Savannah Stopover 2020-Opening Night Review in Photos

I saw almost half of the shows at Savannah StopoverX. Sit back and let me reminisce my happy weekend with you!

Exactly one week ago I was dancing….

2020 has been a really weird year. It seems the world is constantly in flux, tragedy, or confusing conflicting situations. That doesn’t even take into account all of the rain, rain , and more rain. I was in desperate need to check out, do something fun for the sake of simple joy. I am so thankful Savannah Stopover comes so early in the year. It literally kicks off new music and provides a nice distraction from politics and pandemics.

This year was my 5th year covering this sleeping giant of a festival. out of the ten years they have put it on. I feel so lucky to be a part of Stopover. It truly is a diamond in the rough, and needs more recognition for the amazing music exploration opportunities it provides.

So you say, I don’t know anyone going. I just have to say, I meet the most incredible people each year. All ages and in all stages of life. Also, I am surrounded by people that love music. What could be nicer than that?

So you say, I don’t like big, crowded festivals. Stopover is for you. Each band plays in a small venue located around the city. The main stage at Ships of the Sea holds the largest crowd, but there is always room in the back or along the side to stay out of the maddening crowd (there is also a VIP lounge area).

So you say, I am not an indie music fan, well Stopover is for you. Over 60 bands perform and fit in many different categories, country, rock, dance music, post punk, folk, blue grass. You name a genre, almost any big genre and there is a band or a few for you.

So you say, I don’t know any of the bands playing. That is the point! It is total music discovery! With a little bit of perseverance and a lot of walking, you can see almost every band and learn who your new favorites happen to be. For me, I end up tracking my favorites throughout the year and always hear their newest music first. Many Stopover newbies have albums/songs that end up in the top music for the year.

So even though this amazing festival has come to a close for 2020, you can make plans for March 2021 and live vicariously through my 2020 photos. I saw almost half the shows. So sit back and let me reminisce my happy weekend with you. Crazy that it was only last week….it feels like a lifetime ago.

Here is my photo montage of the opening night…..

Opening Night Thursday

Savannah Stopover 2020-Opening Night

Stomp, Clomp, and Romp to the great bands at StopoverX.

Tall Tall Trees

If you haven’t experienced this talented musician’s show…you haven’t fully lived. Tall Tall Trees is Mike Savino and his electric banjo comes to life through his magical plucking. He adds loops and effect pedals which enhance the folk, roots, psychedelic sound. Did I mention his banjo lights up and resonates with the music? What an amazing start to Stopover X!

I have to include a cute photo of my favorite Savannah Stopover music loving friends from Myrtle Beach! This guy is always on the front row and knows his music. I am surprised he isn’t wearing his signature dark shades! Lucky me to have him as a loyal blog follower! He even made me hand out cards to everyone around them.

The Bones of J.R. Jones

It was incredibly cold on Thursday night. My hands were frozen because I didn’t have any gloves. The photos reflect my shivering and my cold to the bone feeling. Because the music was so amazing, the dropping temperatures and wind didn’t seem to phase the crowds. We all just huddled up a bit tighter, and moved closer to the music to keep warm.

Meet Karla and her husband Pete. She DM’d JR Jones aka Jonathon Linaberry and said she hoped to hear her favorite song they used in their recent wedding. Low and behold he did and gave them a shout out! What a great guy! They were thrilled!

I rushed over to Service Brewing because I had a quick minute to check out another band. I took in a couple of songs with Savannah locals, Clouds and Satellites. I enjoyed their indie/country rock vibe. They had the perfect sound for a enjoying a nice cold brew and gathering with friends.

Clouds and Satellites

Acid Carousel

Acid Carousel slaps! They are 100% energy and left my head spinning a little. It was almost impossible to capture their on stage photos without a camera I can’t afford. But, I gave it a shot and here are a couple worth sharing. The hazy photos resemble their enigmatic music. Go check them out, if you ever get the chance to see them live. They gathered a bigger crowd with each song, and we were all dancing and singing, never taking our eyes off of their entertaining performance. So much fun! Seeing them play was a happy accident, because I was actually there to see the next band.

Acid Carousel is a molded combination of 60’s psych/pop, maybe some of The Beatles dreamier tunes, and surf rock. Be prepared for lots of guitar, full on drums, and head swinging /banging beats. It was a groovy time travel. I had the pleasure of chatting with them after their show and found them to be approachable, fun loving, and true to their on stage personas. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least. Here’s hoping they venture back to Georgia sometime soon!

Neighbor Lady

Atlanta’s own, Neighbor Lady was up next. They always put on a great show. Their sound is indie-rock with a hint of country. The lead vocalist, Emily Braden, has a power packed voice and the rest of the band stands strong in support.

And just so you know, this is Jordan Reynolds (who fronts Rose Hotel), but she was off to the side and sort of hidden from the adoring crowd.

I love this short clip of the band, because it gives you a hint of their talent.

The Cowboys

I slipped into The Jinx to listen to a few of The Cowboys’ tunes on my way to the next gig. They had a retro indie sound which captured the many fans. I was surprised they weren’t a country band. I looked them up and found they are out of Indiana, and have quite a lot of depth of music. Check them out.

