When Tom Petty passed away in October, we lost one of rock's great songwriters and performers. Although he is gone, there is still a chance to hear his music live - and loud.
Several artists from Savannah's music scene are gathering together Jan. 13 at Southbound Brewing Co. to pay tribute to the legend, with proceeds going to benefit the Coastal Conservation Association of Georgia.
"We wanted to do a tribute so that it would be more special and not just a band playing on a Saturday night," says Kevin Rose, CCA habitat and conservation chair and one of the organizers of the inaugural benefit concert. "We wanted to be more inclusive with more musicians and local talent to showcase, and Tom Petty seemed like a perfect fit this go-round."
The Savannah chapter of the CCA is responsible for a variety of environmental work in coastal habitats. For instance, with the help of several other organizations, the CCA was able to introduce red drum fish to Georgia waters when the population in Texas was being depleted by offshore trawling.
"We're one part environmental conservation, one part fishery, one part habitat conservation," says Rose. "It's not just a straight conservation group. We're trying to save the resources so that our children and their children can have access to them and use them."
The CCA also helps with oyster restoration and replenishment by collecting oyster shells from several facilities and bagging them up. "It's all very dirty work," says Rose.
Then in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources, they deploy bags of oysters back into the estuaries from the southern tip of our coast all the way up to the South Carolina border. "Each oyster we put back filters 50 gallons of water a day, which promotes water clarity," Rose explains.
The concert is being headlined by Savannah's "hardest gigging band," the Train Wrecks. The alt-country rockers play soulful Americana that makes them perfect torch bearers for Petty's music. Several of the Train Wrecks' friends, including Kevin Rose on guitar, will be joining them onstage during the show.
Also on the bill are the Magic Rocks, a power trio of guitar, bass and drums composed of members of other great Savannah bands including GAM, Hot Pink Interior, City of Lindas and the 8-Tracks. They'll be joined onstage by guests Amy Ochoa on vocals and Phillip Reynolds Price of COEDS on keyboard.
"Every member of the Magic Rocks has been a devoted fan of Tom Petty's songwriting and performing since we were kids," says Jim Reed of the Magic Rocks. "His music has certainly helped shape the way we three write and perform rock 'n' roll music, and it's a real treat to honor his legacy by playing some of our favorite Petty songs alongside many of our peers in the Savannah music scene - especially for such a worthy cause."
Southbound is hosting the concert and has even brewed a special CCA-inspired beer with proceeds from its sales during the event going to the association. So drink up; it's good for the environment.
"This is our first one and we're hoping to do this every year and grow into something bigger, badder and cooler," says Rose of the benefit concert. "I think it's going to be a great tradition and a good time. Tom Petty was just a great artist and this helps support conservation and the habitat in Georgia, so it's a win-win."
IF YOU GO
What: Concert for Conservation: A Tribute to Tom Petty
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 13
Where: Southbound Brewing Co., 107 E. Lathrop Ave.
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door