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Features

Professional paddling guide Steve Braden gets us into the cockpit and leads us down the trail to the real Georgia.

Photography by CHRISTINE HALL

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DSC_6870a No one said motherhood would be easy, but the financial and emotional challenges are even harder when your child has special needs—and you have to fight to get those needs met. Andrea Goto gets real with photographer Christine Hall. Photography by CHRISTINE HALL

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DSC_5625a At a bend in the serene Skidaway River, the Jaakkola family has created a most idyllic Isle of Hope sanctuary—especially for daughters Ava and Sophie, who make a splash in their own watery playground. Take a turn and step inside a true Southern charmer.

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IMG_0921 edit   Tybee might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of hanging ten, but a lively community of surfers and skimboarders helps J. Cindy Hill-Williams hit the island’s sweet spots. Photography by Leeann Ritch

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Time was, folks thought Georgia barbecue was only about the pig. But the joints, shacks, sheds and roadhouses peppering our near-pristine coast speak to a wider palate that melds equal portions Kansas City, Memphis and Austin with the sharp tang of the Carolinas and the salt of the sea to smoke up something all its own. For this, our annual food issue, we hit the road to discover and name a dozen hot spots for our inaugural barbecue trail. Follow along our finger-lickin’ route, as we travel south to north along the coast. Research and Styling by Jason B. James & Meta Adler  |  Photography Jason B. James

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The Mind of a Chef

Have you ever wondered how your favorite chef grocery shops? At the Wilmington Island Farmers’ Market you can tag along with one. Florence M. Slatinsky gets the goods with Chef Mir Ali. Photography by Angela Hopper Mir_Hopper-8966 When I agree to interview Chef Mir Ali of Lili’s Restaurant and Bar at the Wilmington Island Farmers’ Market, I’ve got visions of lamb, tender lettuce and just-picked radishes dancing in my head. But instead of succulent spring foods, the hallmarks of spring weather—thick, yellow pollen; swarming, lusty gnats; intermittent thunderstorms—threaten to dampen our excursion. Fortunately, the clouds part, the bug spray is plentiful, and the chef’s enthusiasm for the fresh harvest is contagious. Word has gotten out that the market is open for the season—and Chef Ali is back for his second year of “Shop with the Chef,” held the last Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. when the farmers’ market is open. A crowd of 20 or so shoppers are gathered, peering from beneath our hoods and swatting at gnats with the chef’s recipe for roasted pork tenderloin and carmelized vegetables. Chef Ali greets us warmly, raising his voice to be heard over the crowing roosters and barking dogs. He explains that he will lead us down the row of vendors assembled and give us tips on how to shop and what to buy. “The more you know, not just about what to put into my recipe, but about all that you see here, the more you can use what’s available and support our local vendors,” he says and then heads off. Mir_Hopper-8754
Fresh off the Farm
Ben Deen of Savannah River Farms is up first. In a drawl so thick you could spread it on a slice of fresh bread, he explains that his pork tenderloin comes from “right here,” gesturing toward the middle of his abdomen, and sits up against the baby back ribs. His farm’s tenderloins are small, generally about a pound, unlike the commercial counterparts, which come off much larger hogs who are fatted fast on a feeder diet. When asked about his pigs’ diet, he says with pride, “We’re all Genetically Modified Organism free. In the next few weeks we’ll get our certification, and we’ll be one of about three farms in the country that slaughters on site and is certified GMO free.” Chef Ali nods his head in appreciation and recounts how important it is to think about what we’re eating and how it affects our bodies. Much of what we eat isn’t natural and can adversely affect us, he continues, showing us the silver sinew that runs down all pork tenderloins and should be removed before cooking. A little fat is fine and will add to the flavor, he says, but the sinew is tough and needs trimming. Mir_Hopper-8746
Feast for the Senses
Our recipe doesn’t call for bread, but the chef can’t resist stopping in front of the aromatic loaves arrayed under the Spouses Bakery tent. Unlike just-off-the-farm eggs, which don’t require refrigeration due to their freshness, preservative-free bread should be eaten, refrigerated or frozen within three days. We sample asiago cheese and sourdough, and we shake our heads wondering how a loaf that good could survive three days in a home. We also try samples from Savannah Rum Runners Bakery, including a focaccia that we learn is eggless—a solid choice for vegans. It’s hard to stay focused on our recipe. The crowd has grown as the weather has improved. Dogs and people are stopping to chat, including a parti poodle, aptly named for his brindle coat. He barks excitedly at a basset hound waiting expectantly under a sample tray. Chef presses on toward the vegetables. We pass natural body products, locally sourced honey (much deeper in color than the grocery-store version because it hasn’t been heated and filtered), handmade pasta and savory homemade dips. I get sidetracked by the olive tapenade and have to jog to catch up with the group. The bounty of produce gets Chef Ali’s creative juices flowing. He starts throwing out ideas as he shows us each pick: basil with pine nuts and olive oil for fresh pesto, chopped radishes to perk up a salad, roasted beets or squash with some local honey and salt. His recipe calls for rainbow carrots and sweet potatoes, but as long as you chop them to a uniform size you can use any vegetables you like, he explains. Be flexible, he instructs us—have fun! I’m not sure I’ve ever had this much fun grocery shopping. It made making the dish all the more delicious.
Mir_Hopper-0813
Roast Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Vegetables
Serves 4 to 6 2 to 3 Savannah River Farms pork tenderloins
  • Coarsely ground salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • cup olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 rainbow carrots, peeled*
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled*
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled*
  • 1 bell pepper, rinsed*
  • 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • Assorted fresh herbs, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Set aside a roasting pan. Wash and pat dry the pork tenderloins. Remove the sinew from each, then season all sides with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and a dash of olive oil. Set the tenderloins aside. Prepare the vegetables and dice them into equal sizes. Place the vegetables in a mixing bowl and toss with the garlic, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the vegetables in the roasting pan and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until caramelized. Add the tenderloin to the vegetables, then continue cooking for 20 minutes more or until the pork is slightly pink in the center. To achieve well done tenderloins, cook 5 to 10 minutes longer. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with the roasted vegetables. Garnish with fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and parsley. *Note: Feel free to substitute any hearty vegetables in season.