Elf Power

Elf Power has a vast history of musical influence. They began in 1994 in Athens, GA. They have collaborated and had contributions from Neutral Milk Hotel, Kevin Barnes with Of Montreal, and supported acts like R.E.M. Their indie rock sound is totally relevant today and they have a large discography of well written nostalgic tunes. This timeless band is a classic.

Here’s just a hint of the Athens band….

Omni

Hallelujah! I was finally able to experience Omni live. I have been following their music for a while now and love their post punk sound. I have sooo many songs on repeat on my personal Spotify playlist and I have shared them here on the blog. They continue to get better and better. Their show was a solid one as well. I love when a band isn’t over produced in a studio, so the “live” version is a great one. Omni definitely met all of my expectations. The fans were rocking out too, squeezing in every nook and cranny of The Jinx.

I hope you are safe, that you have provisions for social distancing, and that you can simply enjoy the beauty of gifted musical creatives. I have a couple of other posts on Stopover. Stay tuned and follow me to bring a little joy into your life.

Trampled By Turtles-Our Town (Iris DeMent cover)

Love this so much….

I had to share this just because I love it so much…..

Trampled By Turtles-Our Town (Iris DeMent cover)

Trampled By Turtles have some shows planned in early 2020, check them out. Don’t miss them.

http://trampledbyturtles.com/shows/

New Music-Izzy Heltai-Marching Song

Izzy Heltai sings a haunting tune worthy of a thoughtful listen. “Marching Song” comes off of his latest EP, Only Yesterday

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Izzy Heltai photo by Emma Kate Rothenberg-Ware

I have to share a haunting tune worthy of a thoughtful listen.

Izzy Heltai is an indie/Americana-folk singer/songwriter from North Hampton, Massachusetts. When I opened up my email and listened to this song, I melted at the woeful, contemplative vocals, simple strumming guitar, random singular strikes of a piano, and the powerful underscoring horns. It immediately grabbed my attention, but with repeated plays, I honed in on the lyrics.

We bring so much of ourselves into a relationship. Who we are should enhance the connection. In some cases, the baggage of our negative inner voices can lead to a division. How do you separate those painful inner voices, from your longing heart?

Izzy Heltai explores his perspective and it is heartbreaking, but beautiful.

Izzy Heltai-Marching Song

“Maybe I said
that I don’t want you
Maybe I’ve been kind of difficult
to talk to
Maybe I shouted
or maybe just stared
I didn’t notice
if I did

On and on a marching song gets sung inside my head
I’m walking out the door now
Feels like only yesterday, I learned that I could be here
now here I go leaving

Did I not speak
when you approached me
I forget that I can talk sometimes freely
Feel like I’m drowning
dragging you down
and if I say nothing
you’ll stay on dry land

On and on a marching song gets sung inside my head
I’m walking out the door now
Feels like only yesterday I learned that I could be here
now here I go leaving, again
Ooh again

I couldn’t tell you on the telephone
when you picked up I put it down, I don’t know why
I couldn’t tell you through the telephone
that I’m not myself, I’m not myself
anymore
Oooh ooh anymore

On and on a marching song gets sung inside my head
I’m walking out the door now
Feels like only yesterday I learned that I could be here
now here I go leaving”

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artwork by Molly Howarth

Heltai is releasing his latest EP, Only Yesterday on April 12th. It has the same powerful impact as “Marching Song”,  despite only four songs, and its quick 15 minute play. I longed for more, but settled for repeated listens.

The promotional materials conveyed,

“his goal was to capture the complexity simple instrumentation can lend to lyrically rich folk songs. ‘Only Yesterday’ is a collection of songs that both pays homage to Izzy’s traditional folk influences and reflects his desire to craft fresh melodies for a contemporary audience, representing where he’s been as well as where he’s going.”

Hope you’ll give him a listen. Does his music hit you hard, like it hits me?

Who’s Pumped For Savannah Stopover?

Here are my Savannah Stopover opening night music picks. Listen…

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Savannah Stopover Opening Night

Thursday Must Sees!

I encourage you to listen to each and every band playing, but with a growing festival that becomes harder and harder. So I am here to help you make smart choices. These are my Savannah Stopover Thursday music picks.

Aaron Paul Zimmer

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Folk and Rootsy Americana at its finest. He needs your soft claps and foot stamps to make it official. Aaron Paul Zimmer seems uber cool and well worth the effort to show up and listen.

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The Artisanals

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When I see a band live, I go for the music I love, but I am always overjoyed to see a raucous joyous “show”. The Artisanals from Charleston, SC make their music HAPPEN. They are so deep into rock and roll and bring it all in their head shakes and guitar shimmies. This video is in a tight space, and I am expecting a never disappointing full on rock show in Savannah. Don’t You Dare Miss Them!

The Artisanals-Pound The Rock

 

Billy Moon

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Billy Moon is a curious sound to me. I am excited to explore his garage rock/punk. This video is so impressively odd with his purple lipstick and vintage dress….I am totally intrigued. The guitar is so good, and his punk shout is my jam. Bring it on.

Billy Moon-Living Room

 

The Bright Light Social Hour

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With a neo-psychedelic sound and sparkly guitar work smattered throughout all of their music, what could be sweeter? Well, this new album has some deep emotional ties to the loss of their brother and manager for five years to suicide from bi-polar disorder. The internal changes of their deep soulful state is paramount. The brilliance is evident and they are a must see.

