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Spotlighted gigs and recommended shows

Jubal-Kane CD Release ***

With a look that’s one part Rick Rubin and one part The Wild Angels, these N.C. blues-rock throwbacks can’t help but look as though they’re about to kick somebody’s ass. Don’t let that stop you from getting close, however, as they’re a breath of fresh air on the Southeastern blues scene.

Low-down and gritty, with a sense of foreboding and menace that’s sorely lacking from many of the freshly-scrubbed blues combos of today, their driving, virile R&B has more in common with the great British Invasion acts like Peter Green’s early Fleetwood Mac or The Yardbirds — or even Canned Heat’s watershed crossover double-LP with John Lee Hooker.


Here's an audience recording made at one of their regular haunts in N.C.:


This two-night stand at one of their favorite Savannah venues finds the group celebrating the release of their brand-new 2-CD set. It contains 28 songs worth of mouth harp, bass, drums and guitar tracked completely live (without overdubs or post-production “fixes”) at Charleston, W.V.a.’s Empty Glass. No doubt it will sound almost exactly like what you’ll hear at this weekend’s Savannah gigs. No cover, and CDs will be available for sale. Listen & Learn: Fri. - Sat., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge.

The Packway Handle Band ***

This solid acoustic quintet boasts close four-part vocal harmonies, original tunes that hold up well against old standards, and they have been named Athens, Ga.’s Best Bluegrass Band several years in a row by Flagpole Magazine’s readers. They play the old-fashioned way — huddled around just two powerful condenser microphones (they step forward or back to raise or lower each member’s relative volume), and they’re not afraid to drop some gospel into their bar sets. They’ve gigged with Dr. Ralph Stanley, The Avett Brothers and Uncle Earl, and are becoming regulars on the festival circuit.


Here they are playing "The Story":


This casual, Caribbean eatery in the shadow of Tybee’s lighthouse is now booking some touring national acts along with standout local artists. Those who appreciate the chance to see great live music for free should support this idea by grabbing dinner or drinks during the shows. Listen & Learn: Fri., 7 pm, North Beach Grill (Tybee) - ALL-AGES.

Leon Russell ***

This living legend of rock, soul and country music got his start in the ‘60s as an in-demand session keyboardist and guitarist for a laundry list of the greats. (He’s worked with everyone from Phil Spector, Frank Sinatra and Glen Campbell to Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Elvis Presley!)


Here's a rare clip of Leon and his band playing Dylan's "It Takes A Lot To Laugh/It Takes A Train To Cry" on PBS in 1971:


Later, he’d enjoy hits of his own, such as the effortlessly funky “Tightrope” and a duet with Willie Nelson (which hit No. 1 in 1979). At 66, he still puts on compelling retrospective sets. When not fronting his own group, opener Martin Lesch plays keys for rock singer/songwriter Angie Aparo’s road band. $20 adv. at Listen & Learn: Fri., 9:30 pm, Shoreline Ballroom (Hilton Head).

Turtle Folk (Benefit Concert for Patrick Williams) ***

Held in conjunction with the "Help Save One of Our Own" charity fund, this rare hometown show by the group our readers named

Savannah's Best Local Rock Band in 2007 aids a young local musician recently diagnosed with Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma — an exceedingly rare form of cancer which strikes fewer than 100 people in the USA annually.

The son of well-known local restaurateur and musician Ansley Williams (Spanky’s, Tubby’s, Fiddler’s), Patrick is currently undergoing treatment in Houston, Tx., but in the past has performed with each of the members of Turtle Folk, and in fact, they got their start playing in eateries that he either booked or ran. All net proceeds from this show will be donated directly to Williams, and the venue is donating 10% of all bar proceeds during the concert to the cause as well. It’s a low cover charge ($6), so hopefully the room will be packed for this worthy cause. Listen & Learn: Sat., 11 pm, Loco’s (downtown).