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Each year, you nominate Savannah’s rising stars of business and we choose the winners—but this year, we’re doing something more.  As part of our first Solutions issue, we asked each of our community-minded Generation NEXT honorees to share a memory, a mentor, a problem and a solution. Dylan Wilson is a fashion and portrait photographer based in Savannah, Georgia. He is available for assignments worldwide.

Lori Judge, 39

Owner/broker, Judge Realty Neighborhood: Historic District Those of us who have been in Savannah for a while have watched Lori grow from an enterprising young broker to the face of a progressive real estate company.  She’s had a hand in many of the city’s game-changing deals, and the accolades keep coming in, from the Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 to the Savannah Technical College Community STARS program.  Always one to pay it forward, Lori gives back via the Boys and Girls Club, the Savannah Children’s Choir and the Creative Coast, which she serves as a board member.
Who is one of your Savannah mentors?
“I continue to learn a lot from my peers, colleagues and fellow brokers.  For me, there’s not just one person.”
What was your most embarrassing early job experience? 
“You name it, it has happened.  People give me their keys for a living.”
What is your most creative way of relieving stress?
“I enjoy acupuncture, tennis, Pilates and yoga, as well as going to our family farm and spending quality time with loved ones.”
If you were on the cover of Savannah magazine what would you be doing?
“Hanging out on our farm.”
In a word, describe Savannah.
“Opportunity.”
What is Savannah’s biggest problem and how should we solve it? 
“I think our problem is not having the structure to keep young students around after graduation.  This would diversify the socio-economic makeup of Savannah and grow industry.”
To meet the rest of the Generation NEXT Class of 2016, pick up a copy of the January/February issue of Savannah magazine—on newsstands now! Or subscribe TODAY >>
Join us in celebration Generation NEXT.  Buy your tickets right HERE >>