The Bright Light Social Hour-Infinite Cities

 

Lucy Dacus

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One of my top albums of the year for 2018. Lucy Dacus has the skills for poetic lyrics, but can roll it up nicely with guitar driven songs that make me melt. I saw her at Stopover just a couple of years ago, and wow… she has grown immensely and has become my all time favorite songstress this year. Witness the greatness of her music….

Lucy Dacus-Addictions

 

Paul Cherry

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Do you reminisce about lost loves? Despite the where’s Waldo appearance, Chicagoan Paul Cherry has a bittersweet song of just that…it is so catchy and sweet that it may be a bit contagious.

Paul Cherry-Like Yesterday

 

Ruen Brothers

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UK band, The Ruen Brothers have created the perfect morphing of the best of music’s past and a bit of music’s today. Their songs have an ‘I swear I know this song’ quality, but then with further listens you realize it is completely original. They sport a pleasing sound and each tune is a wonderful throwback to a time when music had a purer quality.

Ruen Brothers-All Shades of Blue

 

SONTALK

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I have found through my years of music listening, it is the bands that can channel their own personal failures and triumphs in their music that will melt my ears. SONTALK is open to being vulnerable and it is totally relatable. Listen.

SONTALK-The One Who Breaks Your Heart

You can get your info HERE

You can purchase your tickets HERE

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Hope to see you this Thursday!

 

High Water 2018 Day One-Let’s Fondly Reminisce a Stellar Day of Music

Through my photography and blog, I hope you can experience the amazing musicians, people, and setting of High Water Festival

While I was driving back to Atlanta from Charleston in torrential downpours, I was once again reminded of the charm of High Water Festival. There is truly something magical, mystical, and glorious about the festival’s ability to place itself in the perfect location and find the perfect weekend of the most pleasant spring weather. I don’t think it is luck….This festival has camaraderie, friendship, and joy in its very DNA. This year there were happy surprises with emerging bands and instead of heat and humidity we had brisk winds with chilly nights.

From the ease of parking, strolling to the entrance, and passing through the High Water gates, the worries of work, school, and life shrug off magically.

Were you there? Did you feel it?

If you weren’t able to come this year, I hope I can give you that sense of happiness through my photos and my descriptions….If you were there this year, let’s reminisce and soak the goodness into our heart & soul and make the feeling last a long time (round about 51 weeks?).

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We entered the High Water gates, hurriedly placed our blanket down under the trees, and I changed photo lenses and ran off to the Edisto stage to see Weaves. As I have said before, they are a phenomenal band out of Toronto, and the lead singer has the ability to use her voice to warble and hit interesting notes with serious range. I refrain from saying her voice is almost baby-like, but it does take on la-la’s and sounds that manage to intersect the edge, then her voice moves beyond flawlessly.

She is expressive on stage, and her band mates are all talented musicians that truly hold their own.

Weaves

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The set began with a small crowd, but with their commanding, infectious sound, the crowd grew quickly and everyone seemed totally into it. I have seen them multiple times, and they just get better and better! A perfect way to begin the weekend of music.

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Nicole Atkins

Wanting to stay till the last note, I had to run lickety split to the Stono stage to catch Nicole Atkins. Because the Stono stage was farther from the entrance, it wasn’t as packed and I had an easy access to the photo pit. Nicole’s sultry soothing voice would perhaps be a more laid back set.

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When she arrived on stage in a bold leopard jumpsuit and black and white wingtips, I knew we were in for music with personality. I love her lyrics of struggle and sheer survival from difficult times in her life. She writes what she knows. I hear a bit of Linda Ronstadt in her voice and her style. She can sing a good cry, and question everything with her voice. Talent and deep insight can be a very powerful combination.

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Ian Felice

On my way to see Ian Felice, I stopped to marvel at an empty container ship navigate its way up the river. They are huge, and something to behold close up. Their horn will make you jump out of your shoes if you are nearby. Every once in a while, a ship’s horn would interject in a band’s tune. We would all take a quick look….

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I was excited about hearing Ian Felice. I listened to him on repeat prior to the festival. I liked his laid back story telling, folk, rock and roll. I heard a bit of Bob Dylan, Conor Oberst, and maybe even a little Dawes in his solo music. He was originally with The Felice Brothers (four of them), and perhaps their brotherly project is a little more festive and upbeat, but similar in style. He just recently made music on his own.

Ian Felice’s set was thoughtful, relaxed, and the perfect way to sit on your blanket and just hang out and appreciate the music. I was happy I was up close and could see his well-worn guitar. I imagined hours and hours of play on that beloved instrument. I know as a music writer, a musician’s success comes through serious dedication, passion, and a sprinkling of good luck. His lyrics were expressive and wove the story, Ian Felice rarely moved and sang mostly with his eyes gently closed, as if he was a million miles away. One of his brothers accompanied him on bass and then moved to the drums.

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Those who were fortunate enough to be up front were really listening and enjoying.

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I think I’d like to hear him again in a small venue, where I can truly focus on his talent. He sure has it, and I hope it translated around the park on Saturday, because people were pouring in at this point.

