Savannah Stopover Photos-My Last Night of Live Music

Savannah Stopover, discover new music, meet incredible bands, all through my lens

**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.

THANKS ASHLEY!

Donna Savage

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.

Their Bio….

“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.”

Photo credit Ashley Olson

Mind Shrine

Their Bio…

“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.”

photo credit Ashley Olson

Here lies a beautiful voice and easy going chill vibe, absolutely perfect for the times we live in now!

Jeremy Albino

Their Bio…

“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.”

photo credit Ashley Olson

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.

Kate Bollinger

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.” 

Her playlist….

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!

Sir Woman

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

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….

Bendigo Fletcher

Their bio…

“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”.

Motherfolk

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.

Illiterate Light

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.

The Districts

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.

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.

Savannah Stopover Fab Friday Band Picks-Deerhunter and 9+… #HappyStopover

Here are my Friday night music picks for Savannah Stopover, plan accordingly or simply listen.

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Here are my Friday night music picks for Savannah Stopover, plan accordingly or simply listen.

Esther Rose

 

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photo cred Akasha Rabut

I am not normally a country music fan, but Esther Rose has a way of presenting simple, old timey country songs, with quality. She is a songwriter that captures feelings and emotion. Easy listening at it’s best.

Esther Rose- Don’t Blame It On The Moon

 

William Tyler

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I am pretty sure that the phenomenal guitarist, William Tyler, will bring a spiritual sense of heaven as he plucks his treasured guitar in Savannah. I am not sure I have anything to compare it to, so I will be happy just to experience it. This Stopover discovery is a keeper for my future playlists and for those moments in my life when I simply need sonic escape to a brighter more beautiful place.

William Tyler- Fail Safe

 

Faye Webster

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A serious crooner, Fay Webster has a lush, silky sound meant for listening and maybe secretly shedding a tear or two. She sings sweetly, immersed in an alt-country pop surround. Her latest, “Kingston”, has her stretching into newer territory with growing confidence. One to watch, for sure.

Faye Webster- Kingston

Deerhunter

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With a prolific catalogue of music, Deerhunter recently released another album, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? The songs are filled with thoughtful prose and curious observations washed in warm and catchy rock and roll. It fills my heart to listen to the edgy growth of a band firing at all cylinders and reflecting what the world gives them. To catch Deerhunter on stage after creating this incredible album, proves to be the coveted ticket of the weekend.

Deerhunter- Death In Midsummer

Well Wisher

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Photo by Okie Dokie Studio

I will be happy to sink into the jangly rock set of Well Wisher.  The joy of Stopover is to dash from one genre to the next. Experiencing their catchy pop rock hooks will be a Friday night joy! Guitar driven and inspired by self reflection, they seem to be riding a nice wave of appreciation for their debut album, This Is Fine. Their songs strike a healthy balance of toe tapping pop and a punk/alt narrative.

Well Wisher- I Know Better

Super Doppler

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A rock band must see from Norfolk VA is Super Doppler, formerly known as Major and The Monbacks. Their songs seem to have broad appeal and hint at many influences of earlier rock and rollers. They will surely pop the roof off, so be sure to have your dancing shoes on.  You’re gonna want to move to their swaying beats.

Super Doppler- I Can Breathe

Empath

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I don’t know much about the band, Empath, but this song is cool and the video is oh so trippy. “Satisfying and terrifying” is the lyric as they are up to their necks in baby dolls and grungy guitar echo. Noise experimenting and a bit of focused chaos may be their inspiration, and that is cool for me.

Empath- Soft Shape

Sun Seeker

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When you’ve been playing with a group over a span of time, beginning in middle school, you are bound to grow and morph into something quite adept. Lots of music under their belt and a fairly recent signing with Third Man Records has this band broadening their loyal following in Nashville. Southern Pop rock with an alt-country leaning, Sun Seeker has a feel good sound that will surely add you to their ever expanding fan base. Listen.

Sun Seeker- Good Year

Little Bird

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Little Bird has a vibe which isn’t describable, it is just a feeling. Their music evokes this reaction which is palpable and infectious. Plan to experience the kind of moment where you want to put on your darkest shades and sway to your heart’s glory, despite the fact it will be midnight! Jam away.