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IMG_9055   From punk rockers and police officers to palm-frond peddlers, Andrea Goto and Michelle Karner invite perfect strangers to air out Savannah’s social issues.   Photography by ANGELA HOPPER   Spend five minutes perusing social media and you will likely come to one of two conclusions.  One: nothing compares to a running dachshund dressed as a teddy bear.  And two: old-fashioned human decency has gone the way of the VCR.  Assuming the two are not related, we’re particularly concerned with the latter. We want to believe that most people are predisposed to kindness.  That we seek to do the right thing most of the time.  And that we appreciate a funny dog video more than a public flogging.  Most of all, we want to believe this about the people in our community.  And yet … For every one person publically thanking our teachers, police officers and politicians, there seem to be 20 more throwing venom-tipped darts in 140 words or less.  But where are the suggestions for change?  Where is the understanding?  Where’s the humanity? Rather than poll the public on Facebook, we’re engaging in a face-to-face social experiment.  We’re spending a few hours on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Wright Square, inviting passersby to share a bench—and a few ideas to change the city for the better.

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Somewhere  in between the Stopover hangover and the Revival Fest cure, a Savannah magazine editor woke up in the middle of the night with a vision: the city’s musicians, gathered together under one roof, singing their hearts out in one giant jam session.  How better to do a sound check on the Seaport’s burgeoning band scene?  Amy Paige Condon is with the band. Photography by Geoff Johnson   Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_53 When you invite a group of people who may or may not know each other, you always hope for that moment when things click—that ephemeral heartbeat when the alchemy of connection occurs, when the mix turns to magic and the party is less gathering and more reunion. That moment arrives on a humid Wednesday night, on the corner stage at Service Brewing Co. Singer-songwriter Nikko Raptoulis strums his guitar and belts out a heart-squeezing song of unrequited love.  The words and music are spare, but hardly melancholy, as they meld with the notes of his collaborators. Harpist Kristin King plucks mightily at her strings and Dope Sandwich hip-hop artist Basik Lee improvises a beat, using only his rich baritone voice as the instrument. None of the three have ever played together before this night.  But, in this shining moment, the open-invite jam session we’ve thrown together morphs into something peerless and captivating, like fireflies or bioluminescent tides. “I’m hearing it—I’m not used to it—and I’m getting goose bumps,” Nikko later tells me, still floating even as artists pack up their strings and amps to head into the darkness.  “It’s so amazing to hear something, as a musician, that you’ve never heard.” The night is filled with many gifts: Jared Hall’s rollicking keyboard and Ira Miller’s thrashing percussion on Waits and Co.’s “Walkin’ Faithfully;” Payne Bridge’s ethereal voice blended with Rachael Shaner’s hop-scotching upright bass; Lee’s urgent rendition of the Box Tops’ “The Letter,” backed by Nicole Edge’s surfer drum riffs; the Hypnotics’ joyful garage band wail; Lyn Avenue’s paean to traditional country music. “Just listen to her voice,” Tom Cooler, the soundman behind the Savannah Songwriters Series, tells me.  He’s speaking of Lyn Avenue’s lead singer, Cc Witt.  “It cuts—just cuts!” And it does, sharp as Tammy Wynette’s paring knife.
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Play That Swampy Music
When each of these parts—36 local musicians representing at least 14 different bands of varying genres—is taken as a whole, the totality of a Savannah sound begins to emerge. Just as West Memphis married funk and blues, Muscle Shoals sifted soul with Southern rock, and Athens pushed the boundaries of alternative forms, a narrative thread runs through Savannah’s tapestry of punk and metal, hip hop, bluegrass and rockabilly, folk and Americana, jazz and indie rock. But it’s hard to pick out that single thread without pulling the thing apart. That sound is a brackish undercurrent—“swampy,” as guitarist Jon Waits muses—that mirrors the convergence of black rivers with salty tidal marshes and the wide, open ocean. It takes something from everything it touches. Rich in tannins, it’s where so much life and goodness spawn, where so many ancient relics lie buried, where secrets get carried away.  Savannah’s music is as much a liquid crossroads as is her geography. Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_20
Papa Was a Stepping Stone
For decades, Savannah’s music scene seemed defined by the Great American Songbook, as constructed by native son Johnny Mercer—“Moon River,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Fools Rush In.”  It reflected the city’s surface conservatism, even as artists like Elvis Presley passed through town and shook, rattled and rolled their way to superstardom. Then, DJs Barr Nobles and Skip Jennings began spinning the Beatles, the Byrds and outlaw country on local airwaves. Homegrown bands like the Rogues, the Trebles, Kind Dog and Topaz started playing rock covers and original tunes in school gyms and neighborhood bars. Some even toured with bigger names—a history only recently chronicled through Savannah Rocks, which continues today as a Facebook page managed by music veteran Roy Swindelle. But Savannah’s star didn’t rise on the Southern rock horizon just yet.  Not the way Jacksonville or Macon’s did, with their respective breakouts, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band. In the 1980s, two things occurred that put a pushpin on our little dot on the musical map.  Late bassist Ben Tucker taught a jazz appreciation course at Savannah State University that inspired the creation of the Coastal Jazz Society and the Savannah Jazz Festival.  A few years later, the Savannah Music Festival—now one of Songline magazine’s Top 25 international festivals—was born. Both of these initiatives brought national and international touring artists to a town they once bypassed by on their way to Atlanta or Miami.  They also gave working musicians who made their home here the rare opportunity to open for and play with bigger acts. Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_09
