes a big difference.” $20 advance tickets to this ALL-AGES show available now by calling 748-1930. Fri., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale).
Over the past 15 years, this locally-based recording artist (he moved here from the U.K. in ‘96) has made quite a name for himself in the world of ambient techno music both domestically and in Europe. He cites previous collaborations with the likes of Hardfloor, Orbital, DEA, The Lift and Aquiessence, and calls himself “possibly Savannah’s longest standing artist” in his genre. With more than 20 releases under his belt, you’d think he’d be a well-known figure around town, but it seems most of these tracks and albums have appeared under various monikers and on a variety of niche labels, and he has only recently begun to appear and record under his given name. This show will feature material from his most recent release, Fabrique (on a Berlin-based label). For more info, call 341-9001 or check out www.davidrapp.com. Sat., 9 pm, B & B Ale House.
The Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love
The largest (and at 13 pieces, the most fully orchestrated) R & B act in the area, this show band features some of the best veteran players for miles around - including guitarist John Banks, bassist Phil McDonald and vocalist Tim Love. Their setlist leans heavily on well-worn staples of the Stax, Volt and Motown catalogs, but this is an eclectic bunch, and just as likely to dust off an obscure nugget by a songwriters’ songwriter like John Hiatt, a N’awlins legend like Chris Kenner, or the horn-heavy Tower of Power. This large seafood eatery on the water about 35 minutes from Savannah boasts casual dining on the 2nd story, with a riverfront bar, stage and dancefloor underneath. The Bullets brag that it’s the “best venue on the East Coast,” and it’s become one of the only public nightspots they play. Call (912) 884-8640 for more info or directions. $10 cover at the door.Sat., 8 pm, Sunbury Crab Company (541 Brigantine Dunmore Rd., Sunbury).