**This has been a really hard time….it took way too long for me to post this. I have picked up my computer and put it down hundreds of times. I have slowly trudged through doing the thing I love most. No excuses, just highly distracted. Hope you and yours are healthy and social distancing. Still praying for mine, right now. I am thankful for this community and am concerned for what the future looks like…. here, I hope I might provide a little distraction.
Climbing the walls yet?
If you are asked to stay inside like we are in Atlanta, you might be like me …..going a little stir crazy. I am trying to catch the latest updates on the Coronavirus, but I am also trying not to watch too much news. I have made every effort to shower, dress, make up my bed, and set aside time for self care, like read a book, enjoy a frivolous tv show, check in with the people I love, and walk my dog outside. I am also planning to pick up the guitar and try to master the beast I have sadly abandoned several times. So far, it is going okay.
Recently, our neighbors met in the street 6 feet apart and we cheered each other with BYO cocktails. It was St. Patrick’s Day, since then we have met off and on with dear friends, careful to be a six foot social under 10 people. That first day seems like a lifetime ago and it was only two weeks ago. If we all remain healthy, this might be a really good occasional practice. Of course if the world allows the connection. Somehow when you can see others, you are reminded you aren’t alone in it all. Each day is all a bit overwhelming.
I find peace in sharing my festival experiences with you all. I know you have limited time to read my blog, but this is what I love to do. This is what I care about. These are the artists who need our support right now. So, come along with me as I finish my last day enjoying life at Savannah Stopover. It may be the last concert I go to in a very long while. Who knew? So returning to it and reminiscing is a healing experience for me. Please come along and enjoy it too. Ride the happy, oblivious ride before the world is forever changed. Because it is already changed.
I meet incredible people when I go to concerts. This year at Savannah Stopover everyone was especially connected and friendly. Maybe we had an inkling that life might be different in our future. Ashley Olson (out of Connecticut, I think) shared some pictures of some of her favorite bands at Stopover, and ones I missed. I thought I would share her three photos with you first, and give you some background, letting you see some choices other than the ones I visited.
A local Savannah band, Donna Savage, has very little info on the internet, but are distinctive for the skeletal face masks they wear on stage. I wonder if it is hard to perform, but Ashley seems to think they were hindered at all and proved to be amazing.
“Crawling fast outta the grave and thrashing loudly from a dark garage, these unknown swingers are trashing it hard. Driving rock and roll man! It’s mean surf punk that will keep you dreaming for doughnuts. These freaks make the scene happen and you can’t help keep the inner caveman or woman from creeping out to stomp. Remember when going to a show was dangerous? Yeah, well this is that.”
“A divination of sound procured by the hands of lazy Saturday mornings transformed by the mere acquaintances between Brian Gonzalez, Richie Alejandro, and Bradley DeAnda, and in 2018, expanded to include the silvery serenades of Jess Howard into perfect counterparts. Based in Houston, Texas with Chicano blood in their ranks, through the emotion and expression discovered in the resonance of their newfound sound, Mind Shrine was conceived. Their new debut EP encapsulates soft nostalgia that permeates the project and its approach to soft rock, psychedelia and indie.”
Here lies a beautiful voice and easy going chill vibe, absolutely perfect for the times we live in now!
“There’s no counting the worlds Jeremie Albino has travelled to get to where he is today, and no telling which ones he might head to next. Born and raised in the bright and booming metropolis of Toronto, his heart led him out of the city and into Prince Edward County, where country living and a decade of working on farms gave him the time and space to hone his songwriting skills. His music nods to all manner of troubadours who rambled down similar paths throughout history—he nods slyly to the legendary blues singers who inspired him, offers a soft and insightful touch with his folk songs, and stomps and swaggers through soulful rock ‘n’ roll. But Jeremie Albino is a natural and an original, created by an alchemy that favours, above all else, that most mysterious and coveted of qualities: heart.”
I have to say after listening to Jeremy Albino’s many tunes, I am wowed by his songwriting, catchy choruses, and musical ability. He leads a foot stomping band with lots of talent. Their songs should easily slip into your most listened playlist.