Welcome to the Garden
“You can’t really get into Florida without passing Savannah, and you can’t get out of Florida without going by here, too, so we’re a good place to take a day during the week,” says Gil Cruz, who books talent for the Jinx, Susanne Warnekros’ Congress Street temple to Savannah’s musical acolytes. Seated on the patio at Foxy Loxy Café sporting a Black Tusk T-shirt and tatted arms, Gil recounts how, growing up in San Francisco’s Bay Area, he got swept up in ’80s skateboard culture and hardcore punk from the likes of D.C.’s Minor Threat.  When he moved here in the early 2000s, it was natural for him to drift toward the Jinx, then the center of the local punk and rock universe, but he credits the underground scene as much as the club scene for nurturing the local heavy metal community. Back then, he recalls, “There were always these kids in Savannah, throwing shows.  Pat Mathis [who now runs Hyperrealist Records] had a lot of house shows.  Big Gas Cycles.  O’Connell’s [before it moved down Congress] … bands that are huge now started there.” And the momentum continues. “Right now is really awesome,” he says, “because you have three huge metal bands based out of Savannah—well, Baroness is now out of Philly, but they started here.  Kylesa, huge.  Black Tusk, they’re still doing it.  They’re bringing in bands that they’ve worked with.  They’ve turned the spotlight on Savannah.  It just makes sense that it’s growing.  For a small city, it’s big.” Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_42
Straight Outta Chatham
Indeed, being small may play largely in Savannah’s favor over the long haul.  Over a round of drinks, Steven Baumgardner, Jared Hall, Kayne Lanahan, Jon Waits and I consider whether Savannah is about to hit the tipping point. Kayne, the director of MusicFile Productions and the founder of both the Savannah Stopover Music Festival and Revival Fest, believes that some of the landmark music events elsewhere have grown beyond their purpose.  “They’re ginormous—hundreds of thousands of people, and ticket prices are really high.” “We were just talking about that very thing with [New Orleans’] Jazz Fest,” chimes in Jared, keyboardist for the vivacious gypsy-swing band Velvet Caravan and music director for the historic Trinity United Methodist Church. “If you go to these bigger festivals,” Kayne says, “you could close your eyes and be anywhere.  I think when that happens, when the trend gets pushed so far, there’s a natural bounce where people are searching for things that are smaller and more authentic, and more person-to-person.  If you go to something in Savannah, you know you’re in Savannah.” Jon, a Georgia-born singer-songwriter and photographer, laments growth for growth’s sake. “It becomes more about the fact that you were there than experiencing the music.” Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_33
You Can Flow Your Own Way
Steven, who performs as Basik Lee, laughs about the time he and his Dope Sandwich crew went to a festival in Atlanta, where they attended forums to see what kind of advice could help them evolve. “They kept telling us to attach ourselves to what bigger cities were doing.”  He shakes his head.  “Instead of latching on to something, try to find your own sound.” “The whole original idea behind Stopover was to get a ton of bands in town all at once, bands that had never played here, to give them a different perspective of the city and give locals an opportunity to play with touring bands,” Kayne says.  “All of the agents thought of Savannah as a C or D market; we were not on their radar.  So, we felt like getting the bands to fall in love with the city—we knew they would—and letting them become the marketers for the city.  You never have a band come through that has a bad time.” That’s because of the local music community, says Steven, who also hosts a hip-hop night every Tuesday at the Jinx. “Literally, everybody just helps each other out.” Club owners, fellow troubadours and fans welcome artists into their homes, letting them crash on couches, loaning sound or light equipment when something’s busted or left behind, or throwing backyard barbecues so that they can take a break from the road. “I’ve had friends and artists who have left here,” Steven says.  “‘I’m going to Nashville; I’m going to Atlanta; I’m going to New York’—not realizing that everybody and their mother is going there.  A lot of the acts I’ve had come here say, ‘It’s not like this where we come from.’” The rub: Savannah’s musicians know one another well—across forms, across venues—but they’re so busy gigging, they rarely get to see one another’s shows. Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_46
Savannahian Rhapsody
Just after Isaac Smith delivers a soulful solo, Crazy Man Crazy’s four-man dance-hall rockabilly set steams up the Service Brewing stage.  Lead singer Sean “The Con Man” Conradson growls “Blue Suede Shoes” as guitarist Jeff “Lone Wolf” Neugebauer, the sound engineer for the Wormhole nightclub and bar in the Starland District, shreds his axe with the enthusiasm of Marty McFly in Back to the Future.  “Mr. Palmer on Bass” is hardly in the doghouse.  It’s a rousing segue into the final act of the night. Kurtis Schumm takes the stage—just a man and his guitar.  It’s a rare treat to see Kurtis play.  He traded Nashville in for Savannah and chords for culinary cred 11 years ago.  Locals know him best as the co-owner of Tybee Island Social Club, Fish Camp and Bó Biên Hut. “I do cook-y things now,” he says, before sliding into an original composition, “How Much.” “It’s more of a statement than a question,” he grins, just before launching into a pure-voiced and clear-noted song that surprises and uplifts the crowd. Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_02
More Than a Feeling
The year 2016 may prove a big one for local music. The state’s Department of Economic Development has made music tourism the cornerstone of its annual marketing plan, based upon the healthy direct and indirect contributions of the music industry to the state’s economy.  Music accounted for nearly $4 billion in revenues in 2011, the most recent report year. Savannah Morning News columnist and blogger Bill Dawers will pen a piece about the city’s aforementioned swamp metal scene in the upcoming “Georgia Music” issue of Oxford American magazine. Yet, even with all the progress that has been made, it still may be too early to call Savannah a “music city.” All Along the Watchtower Back in 2012, MusicFile Productions’ Kayne Lanahan contributed a post to The Creative Coast’s blog that outlined the 10 characteristics of a vibrant music scene:
