Live music lovers will be rewarded with this year's Savannah Stopover Music Festival.
Book-ending the festival that runs March 6-8 all over Savannah are two Southern-based bands that pull some weight in the music world, and that pull influence from some of the same sources.
On opening day, St. Paul and The Broken Bones will bring their soulful mix to Moon River Brewing Company around 8 p.m. Closing out the festivities on March 8, Hurray for the Riff Raff will also be playing a show at Moon River, scheduled for 6 p.m.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones, a Birmingham, Ala., septet, are led by Paul Jeneway's (St. Paul) soul-infused vocals that at first listen, you might mistake for Otis Redding, if you close your eyes. In short, these seven white boys got soul.
Despite their "Revenge of the Nerd" look, St. Paul and the Broken Bones carry the deep soul sound with the ferocity of seasoned musicians. The Bones are a tight R&B group with a rousing rhythm section, a Memphis-inspired horn section, wailing organ and keys, as well as a prominent blues guitar.
Their latest contribution, "Half the City," hit the world Feb. 18. "Half the City" runs the gamut of soul music with slow bluesy tunes, upbeat funky jams and gospel-influenced ballads.
The 12-track album is one of the first releases to come out of Single Lock Records, a company founded by Ben Tanner, John Paul White of The Civil Wars and Will Trapp in White's home of Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Muscle Shoals is more commonly known as the home of FAME studios, where such artists as Redding, Wilson Picketts, Aretha Franklin, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones and The Allman Brothers recorded albums.
Hurray for the Riff Raff pays homage to the miles of Americana music that has defined our country with a simple beat and swooning vocals that harken the likes of Loretta Lynn.
Hurray for the Riff Raff is Alynda Lee Segarra. A New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, she now calls New Orleans home. Segarra made waves at the Newport Folk Festival this past summer and her latest album, "Small Town Heroes," is being streamed online by NPR.
"Small Town Heroes' is Hurray for the Riff Raff's major label debut. Segarra joined Dave Matthews' ATO Records for the Feb. 11 release after several self-released LPs. ATO boast bands like Alabama Shakes, Drive-By Truckers, Lucero, My Morning Jacket and Trey Anastasio.
The 12-track offering is full of the blues, love songs and traditional Americana music. Segarra's often sweet, always beautiful, vocals herald an array of rich storytelling accented by her guitar and banjo playing.
St. Paul and Hurray for the Riff Raff both draw influence from the rich musical traditions of the deep South, yet expand on those influences in different ways. These bands are the staple of good music in a world of digitally tuned junk.