So apart from sharing those bands I may have missed….Here is my last day at Stopover X! Here, I share my experience and it was a doozy y’all!
My day began with the Whiskey Wolves of the West. I don’t really know how the morning morphed so quickly into the afternoon, but we were faced with a lingering late lunch of our choice or catching a band and eating a speedy lunch later. It was a struggle to put lunch off, but we soldiered on and saw the Whiskey Wolves. I have to say, I am glad we did! The growling tummy sacrifice was totally worth it.
Whiskey Wolves of the West
Whiskey Wolves of the West is a good old fashioned Southern rock band. Who doesn’t love to start a Saturday afternoon with a little foot stomping and guitar riffing, rock and roll joy? Whiskey Wolves is longtime Nashville guitar ace, Leroy Powell and celebrity singer/songwriter, Tim Jones. They describe their sound as “Dangerously fun Americana“. Yep…I am glad I began my music listening with their storied roots and romping sound.
Step aside and let the good ones through. Kate has a soothing indie voice which does just that….soothes. She is a new artist to keep your eye on for sure.
El Rocko was impressively packed for a late Saturday afternoon. Somebody got the memo and I am lucky I was in the right place at the right time. Her biography….
“Kate Bollinger is an indie singer/songwriter from Virginia, her introspective, jazz-inflected songs mix gentle atmospheres with her bright, warm vocal delivery. Traversing folk, indie rock, and R&B leanings on early songs, she has settled into a mellow indie pop.”
Kate Bollinger proved to be a very nice surprise. She provided a soothing voice for the afternoon. By looking back and listening again, her voice makes more of an impression today as a calming, stress reliever in these crazy uncertain times. Give her a listen….
Damon and the Shit Kickers
I just stepped in to listen for a song or two. Damon and the Shit Kickers are a band that has a definite following in Savannah. I barely made it in due to a number restriction at The Jinx (yep they were packed). So when I entered, I was able to hoot a bit and then snap a fun picture of the band doing what they do best, playing real country jams!
So, as I ran to the Ships of the Sea stage to catch the next bands, I carefully made my way to the front row. It wasn’t easy, but there was an adorable family whose dad, brother, and nephew, was the bass player for Sir Woman and they kindly let me stand beside them. The most excited were under 12 and jumping up and down in anticipation for seeing their relative play for the first time on a big stage. They also pointed out his gorgeous new gold guitar!
Their relative, a bass guitarist, was playing with Sir Woman. Sir Woman is the newest project for accomplished Austin singer/songwriter, Kelsey Wilson co-founder of Wild Child. Sir Woman has a new album Party City and it will be her first solo release. According to the adorable boys pushing the limits of the edge of the stage, this was their first chance to see the whole band in concert. My new buddy was so adorable and assured me he would give me a thumbs up when they played his favorite song, which turned out to be, “Highroad”. More power to the music makers spreading their genuine love to family, immediate and extended! (In my little video clip you can check out the guys and their exuberance!)
So much joy in their music….
Because their song wasn’t on my radar and it should’ve been…..Enjoy!
Durand Jones & the Indications
Durand Jones and The Indications is a deep soul, revival band out of Indiana. You know a band has panache when you find out the lead singer’s life was forever changed when his grandmother gave him an alto saxophone. I admit I swooned over Jones’ ability to craft the 70’s R&B throwback sound, and the massive crowd pressing us against the stage totally revived my inner swag (only wish I had more room to show it). This band is so smooth….I am thinking, if I wax the bottom of my shoes, I might be able to attempt his fast foot shuffle.
Yep, for a song or two it was that kind of close your eyes and feel the mellow vibes.
I love that they switch off lead singers. This dude not only jams on the drums, he has a falsetto that can send me back to the early days of rock and roll. They were a welcomed nostalgic comfort.
Then there is their belting James Brown vibe….incredible talent.