Little Bird- Honey Leak

Pinc Louds

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Honestly, I love that every time I type this band’s name, I get the wonky red dotted line underneath suggesting I have made a typing error. Something about that confirms the creative energy this band has and I expect it to power up at their 12:30 am set. Savannah Stopover once again helps me find a band that makes me weak in the knees for their unique and beautiful sound. This is golden and I will not miss it, no matter how much my dogs are barking (tired feet… for y’all that don’t get it). Seriously, their music has been on repeat since I downloaded the Stopover playlist (see below to follow).

Pinc Louds- Soul In My Body

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Come join the fun!

Tickets still available HERE

More info on Savannah Stopover HERE

Savannah Stopover Playlist

 

 

 

# 3 of the Top 20 Album Countdown for 2018-immersed in cool music

With such a memorable album, it is jaw dropping that this is only Lindsay Jordan’s beginning. 

Snail Mail – Lush

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Lindsey Jordan proves to be the exciting future of indie rock. In her debut album, Lush, she has emotionally charged music wrapped nicely in a straightforward open style. Although the subject of her music has been done repeatedly through the years, she brings a clarity to the gut wrenching experience of  breakup. Instead of wallowing in heartache, she somehow turns it all around into a superpower of honesty and jumps the hurdle of pain through a clear eyed musical expression. The songs send me back to that place where I feel like 18 again, vulnerable and overcome by emotion, yet here, there are lovely guitar lines that make the moment unmistakable. The songs are laid back, restrained, and brilliantly vague enough to place yourself in the song. With such a memorable album, it is jaw dropping that this is only her beginning. 

Shinyribs and Caleb Caudle at Terminal West Atlanta

Shinyribs shared the perfect life sustaining music and concert experience we all need !!

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was riding high on the joy of High Water Festival…I drove a five and a half hour drive back to Atlanta, picked up my dog, ate dinner, and was off to a show I have waited years to see. Yep, my energy level was in the negative, but I was doggone determined to not miss a show from an artist I have been hoping to see for years.

Who was it?

Shinyribs

Shinyribs is the power of Kevin Russell. His musical journey began as a child when he found a guitar, a box of comic books, and a billy club, under his dad’s bed. Thank heavens he chose the guitar! Later, he formed a small band, Picket Line Coyotes to eventually develop into The Gourds in Austin, Texas. After that, Shinyribs was born.

“A Shinyribs show is an exaltation of spirit. It’s a hip shaking, belly laughing, soul-singing, song-slinging, down-home house party.”

I knew years ago, I wanted to experience a Shinyribs show. His music is witty, clever, a bit raunchy, but good-natured fun. So I waited and waited…Why would he ever have to leave Texas? His shows are successful and repeatedly sold out in the Lone Star state. So my wait was rather long, but now, I can say totally worth it!

The Shinyribs show began with a strong opening act…

Caleb Caudle

Caleb Caudle is a North Carolina based country rock singer. He has a conversational singing style that is quite soothing. He began his musical career with a punk band, The Bayonets and has since taken a one hundred eighty degree turn to a country rock genre. With his clear southern drawl, it suits him. He just released a new album in February, Crushed Coins. Listen to “Empty Arms”, it has a definite country twang (a departure for me), folk song delivery, and a bit of garage rock reverb. Caudle will be playing Wildwood Revival on July 1st after the Gospel Brunch.

Caleb Caudle Empty Arms

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A happy listener snagged the set list and allowed me to take a photo.

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Then….the man of the night sauntered on stage. In a fast foot shuffle, he worked his way to the mic and began the set with “Country Cool”.

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He sang, danced, and entertained with great panache. My weary body from a crazy busy weekend at High Water Festival was suddenly energized and excited to experience what I knew would be an amazing show.

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Here is only a sample of his guitar skills.

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Listen to the chorus of one of my favorite songs…”Who Built The Moon”. I love his hand motions with the lyrics.

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As if the night couldn’t get any better…I was lucky enough to have a short chat with Kevin Russell after the show. We are both glistening from the conga line he led through the audience! Why yes, I did jump on and danced with everyone all around the floor. My cheeks literally ached at the end of the night from smiling. He was so funny and so entertaining.

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Here I present the set list, written on the bottom of a grocery bag!

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If you ever get the chance to see Shinyribs, drop what you are doing and go…you won’t regret it. I promise.

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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