It was difficult for me to move from photo pit to photo pit/stage to stage (no I am not complaining, it was a sweet privilege that I would never take for granted). I meandered around the crowd slipping between colorful blankets where laughter spilled past the edges or even the occasional cold beverage. I enjoyed the challenge of creative foot placement and I was able to get a sense of the party mood.

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Everyone was elated and happy to be out and about on such a beautiful day. Bar and food lines were long, but everyone seemed friendly, sociable, and agreeable.

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I spotted the resourceful people that spread out their blankets in the middle of the two stages on the hill, so they could just stand to hear the other stage performances.

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VIP had it made. Best view, best seats, and few lines for drinks. Media was off limits this year. It was a real bummer for me because it was so much easier to get to the stage from their side. DSC_0206.jpg

Here’s a zoom to show what I mean…

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Old 97’s

Old 97’s cranked it up and played with jam band mentality. They have been together for a while, so there was definitely a synergy and vibrancy about their set.

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There were some swooners for sure….

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I went backstage to give you a sense of the crowds gathered for their set.  Wow!

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While back there, I couldn’t help but snap this pic of Nicole Atkins. So fun that she let me take a pic before she joined Old 97’s on stage.

So fierce! You go girl!

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After Old 97’s, I had a chance to chat around. I stumbled upon this beautiful couple. We chatted favorite music, favorite venues, and who they wanted to see. I found out he knew Susto’s lead singer from Florence, SC. What a small world, I lived some skinny minutes in Florence as well…

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Shrimp Records Family Band

This is a music surprise of sorts, where the Shrimp Records family of musicians jam together. It was a cool scene.

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After watching the fun they were having on stage, I decided it was time for an adult beverage…I had a skinny minute to indulge and I stood in line behind this crazy beautiful group. Aren’t they sumpin’?

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So I actually had a tiny bit of time to sit and soak in the day. I just couldn’t stop taking photos. Life was happenin’ all around me and I wanted to capture the sweet moments.

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Yep, there was a traveling pickle!

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A beautiful baby discovering and playing with her shadow.

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So very precious.

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Reunions with friends.

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St Paul and The Broken Bones

When you experience St Paul and The Broken Bones live…you will never want to miss their show. Yep, it is that good! Always creative, different, powerpacked, and a dancing, singing spectacle…St Paul andThe Broken Bones brings everything they have to provide the ultimate live experience. Talented in so many ways, they once again set the bar for performance surprise!

Did you witness the under the rug gatoring? This guy jams!

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And who can resist enjoying his shoe choice?

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And the crowd follows with crazy abandon…

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The Wild Reeds

The Wild Reeds were the happy surprise to Saturday’s High Water. I spoke with so many that mentioned their performance and how it impacted and wowed them. The music, their energy, and talent all garnished many new fans. They went on when the sun was setting, the wind was whipping, and the temperatures were dropping. It proved to add to the electricity of their set. We all felt the power, girl power (+one guy) and it was sizzling!

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Brandi Carlile

As I have said before, I think her latest release will be one of the top albums of the year. Brandi Carlile has struck a deep nerve with her heartfelt lyrics and sound. Now she has won over so many more with her electrifying live performance. Passionate about her craft, we couldn’t help but notice her ease at slipping between country, folk, rock, and Americana. It was magical and riveting. Despite the obvious life struggling that occurs in her song’s lyrics, she has catchy choruses that are unforgettable.

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Wow, just wow!

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At this point I was scrambling around to find a bite to eat and catch up with friends before the next set.  There was so much to see and experience as I wandered around the park. Here are a few fun scenes.

Chillaxin’

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Dear friends who have great taste in music.

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A hat adorned with lovely acoutraments.

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It was really cold when the sun went down and she was prepared! The rest of us bought Band of Horses hoodies! They had the most warmth, thank you Band of Horses!

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Jeff Tweedy

What I love about Jeff Tweedy is his no nonsense approach to a music performance. He just walks out, picks up his guitar and begins playing. He creates stories in songs and you feel as if he might just be singing specifically to you around a campfire on a cold night. Did I mention his harmonica playing? He brings warmth and humor as well as the take it or leave it attitude. I’ll take it gladly and be there again and again. He has a quiet genius in his gift of sound and words. Without a backing band, he still held his own and as the sun drifted out of view, he guided us to listen willingly to his wit and his soft guitar picking.

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We felt all the feels.

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Jason Isbell

What else is there to say? Jason Isbell has won multiple awards, continues to sell out shows, and has the gift of creating important lyrics and putting it all to powerful music.

Jason Isbel & The 400 Unit were an excellent ending to a day of music perfection. The evening was cold but there was warmth in every last note. Many even linguered long after the end and didn’t want to leave.

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He was sporting a new look with a new beard.

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Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires

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Goodnight y’all! Feel free to stop by anytime when you need a joy fix. Here’s my favorite parting shot! Power to the night! Peace out!

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Stay tuned for the second day of High Water Festival… coming soon!

Flooding Your Ears With The Music of High Water 2018-Get to know the Sunday bands

After digging into 11 bands and their music, playing on Sunday, I began to fully appreciate the wide variety of styles and sounds
Listen…

There is so much to love about High Water Festival this year. Just when you think they can’t possibly top the line up from last year’s inaugural festival, I began digging into all of the bands and now appreciate the impressive variety of talent. Check them out! Full Spotify playlist added as well….