I was fortunate because the young boys near me were so excited about this band that the lead singer practically serenaded us. The boys held up their newly purchased Durand Jones t-shirts and waved them around throughout the set while their proud dad standing behind them beamed. It was an organic experience which made me incredibly happy to be present and witness their growing joy and love of music. And of course, I helped them get their first set list!
CAAMP has risen to fame in the past couple of years. They are an American folk band from Columbus, Ohio and began as a project between childhood friends, Taylor Meier and Evan Westfall, who met at a summer camp in middle school. Later, they added a bass player, Matt Vinson. Today they craft great songs which bring the house down, and you can’t sneeze at their billboard number one song, “Peach Fuzz”. What an incredible show! At this point in the evening, I was so pushed into the stage by the masses of adoring fans, that I had to take a step back and then get out. Glad I did. Sometimes the sound is better a little further away with a much deserved cocktail in hand and room to dance.
Caamp puts on a power packed show and had no trouble lighting Ships of the Sea on fire!!!
This band is multi-talented. Each moves from instrument to instrument, taking the spotlight and shying from it, sending it to the lead once again. Caamp proved to be a visual tennis match of activity and musical sound volleys. Wow….
“Louisville, KY’s Bendigo Fletcher possesses a resolute ruggedness that recalls the Kentucky landscape that inspired it. With singer Ryan Anderson’s songwriting and rangy, howling vocals as bedrock, the band’s creation floats along folk-rock tendencies, seeking to capture the next pop melody or psychedelic bridge within earshot”.
This is a high energy band with a high energy sound. Motherfolk is an indie rock band out of Ohio, exploding with talent. Their latest album, Family Ghost, was released at the end of last year, so their songs are fresh and lively. The band is an intimately sewn combination of emotion, folk, and sing song rock. The happy, feel good tunes require deep examination because they delve into so much more than the bright choruses they belt out. Their newest album is a beaut, but I was seriously schooled by their many fans about their incredible discography. So many wishes and wants of favorite songs were passionately requested. Thank goodness they did more than satisfy the packed house.
Ohhhh Lawwwd this duo, Illiterate Light, just exceeded all of my expectations and had the most memorable show of Stopover. Every pound of the drum was thrilling and every strum of the guitar circled back to the lovely melodies they craft. The Virginia based duo is guitarist Jeff Gorman and drummer Jake Cochran. Illiterate Light is a band which has taken the indie-pop world by storm with incredible music, but their live show proved to be a serious heart stopper and a photographer’s dream! Yep, as I write this, tears glisten my eyes remembering their wowing performance. They are so talented and so intense. How are they today? I wonder. I imagine a bit upended and forever changed like all of us. As of Stopover, they were standing on the edge of seriously blowing up and becoming a force for 2020. Please check them out and give them some love. They deserve your support.
A little out of focus, but this next photo expresses the high intensity of their set. I looked around and the packed house was crazily dancing and singing right along with them. When a band can invoke this kind of energy, they have what it takes to steal my heart.
We ended our last Stopover evening with The Districts. They are an American rock band originally from Pennsylvania, formed in 2009 when Rob Grote, Mark Larson, Connor Jacobus, and Braden Lawrence were all still in high school. Their latest album, You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere, was out on March 13 via Fat Possum, and their show was peppered with many of their newest tunes. But the crowd went wild when they played their tried and truest from past albums.
On tap for the evening from their discography was “Young Blood”, “Long Distance”, and “4th and Roebling”. I can tell you the late night crowd went loco! So much energy and exhilaration! They played Atlanta either before or after Stopover, but their show at Service Brewing Co. would have a hard time being topped.
I can’t believe the last night at Stopover was three weeks ago. It seems like a lifetime ago. Since I have been complying and social distancing, I am really enjoying live streams of many of the artists I have featured at Immersed in Cool Music through Instagram. I hope you are catching the streams too. What could be better than amazing artists playing in the privacy of your living room?
Well, of course, my answer would be going to a concert where you dance shoulder to shoulder with like minded, heartfelt band followers.
There is really nothing like it in the world.