  1. Supportive community of musicians
  2. Highly regarded independent radio station
  3. Respected independent record labels
  4. A DIY underground scene
  5. A broad and affordable infrastructure for teaching, practicing and recording
  6. At least one great music blog
  7. At least one prominent music festival
  8. A mid-sized venue for 400 to 500 seats to draw notable touring acts and fans
  9. A supportive municipal government
  10. Access to capital to fund musical endeavors
So, three years later, how are we doing?  Of the first seven items on that list, most have been achieved.  Especially with the addition of Graveface Records, Dollhouse Productions, The Garage Savannah, and Dawers’ Hissing Lawns blog, we have more outlets to support and promote our local musicians than ever before.  
Lawyers, Fans and Money
Of the final three items, the most critical and immediate to address is city government.  “Rational public policy” regarding alcohol and sound would “help a lot,” says Dawers, who has followed the city’s progress on both issues closely. “Little things like that would tell the creative community, especially musicians, that we are not prejudiced against them.” Competing cities, like Charleston, Athens and Jacksonville—all with strong music scenes—allow at least 18-year-olds entry into venues that serve alcohol.  Some even allow all-ages shows. “Bands are coming through and looking at how many people they can put in a club,” Dawers explains.  “You don’t create this artificial division between people over and under 21.” As more hotels are built and condo conversions occur within the downtown and near-downtown districts, more bars and nightclubs will also have to contend with noise volume complaints, which has quashed musical offerings at places like Moon River Brewing Co., Hang Fire and the Wormhole. “[City spokesperson] Brett Bell pledged at the Emergent Savannah meeting that [the city] was going to initiate a process for revising the city’s sound ordinance,” says Dawers.  “But the city has been working on a revision to the ‘chicken and beekeeping’ ordinance for four years and still hasn’t passed it.  They’ve been working on a revision to the alcohol ordinance since January 2013 and still haven’t passed it.  I would be shocked if we saw a draft of a sound ordinance before 2017.” Dawers’ observation is a common complaint in all sectors of Savannah’s musical community.  And the belief is that until those two items can be addressed, access to capital and a mid-size venue will remain out of reach. Sav_Mag_Service_Jam_geoffsphotos_51
Fight for Your Right
To Kayne’s list, we would add No. 11: a community that values its local musicians by filling seats, paying cover charges, and following them on social media. “The best way to support live music is to show up,” says Tom Cooler of the Savannah Songwriters Series, a monthly showcase of local and regional talent. “The tourism market is great,” says musician Jon Waits, “but it’s not a long-term picture for local musicians” because it has led to a unique dynamic where few establishments charge cover charges as patrons walk from place to place with go cups. “What you’re basically saying,” Kayne observes, “is, ‘The music doesn’t matter; it’s a giveaway.’” Musician and restaurateur Kurtis Schumm agrees. “Cover charges would up the ante for Savannah,” he predicts.  “There’s are a lot of great musicians here … and they’re relegated to background music.  If the city were to move to a cover charge, I think the music scene could grow that much more.  It’s a shared responsibility.” [gallery columns="4" ids="15852,15853,15854,15855,15856,15857,15858,15859,15860,15861,15862,15863,15864,15865,15850,15849,15848,15847,15846,15845,15844,15843,15842,15841"]
In the Air Tonight
For now, at our Service Brewing Co. jam session, local talents of all types gather around the stage, bobbing their heads in time with a newly discovered harmony.  A few are snapping selfies together and trading business cards—fresh collaborations in the offing. It’s hard to pinpoint whether Savannah is at the beginning—or in the middle of its beginning—as an emerging music city. But, in this moment, it feels as if we’ve gotten the sound just right.
OUR MUSIC TEACHERS
  [caption id="attachment_15830" align="aligncenter" width="384"]View More: http://teresaearnestphotography.pass.us/music-industry-nov Photo by Teresa Earnest[/caption]
Steven Baumgardner
Steven, who performs as Basik Lee, just celebrated the tenth anniversary of Dope Sandwich Records and Tapes, the hometown label he founded with fellow hip-hop artists he met at SCAD.  His latest LP is Crazy Shit.   [caption id="attachment_15827" align="aligncenter" width="384"]View More: http://teresaearnestphotography.pass.us/music-industry-nov Photo by Teresa Earnest[/caption]  
Jared Hall
Veteran session musician, Jared is the keyboardist for the vivacious gypsy swing band Velvet Caravan and music director for the historic Trinity United Methodist Church, whose Thursday Night Opry is making sound waves city wide.   [caption id="attachment_15828" align="aligncenter" width="384"]View More: http://teresaearnestphotography.pass.us/music-industry-nov Photo by Teresa Earnest[/caption]  
Kayne Lanahan
Kayne is the director of MusicFile Productions and the founder of both the Savannah Stopover Music Festival and Revival Fest, which have put our city on the music map.  She relocated to Savannah five years ago after more than 25 years in media, advertising and marketing for the music and entertainment industries.   [caption id="attachment_15829" align="aligncenter" width="585"]View More: http://teresaearnestphotography.pass.us/music-industry-nov Photo by Teresa Earnest[/caption]
 Jon Waits
Jon is an award-winning singer-songwriter and professional photographer from Atlanta, who found his literal and musical home in Savannah four years ago.  A professional musician for more than 25 years, he now fronts the alt-country trio Waits and Co. with Markus Kuhlmann and John Pizzichemi.  