The High Divers (just added)

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I first met The High Divers through a mutual Charleston music friend. They are one of the hardest working bands in the business, and come play in Atlanta on occasion. We try to catch them when we can. Luke Mitchell’s golden voice and the band’s obvious synergy make them a true crowd pleaser. Get to know their latest album release, Chicora, because it was brought to life from hard work, love, and serious dedication. Healing through a serious tour car crash, I for one am thankful they want to hit the stage again. Nothing stops this band from what they love! Get there early!

The High Divers-Making Me Want You

T. Hardy Morris

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I have written before about this storied guitarist and member of Dead Confederates, T. Hardy Morris. He is a Georgia native and I learned about him from the release of his first solo album back in 2013. I loved the idea that he collaborated with Georgia historic sites and made a series of very cool videos performing his songs at those sites. I recall he wanted to help raise awareness for the many neglected sites and because it was simply a creative move, which proves to be a part of his fabric. T Hardy Morris somehow seeks the intersection of country, garage rock and grunge and makes it happen. So as of today, he announced a new record and released new music…here you go!

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Valerie June

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Valerie June is a singer/songwriter that I had to dive into and learn about for this post. Her voice is strikingly poignant, but her creativity of melding multiple genres makes her quite unique. There is a bit of Americana, Appalachian, folk, blues, and soul in her songs. A Memphis native, she has a knack for taking classic sounds from the past and weaving something new and important from them. I am truly curious and can’t wait to experience her live.

Valerie June-Two Hearts

Joshua Hedley

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Joshua Hedley has been performing in Nashville for quite awhile and has made a name for himself. Old style country music is his genre and he plays it well. So it is fitting that his song would be, “Mr Jukebox,” because he has essentially played all the songs people wanted to hear. Now with his debut album, he has his own music to share.

Joshua Hedley-Mr Jukebox

Tank and The Bangas

Have you heard the buzz about Tank and The Bangas? If not, they won the NPR tiny desk contest. NPR selects the best, most creative, and freshest sound out of thousands (it might be more) of entries. This band was last year’s recipient. I have covered many other bands that were wildly qualified but didn’t make the cut. So, I am totally intrigued to see this amazing group live and see what fascinated the NPR team. I have listened and I totally get it, but based on their creative videos and live performances, I am chomping at the bit to see and experience in person and find what the hype is all about.

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M. Ward

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M. Ward‘s music was a joy to dig into….If you follow me and the music I share, then you know that lyrics make me swoon. Then, if the music compliments and enhances the words, I am forever a fan. Well, M. Ward has a knack for this perfect balance. New to me, but clearly successful with albums dating back to 1999, M. Ward will be one I will have my eyes and ears on. Here’s a really good one and one of his newest.

M Ward-Girl From Conejo Valley

Shakey Graves

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Okay, full disclosure…Shakey Graves had almost everything to do with the beginning of my music blogging life. I was totally obsessed by his very first videos he filmed in a sewer drain somewhere in Texas. He was accompanied by his all in one suitcase percussion instrument and he belted out his voice with thoughtful story-like lyrics. I am a long time fan and have enjoyed watching his building trajectory of fame. With a new song and a new sound, I am a captured audience and anticipate his performance. Just so you know….almost every gig he has in this year is SOLD OUT. You just can’t miss this. Here is his new sound (album out in May)…but be sure to seek out his roots music too.

Shakey Graves-Mansion Door

Hamilton Leithhauser

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Former band member and lead singer from The Walkmen, Hamilton Leithhauser recorded seven studio albums and created quite a name for himself. He began a solo project in 2014, but in 2016 collaborated with Vampire Weekend’s Rostam. Their album was given widespread critical acclaim.  Recently collaborating with Angel Olsen, he has stretched the bar and creates music that defies description. He can reflect a bit of old school, and then combine it beautifully with a modern twist that makes it feel fresh and new. Each of his songs is highly entertaing and sway worthy.

Hamilton Leithhauser-In A Blackout

Shovels and Rope

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We can thank Shovels and Rope for creating and powering up High Water Festival. They brought all of their favorite music friends together in North Charleston and we all get to benefit. Year two of High Water Festival is a continued succes, and with new music from Shovels and Rope late in 2017, I feel as if there might be more on the horizon for this crazy talented duo as well. Hometown favorites and a sassy bit of Americana honky tonk, what is not to love? Come see them and thank them for this awesome Festival!

Shovels and Rope-Great America

Susto

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Susto is an all around great band that everyone seems to connect with and know they will have a jam good time. Alternative in genre and Charleston natives, they have made quite a name for themselves from touring non-stop, powerful song writing, and popping performances. Their songs are anthemic and sing-a-long worthy. If you don’t already know them, you will be dancing and singing by their second song. They are a band where you just can’t hold back because their sound is simply infectious.

Susto-Jah Werx

Band Of Horses

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Band of Horses is an iconic band that carefully curated their sound and made folk-like indie rock to perfection. With beautiful music streching back to 2005 and hits as recently as 2016, they have achieved a solid place in alternative/indie rock music’s history. It seems there is nothing stopping their creative spirit. There is a serious hint of new music because they have been recording in Charleston with the incredibly talented Wolfgang Zimmerman. No official word yet, but I would expect news very soon. Their catalogue of songs they will share on Sunday will be vast and the perfect way to end an incredible festival, new songs or not….

