SFMS presents: Richard Shindell ***
Ever since this internationally beloved singer-songwriter relocated to Buenos Aires from N.Y. nine years ago (he’s a native Jersey boy), his U.S. concert dates have become less frequent. His entire tour of this country to support Not Far Now, his first disc of new originals in half a decade spans only 14 shows. Luckily for us, the fourth gig is sponsored by the Savannah Folk Music Society.
With a voice that sometimes recalls his peer, the Americana stalwart James McMurtry, Shindell’s albums are almost uniformly transcendent pieces of recorded art. At once cryptic, straightforward, contemplative, humorous, spiritually aware and respectfully ambiguous —yet always passionate and committed— this guitarist and former Paris subway busker is a songwriter’s songwriter known for maintaining an unusually high bar when it comes to quality material. He’s toured with Joan Baez, and had an acclaimed album produced by Bob Dylan/Levon Helm/Emmylou Harris/Phil Lesh/Elvis Costello sideman Larry Campbell. Held rain-or-shine underneath a large tent in a beautiful, hidden courtyard just steps from River St., this is one not to miss. Listen & Learn: richardshindell.com, savannahfolk.org. $10 at the door ($8 for SFMS members, $5 for students/children). Wed., May 6, 7:30 pm, Ships of the Sea Museum (41 MLK, Jr. Blvd.) - ALL-AGES.
Missy Raines & The New Hip ***
Question: when is bluegrass not really bluegrass? Answer: about 50 percent of the time these days. Ever since the NewGrass movement freed this acoustic mountain music genre from the rigid chains imposed by its creator Bill Monroe, the trickle of progressive influences such as rock, funk, jazz, classical and world music that began to seep into the once-stagnant (if still eminently entertaining) category have turned into a flood. Bassist Missy Haines knows this much better than most. Regularly crowned Bass Player of The Year by the Intl. Bluegrass Music Assn., after a career spanning almost two decades, the skilled vocalist has at last made Inside Out, the groove-heavy fusion album she’s heard “in her head” for years.
Raines brings the band behind this fantastic new CD with her to the cozy confines of this laid-back, acoustic listening room. Instrumentation includes mandolin, mandola, resonator guitar, lap steel and just plain old guitar. Anyone remotely interested in seeing the boundaries of bluegrass pushed (think The Punch Brothers) will want to make this show. Listen & Learn: missyraines.com, randywoodguitars.com. $20 adv. tix at 748-1930. Fri., 8 pm, Randy Wood’s Concert Hall (1304 E. Hwy 80, Bloomingdale) - ALL-AGES.
Jan Spillane CD Release ***
Over the course of four independently released albums, this locally-based songwriter has honed a trademark blend of bluesy, soulful, country-influenced pop that some call “The Key of Jan.” With a powerful voice —that often nods to the jazzy conversations of her acknowledged influence Joni Mitchell— and a Willie Nelson-like knack for crafting lyrically touching (yet direct) odes to commonplace situations and emotions, her tastefully-appointed records are in marked contrast with the majority of locally produced discs.
Like her last record, her latest, Thinking Out Loud, features a veritable who’s who of area heavy hitters, including (among others) the Sapphire Bullets’ bassist Phil McDonald and guitarist John Banks, Superhorse guitarist Kevin F. Rose, Silver Lining drummer Mark Cordray, violinist Ricardo Ochoa, cellist Annelise Nelson, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Jack Sherman, drummer Eric Jones, Mary Davis & Co. guitarist Ben Wells and High Velocity’s Michael McDougald. Most of these folks will back her up (and replicate the sound of the new CD) at this special, free gig. There will be complimentary food and copies of Thinking Out Loud on sale for just $10. Listen & Learn: janspillane.com. Fri., 7 pm, Calibogue Café (Wilmington Isl.).
Patrick Williams Benefit **
This massive —and I do mean massive— 14-hour concert event organized through the Help Save One of Our Own Foundation is designed to raise money for the costly special treatments this longtime fixture in the local music and restaurant communities is currently undergoing since being diagnosed with Alveolar Soft Parts Sarcoma (ASPS), a very rare form of cancer.
He currently travels to Houston, Tx. for care and to Canada for clinical trials (which are not covered by his insurance). In addition to almost 20 different rock, bluegrass, pop, blues, country and jam acts playing on three stages (both indoors and out), attendees can also enjoy a continuous, all-you-can-eat buffet and —for premium ticket holders— an open bar.
Musical acts scheduled to appear include: Bucky & Barry, Thomas Claxton, Keith and Ross, Curbside, Eric Britt, Chief, The Jimmy Wolling Band, Chris Godfrey & Sammy Patrick, Joey Manning, The Train Wrecks, Absylom Rising, Jason Courtney, Jeff Beasley, Ralph Sampson’s Paper Jam, Stewart and Winfield, Junkyard Angel, Turtle Folk and WormsLoew.
Tix: $50 (admits one all day, including food) or $100 (admits one all day, including food and open bar) at 233-2633, or any locations of Tubby’s, Spanky’s, Fiddler’s or The River House restaurants. Learn More: caringbridge.com (password to enter: “patrickwilliams”). Sat., noon - last call, Tubby’s Tankhouse (Thunderbolt) - ALL-AGES.