Old Crow Medicine Show, Dr. John and the Tedeschi Trucks Band are among the new concerts added to the 2013 Savannah Music Festival lineup.
The Wailers (the remnants of the great Bob Marley's original band, and still one of Jamaica's coolest reggae exports) and indie rockers Sea Wolf round out the last-minute additions, announced Thursday by SMF chairman Rob Gibson.
Guitar hero Derek Trucks and his wife, singer/songwriter Susan Tedeschi, bring their lightning-hot blues/rock outfit to the Johnny Mercer Theatre April 4. The Tedeschi Trucks Band played its first-ever live show at the Savannah Music Festival in 2010.
Old Crow Medicine Show, appearing March 22 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre, is perhaps the premiere old-timey string band in the America. Combining elements of bluegrass, country, folk, jazz and other strains of acoustic Americana, Old Crow frequently performs on NPR, A Prairie Home Companion, and the Grand Ole Opry stage.
Dr. John, aka Mac Rebennack, has been at the forefront of New Orleans piano boogie and jazz since the early 1970s. He is known not only for his distinctive growl of a voice and the classic songs "Right Place, Wrong Time" and Such a Night," but for collaborations with everyone from Allen Toussaint to Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. He'll play March 27 at the Lucas Theatre.
Bassist Anton "Family Man" Barrett is the sole living member of the Wailers when Bob Marley and Junior Marvin (not to mention Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston) were leading the charge. Still, it's the Wailers, I-Threes and all. Yah mon! March 29, Trustees Theater.
Singer/songwriter Alex Brown Church is at the forefront of the Dangerbird Records Band Sea Wolf, which provide the song "The Violet Hour" for one of the Twilight movies. Ships of the Sea North Garden March 29.
Tickets for the new shows - as well as the rest of the impressive schedule - are available now at savannahmusicfestival.org.
If I were a Richman
What's our pal Jonathan Richman been up to lately? Good question, as the whimsical singer/songwriter does not have a website, a record label or a publicist. We can tell you that his most recent album is still 2010's O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth.
For his annual pilgrimage to the Wormhole - Valentine's Day, Feb. 14 - Richman will, as always, be accompanied by his snare-drumming sidekick Tommy Larkins. (Reaching back, the twosome made up the deadpan Greek chorus in the 1998 Farrelly Brothers film There's Something About Mary.)
Last June, the ex-Modern Lover granted an "interview" to San Francisco Weekly (he answered the reporter's questions via snail mail). In response to the question Why do you think your music is so perennially appealing to young people?, Richman wrote:
"With the younger people at the shows, we've asked some of 'em how they know about us and they say they see clips of us on YouTube, then they come. Oh, incidentally, my music has not always appealed to young (20-year-old) people. Especially when I was a 20-year-old people! Also in the late '70s through the '80s it was hit or miss... and I think that was partly because of a rigidity in my music at that time. It's now that it's the best time: we have the best, overall, times with audiences of all ages, in the U.S. and everywhere, right now.
Happy to welcome Christ, Lord back to town for two shows in one night (Feb. 16), first at the Sentient Bean, then later at the Sparetime.
Here is a six-piece Atlanta band that includes violin, accordion, trumpet and other suchlike instruments to create a strange, intoxicating brew - it's like Tom Waits doing klezmer music. In Latin.
"I would say that dates back to my childhood," bandleader Christian Ballew told me prior to the band's appearance at the 2012 Savannah Stopover. "I'm from the United States, from Utah, but my father's from Colombia and my grandmother was fascinated by spirituality in general. She had a friend who was a klezmer arranger for six or seven bands, and she would take us to a lot of shows. I think it was kind of ingrained in me that way."