Band of Horses-Casual Party

Both Saturday and Sunday’s music.Enjoy!

Flooding your ears with the music of High Water 2018 -Get Pumped!

Incredible music, curated food, and thirst quenching libations, what could be better? High Water Festival may be heaven on earth.

Check it out…

It is early in the week. What are you doing this weekend? Oh c’mon, you know you think about it as you slave away your Monday on the grind. The weekend is a sacred time and this weekend is High Water Festival in North Charleston, SC. The tickets sold out in an amazing fashion, but there are a few here, there, and somewhere.

The coast of South Carolina is the most hospitable travel spot in the world, with bluebird skies, warm gentle breezes, and southern hospitality. Now, add to all of that…incredible music, curated food, and thirst quenching libations, what could be better? This is my heaven on earth. I hope you’ll hang out with me. This blog post is for those that have the coveted tickets and need a quick overview, those that wish they could be there, and yep those that just want to experience something a little different and learn about great music.

The crazy spring time storms blew through the south this past weekend and brought with them whispers of winter. I have been obsessed with the future weather patterns hoping that April 22-23 (High Water Festival) will prove to be the beautiful weekend we all experienced last year. So far, so good.

Saturday looks sunny and delightful and Sunday may be a bit cloudy….but I don’t see wild storms or frigid temps! This is very good news according to AccuWeather. Let’s hope it sticks!

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So let’s jump into the music we will enjoy in that wonderful weather….The lineup is full of treasured voices and bands while lightly peppered with new and need to explore sounds.

High Water

Here is a quick overview of the bands playing on Saturday. I am also adding a playlist for you at the end. Check it out!

Weaves

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Weaves is a talented band with the stage presence to crank up the crowd and begin the festival with power and panache. This will be my (ah-hem) 3rd time to see them play, and every time they blow me away. Each musician has a wowing ability to play flawlessly with sparkle and serious standout skills, and leading the music are the memorable vocals of Jasmyn Burke. The Toronto band possesses a rare ability to entertain with talent, wittiness, and spirit. Don’t snooze and lose on Saturday. Get there early to set up and experience the joyous power of Weaves.

Weaves-Walkaway

Nicole Atkins

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Singer songwriter Nicole Atkins has a golden voice and a gift for song, but after sinking into depression and drinking way too much, she found herself a little numb and distant from it all. With her last album, “Goodnight Rhonda Lee” she discusses finding herself again through the internal struggle and capturing her difficult experience in song. Rhonda Lee is her alter ego (the heavy drinker) and with this album she says…goodbye. Her retro-soul-infused style found in her most recent music is the most heartfelt of any of her projects. Sometimes those giant mountains to climb can be purposeful and life changing. Listening, I am pretty sure Nicole Atkins has reached deep into her soul and found what she can share with her fans.You should be one. Her difficult journey is our lucky gain.

Nicole Atkins-Listen Up

“You gotta make mistakes to know, you gotta make mistakes to grow…”

Ian Felice

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Folk music with awareness and validity is what you will hear from this artist. Out of Catskills NY, Ian Felice is a singer/songwriter, poet, and artist, who possesses the power to fill your ears with satisfying lyrics meant for chewing and savouring. He modernizes Bob Dylan’s “these times they are a-changin” technique and achieves a similar worldly impact, It will be wonderous to see if he can step out of a quiet venue (where his words can be appreciated all the more) to a loud raucous outdoor arena. I am hoping his sound and unique style powerfully impacts the listeners to a thoughtful appreciative hush. I know I will be there, hanging on every lyric.

Ian Felice-In The Kingdom Of Dreams

Old 97’s

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Best served live and loud, this band has a nice history and reputation for alt-country-pop. The pedal steel in their song, “All Who Wander” from their album Graveyard Whistling emphasizes their deepening country roots. This talented foursome, hailing from Dallas, have been making music since …you guessed it, 1997 and they still keep it fresh and warmly soothing.

Old 97’s -All Who Wander

Shrimp Records Family Band

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From the High Water website…

“Shrimp Records is a musical collective and sometimes record label celebrating some of Charleston’s most celebrated local talent. Their set will feature members of Shovels & Rope, Indianola, Punks & Snakes, Mechanical River, Bill Carson, and Slow Runner. The band’s live show will feature songs from all these projects and a number of musical surprises. Sets from the band don’t happen often, and locals show up en masse when they do, it’s not to be missed at High Water.” 

I love surprises, don’t you?

 

St Paul and The Broken Bones

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St Paul and the Broken Bones from Birmingham Alabama have perfected the exuberant combo of R&B, soul, and rock and roll. Each song commands a smoothness that is sway worthy and sing-a-long happy. This is the set to dance along with your sweetie and squeeze ’em with all your heart…especially after the big power dance twirl. You will be forever changed by the crazy vocal ability of the lead, Paul Janeway and the talent of the seven additional instrumentalists and background support. I also expect to learn a new dance move or two cause they will shimmy, shake, and slide while they play ….they are that good.

