Local blues/garage/swing band Bottles & Cans are so good that I suppose I don’t mention enough how this offshoot of that band kills in its own right. Essentially the standard B & C lineup, AL is different in one key respect: instead of harmonica player Marty Ellis, they substitute Savannah’s own Joe Nelson, an incorrigible old-time music enthusiast and lover of all thing fitted with a fretboard. Joe’s roots-music leanings and idiosyncratic playing style on banjo, mandolin, ukulele and all sorts of other offbeat axes, combined with a setlist that adds relatively obscure country, folk and jug-band numbers to the blues and psychedelic nuggets B & C are known for make seeing this group a distinctly different —yet equally entertaining— experience. Sun., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge.
Eric Culberson Blues Band
This phenomenal Chicago and Memphis style guitar player and vocalist has really come into his own over the past 3 years or so. It’s as if he broke through a wall of some kind, and his artistry, stage presence and vocal chops have grown by leaps and bounds in that time. It doesn’t hurt that he’s playing with what may be the most fluid and sympathetic rhythm section he’s ever had at his disposal. If you’ve never seen them, or if it’s been a while and you assumed nothing had changed, do yourself a favor and pick up on EROK circa 2007. He and his band are every bit as good as the more famous artists who command three times their asking price. For a real kick, catch them at the Bonna Bella Yacht Club. I’m told the new owners are working hard to make that place one of the coolest hangs around with the highly sought-after “old Savannah feel.” Plus, it’s actually accessible by saltwater! Tues. (hosts Open Jam Night) & Wed., 10 pm, Mercury Lounge + Thurs., 6 pm, Bonna Bella Yacht Club + Sat., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (Southside) + Mon., 9 pm, Fiddler’s Crab House (River St.).
Evening w/Garrison Keillor
Some folks love this feisty raconteur, performance artist and author because his politics appeal to theirs. Others dismiss him because his views are at odds with their own. That’s a shame. Both groups should appreciate the man for the work he’s done on A Prairie Home Companion, one of the finest U.S. radio programs ever created. For those of us who pine for the glory days of Bob Fass, Studs Terkel and Joe Frank, Garrison’s just what the doctor ordered. This show is not technically a Prairie gig, but one can only assume enough of the man’s genius (yep, I said it) will shine through. Tickets range from $35 to $65 and are available at the Civic Center Box Office. (call 651-6556) or can be charged online at www.savannahcivic.com. Wed., March 14, 7:30 pm, Johnny Mercer Theater.
One of the biggest names in the entire starched-collar world of the ‘60s folk revival movement, this group (who’s gone through about as many lineups as G ‘n’ R), are still keeping the name alive as well as the spirit of wholesome, good-natured acoustic broadsides and gentle ideological ribbing. The question still remains, d’ya think they ever did any ramblin’? Tickets are $12 for the public and $10 for Savannah Folk Music Society or Trinity UMC members at the door. Sat., 8 pm, Trinity Methodist Church.
“This Is Spinal Tap”
Speaking of A Mighty Wind, I’m probably one of the few people who saw this momentous and genre-defining “mock-umentary” in theatres during its opening run, and while most every rock, comedy or improv fan has seen this triumph more times than they can count on home video, you haven’t lived till you’ve witnessed Artie Fufkin’s ass-kicking on the big screen. Tickets are $8 at the door, or in advance at 525-5050. Fri., 7 pm, Lucas Theater.
With stick-on sideburns, creepy ‘fangs” and a cap gun in his belt, this ex-con, hillbilly vampire wife-beater is a ludicrous parody of Deep South culture. He’s also an incredible rock and metal guitarist with a killer back-up band and a mute manservant who stands on stage at all times. He also voices a character on the Cartoon Network’s cult hit Squidbillies. This will sell out, and advance tickets are on sale now at the bar. Sat., 10 pm, The Jinx.
The Ken Watters Quartet
This band-leading trumpeter has been a sideman on almost 100 CDs by a wide range of artists from around the world, but he’s best known for a style that recalls Art Farmer, Woody Shaw and the great Lester Bowie. Now based in Atlanta, this will be his first appearance at Savannah’s newest cool spot for hot jazz. Fri. - Sat., 9 pm, 10:30 pm, midnight, Kokopelli’s Jazz Club.