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Encore!
Nearly every day of the week, established, up-and-coming and visiting artists perform live shows in Savannah and Tybee Island’s restaurants, bars and clubs.  Check out the events calendars at dosavannah.com and connectsavannah.com for weekly listings.  Consult hissinglawns.com for in-depth coverage of local bands.  Preview some of Savannah’s best music makers at artlabsavannah.com.  And don’t forget to support local and live music by attending shows.  Here are just a few happenings where you are welcome to listen in:
Serial Chillers
Savannah Songwriters Series 6-7:30 p.m., first Sunday of the month Johnny Harris Restaurant, 1651 E. Victory Drive   The Tongue: Open Mouth and Music Show 7-10 p.m., first and third Tuesday of the month Savannah Coffee Roasters, 215 W. Liberty St. On Facebook   Singer/Songwriter in Concert Series 6-8 p.m., first Saturday of the month (beginning in January) Wicked Cakes, 38 Whitaker St. On Facebook   Trinity Concert Sanctuary Series Historic Trinity United Methodist Church, 225 W. President St.  
The Festival Circuit
Savannah Stopover Music Festival March 10-12, 2016 Savannah Music Festival March 24-April 9, 2016 Revival Fest September 17, 2016 Savannah Jazz Fest Late September/Early October  

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A Standing Ovation
Many thanks to Service Brewing Co. for the space to create a magical evening and Screamin’ Mimi’s Pizza for feeding our bodies and souls. Applause to all of the artists who shared the stage and came out to support one another: Alexis Ambrose, Black Water Choir Steven Baumgardner aka Basik Lee, Dope Sandwich Records Payne Bridges Sean Conradson, Crazy Man Crazy Tom Cooler, Savannah Songwriters Series Eric Dunn, Velvet Caravan Nicole Edge, Wave Slaves Patrick Ellington, Lyn Avenue Jared Hall, Velvet Caravan Jeremy Hammons, Train Wrecks Austin Harris, Crazy Man Crazy Andrew Hartzell, Sweet Thunder Strolling Band Larry Jones, Lyn Avenue Kristin King, New Arts Ensembles and Uncommon Collective Marcus Kuhlman, Waits and Co., Clouds and Satellites Ray Lundy, Bottle ‘n’ Cans Ira David Miller Ford Natirboff, Hypnotics Jeff Neugebauer, Crazy Man Crazy Thomas Oliver, Savannah Songwriter Series Stephen Palmer, Crazy Man Crazy John Pizzichemi, Waits and Co. Nikko Raptoulis Greg Rettig, Wave Slaves Jason Salzer Kurtis Schumm Rachael Shaner Isaac Smith Jeremiah Stuard, Co-Eds Ryan Sylvester, Hypnotics Ty Thompson, Hypnotics Jon Waits, Waits and Co. Willy Ware Tim Warren, Clouds and Satellites Cc Witt, Lyn Avenue Lu Zang                  