St. Paul & the Broken Bones – Flow with It (You Got Me Feeling Like)

The Wild Reeds

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Sometimes a band can strike a chord that reverberates and seems to connect to hearts all around. The Los Angeles based band, The Wild Reeds, have the strength of achieving this with their song, “Everything Looks Better In Hindsight”. But, it doesn’t stop there. Each song they write has a poignant story which is strikingly and almost hauntingly familiar to your own narrative. With beautiful harmonies and heartfelt solos, they will be something to behold. Can’t wait!

The Wild Reeds-Everything Looks Better In Hindsight

Brandi Carlile

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Brandi Carlile grew up outside of Seattle Washington in a sleepy little area where her creative mind and her own voice led her on a path to where she resides now. She is a much beloved Americana/folk/country songstress with strong lyrical content. Her latest album, By The Way, I Forgive You has been doused with accolades beyond the usual album review and I am expecting it to be one of the top albums of the year. If that isn’t enough to make you hang out to hear her sing, then it should be her amazing vocal tone and her ability to sing a song and casually weave it into an orchestral arrangement. There is power behind that and worthy of your ears.

Brandi Carlile-The Joke

Jeff Tweedy

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Jeff Tweedy is a singer/songwriter, musician, and record producer best known as the singer and guitarist of the band Wilco. His solo album, Together At Last was released last year. With 30 years of rock and roll experience, it seems fitting that Tweedy would now venture out on his own. After seeing him perform at Pickathon in Oregon before his new album was announced, I remember marveling at his stage presence while he sang beautifully intimate songs. Yes he chatted in between each song, overjoyed he had a late night crowd, but I knew, in that moment he was destined  to have a successful solo career.

Jeff Tweedy-I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit

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What can I say that hasn’t already been said about Jason Isbell? He is a prolific songwriter, amazing guitarist, and winner of multiple grammy awards. I saw him many years ago when he first left the Drive-By Truckers and went out on his own. On a couple of occasions, I witnessed him chug a quart of Jack Daniels during his one hour set. Despite the obvious vice, he still brought the house down and pleased the crowd immensely, me included! I recognized he had demons to slay. Were those demons the root of his creativity? Naw, he proved to clean up his act and shortly afterward released a succession of incredible hits. This complicated artist has worked his way into my heart, and I am thrilled to see him perform once again. I think it might be my fourth or fifth time! Isbell has so much to share and he always lays it on the line.

Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit-Hope The High Road

 

Here is your High Water Playlist, a 35 minute easy listen to give you a quick Saturday overview and get you pumped for the weekend! ( I will add Sunday’s tunes after my Sunday music overview post)

 

 

 

 

 

Noah Kahan and The Strumbellas-Live Review & Photos

Noah Kahan and The Strumbellas have songs which build in momentum to a sing-a-long chorus which breathes hope and reassurance in us all. LIVE/PHOTOS

Read More…

Fall in Atlanta is chock full of incredible live music, and I try to get to as much as my time and pocketbook affords. So when I heard about Noah Kahan and The Strumbellas coming to town, I jumped at the chance.

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Terminal West is one of my favorite venues in Atlanta, because the lights and sound are truly incredible as well as the wide range of musical talents they bring to Atlanta. Watching an artist perform live makes them unforgettable, and this night was no exception.

After learning about Noah Kahan for my earlier post about him (you can read it HERE), I found his story to be compelling. He took a leap of faith and decided to forego college for a chance to pursue his music. It was a giant risk from a guy living in a small town in Vermont. I recognize the conviction in his lovely music.

Kahan is a singer/songwriter that connects with his listeners through his amazing vocals, his folk style that warms to a stomping chorus, and his lyrics full of heart, wisdom, and wit. On Monday night, his performance hushed the gathering crowd and drew hearty claps. During his set, we were graced with his newest single, “Hurt Somebody”, and it’s a beaut (listen below). It is nice to know he is writing and continuing to live out his dream.

Noah Kahan is an artist to watch….

 

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Noah Kahan-Hurt Somebody

 

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I am a chatty gal, so one of my favorite things is meeting with music fans standing around me. I love hearing who they are listening to and what brought them out. So when a couple of new friends scored the setlist because they enjoyed Noah Kahan, I was thrilled for them. Way to go, Clare and Ben from Atlanta, (the third pic was the charm, thanks for your patience!)

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After Noah Kahan and his band ended their performance with the crowd pleasing tune, “Young Blood”, there was some time to wander and check out the merch table.

Always fun to see what they have!

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What is it about a band where you find yourself singing along at the top of your lungs, clapping your hands till they turn ruby red, and jumping and stomping to the drum beats? The energy of both bands lifted me up, and I found a resounding source of enthusiasm. It was a perfect night.

Happy to dance and sing with my newest musical compadres, I looked around and found I was the lonely listener that didn’t know each and every lyric. The Strumbellas have a strong fan base in Atlanta. Many told me they saw them at Music Midtown, went to their late night show at Smith’s Old Bar, and found that they just couldn’t wait to bring friends and see them again.

True band devotion…

When Simon Ward entered the dimly lit stage barefoot and struck a prayer-like pose, I knew I was going to be wowed.

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The lead singer dances like a fast moving train, and my camera couldn’t seem to keep up. I made every effort to capture the band’s fire and passion!

