Do Savannnah

Unplugged: 2017 a year of transition for Savannah music scene

  • Black Tusk (Photo by Adriana Iris Boatwright)

Unplugged: 2017 a year of transition for Savannah music scene

21 Jun 2017

At their show last Friday night at The Jinx, The Train Wrecks proved yet again that they’re still at the top of their game.

Jason Bible — one of the most talented songwriters in the region — opened the show with a stirring solo set. Then Bible was joined by the rest of the band for a performance of the new album “Once Again” and then a run-through of The Train Wrecks’ 2007 album “Whiskey & War.”

You can read more about The Train Wrecks’ “Once Again” and other new albums from established local acts in Joshua Peacock’s Empire of Sound column in this issue of Do.

We are fortunate to have so much local talent, but 2017 still feels like a transitional year for the local music scene.

Over the past year or so, we have seen the departure of some of the city’s most prolific young musicians. There is no common thread that explains all those individual decisions, but one wonders if we would have seen so many artists leave if Savannah were simply a larger place with more money to be made playing music.

Whatever the causes, the wave of departures has impacted a variety of genres, including punk, pop, garage rock, electronica and Americana.

Black Tusk remains active and has a worldwide following, but Savannah doesn’t have the metal scene that it once had.

During the past year, a number of house venues have also shut down, for a variety of reasons. Such venues typically don’t attract mainstream press and sometimes operate in violation of local ordinances, but the scene spawned some tremendous talent.

It’s worth noting that Savannah’s new alcohol ordinance has opened the door for all-ages venues and for 18-and-up shows at bars, but so far relatively few spots are taking advantage of the new flexibility.

So what does all this add up to?


Ambitious young bands should be able to find audiences more quickly than they might have a year ago, and we have chances for new and expanded venues, too.

At the same time, we still have a host of talented Savannah-based acts and established venues that will continue to offer high-quality shows routinely.

It’s going to be exciting to watch the scene evolve through the rest of the year.

Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged ( and hissing lawns ( Email