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  ©2015 Cedric Smith, TD 0976 Andrea Goto takes us for a wild ride in five of the hottest cars to hit our roads this season.  ¦  PHOTOGRAPHY BY CEDRIC SMITH As someone who is unschooled in all things mechanical, I bought my Mercedes because it was pretty and fast.  Like, really fast—at least compared to my previous import, which I imagined was powered by four sickly baby mice.  And so, without any consideration for suspension, grip, horsepower or other such nonsense that matters so much less than color, I bought her and named her “Rosita.” There are some arbitrary letters and numbers that indicate Rosita’s pedigree, but all I really knew is that she has four doors, four wheels and four mice on steroids who go all Hulk when I mash a little button marked “S”, presumably for “smash.” But I recently discovered that those letters and numbers on her hiney might actually mean something important.  This occurred to me when one of Rosita’s relatives blew past us like a GT.  I spotted the letters “AMG” on his backside.  Amazing Mice Gusto? After that, I started taking stock of the cars on Savannah’s roadways—cars that appeared faster and finer than my sweet Rosita.  But were they?  Since I thought a V-8 engine ran on tomato juice and an ABS system would give me a six-pack, I called on the gentlemen of the Oglethorpe Driving Club to school me on Savannah’s sexiest and speediest cars.  Each of the five skilled pilots test-drove (or shall we say drag-raced?) cars that would make James Bond weep.  With me in the passenger seat, softly whispering Hail Marys, they talked torque and traction, carbon fiber and cockpits; and I emerged on the other side with a better appreciation for fast, functional cars.  And by the grace of the Grand Prix Gods, I also emerged physically unscathed—visibly shaken, and stirred.

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