 

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From quiet beginnings, each song builds in momentum to a sing-a-long chorus and a bit of stomping and clapping as its breathes a powerful hope and reassurance to us all. So it is no wonder their 2016 album is titled, Hope. Their style seems to be the rambunctious ‘heart of America’ sound, but surprisingly they are from Canada and their music preceded the bands famous for that sound, like the Lumineers.

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Here is a joyous sampling of the moment!

The many happy happy fans!

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I loved meeting Wendy from Marietta. She was sporting a homemade tee in tribute to The Strumbellas and their tune, “Wild Sun”.

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Also, I have to share an amazing painting by a great friend and artist, Toniella, who interprets songs in her art. This painting is based on The Strumbellas’ powerful song, “We Don’t Know”.

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Because it was a Monday night and I had to be at work early on Tuesday, I didn’t get to see who nabbed the golden ticket set list. But I always try and capture the image…

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They only have a couple of dates left on their tour, so be sure to go if you need a hopeful, fun fix.

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Happy Abandon-Severed Seams

Happy Abandon mixes punctuating howls of Americana, fiery rock, and orchestral dreaminess to create vital music we need now.

Read More…

I am on a mission.

At every turn, I find billowing darkness, and I am desperately seeking small cracks of light.

Music heals.

Music opens minds.

Music entertains.

Music breathes light and life.

Therefore, I am sharing some incredible music for you to listen to right now.

Few words, less opinion, more stellar music.

I encourage you to listen with headphones on. Crank it up.

Prepare to be WOWED!

Happy Abandon-Severed Seams

 

“Severed Seams” begins instrumentally, with a minute and a half of quiet thoughtfulness and contemplation. But buckle up, because the band is simply building anticipation. Lush vocals and harmonies enter to strike a powerful chord of emotion. The magnificence of the textures and combinations form an exhilarating crescendo. The music mixes punctuating howls of Americana, fiery rock, and an orchestral dreaminess. Happy Abandon simply can’t be pegged, which makes them all the more important.

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Happy Abandon is a four piece out of Chapel Hill, NC, Peter on guitar, vocals, & lyricist, Jake on percussion & back up vocals, Justin on bass & back up vocals and Alex on keyboards & back up vocals. Their music has an emotional and soaring intensity, as they deftly express their craft with astonishing precision.

“Severed Seams” is one of  ten tracks which complete their upcoming album, Facepaint, out on August 25th.

 

(Sandy) Alex G-Bobby

The fiddle and the banjo emphasize the light expression of affection and the unusual ease at which one might sacrifice it all, or withstand any condition, for continued companionship.

 

Who is (Sandy) Alex G?

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At only 24 years old, Sandy, or aka Alex G…Alex Giannascoli, has a huge catalog of songs and eight albums to date. His latest album, Rocket, was released only last month, but a few songs trickled out earlier in anticipation of the fourteen song album. “Bobby” is one of them. After seeing him live at Savannah Stopover two years ago, I knew he had something special. I really couldn’t put my finger on it. His show made me strangely curious. He rarely looked out in the audience, rocked back and forth, and at times sang softly and occasionally only mumbled some of the words but then would surprise the audience with shouts.

I now recognize these mannerisms as refreshing, endearing, and a part of his appeal. There was something genuinely naive and tender about his confessional lyrics and unrefined whisper-singing voice. On each album, he explores and dabbles in lyrical stories teamed with the addition of sounds and styles. Rocket is the same, on steroids, but it seems more intentional and measured. Chunks of styles prevail throughout the album, electronic, blues, southern rock, pop, folk, and alt-country music. Each song is carefully wrapped in distinction and a bit of youthful experimentation, but more thoughtful. Perhaps his style is growing and developing as he becomes a bonafide adult.

Perfect fodder for a couple of depressing, rainy days after a lovely week long vacation at the beach. I needed interesting music more than ever!

After listening to the album over and over, the song “Bobby” stood out. As a listener, I felt as if I was eavesdropping an intimate confession of a love. The fiddle and the banjo emphasize the light expression of affection and the unusual ease at which one might sacrifice it all, or withstand any condition, for continued companionship. A song with an undeniable charm.

Listen.

(Sandy) Alex G- Bobby

“Bobby’s just a friend of mine
He’s on his back
I’m on his mind
He wakes me when he goes to work
His hands are cold
His breath is smoke

I’d leave him for you
If you want me to
I’d leave him for you
If you want me to
I’d leave him for you
If you want me to
I’d leave him for you
If you want me to

Do you forget when we first met
You grabbed my hand
I tore your dress
I felt things I cannot express
But I lost my way
I made my mess

I’d clean it for you
If you want me to
I’d clean it for you
If you want me to
I’d clean it for you
If you want me to
I’d clean it for you
If you want me to
But I know what you’re doing
I know what you’re doing
I know you
I know you
I do I do I tell you what

I paint pictures of my heart
The colors blue and purple start
To bleed into an endless dark
It’s only you it’s only you

I’d burn them for you
If you want me to
I’d burn them for you
If you want me to
I’d burn them for you
If you want me to
I’d burn them for you
If you want me to

But I know what you’re doing
I know what you’re doing
I know you
I know you
I do I do I tell you what”