MusicFile Productions, the parent company of the Savannah Stopover Music Festival, has created Revival Fest to celebrate the best in Southern music, food, crafts, beer and spirits. It all happens Sept. 14 at the Georgia State Railroad Museum, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Savannah Children's Museum at the same site.
"We are very excited about hosting Revival Fest at the Georgia State Railroad Museum in an area that will be open to the public for the first time ever," says Sandra Baxter, the executive director of the Coastal Heritage Society, which manages the museum.
Several local and regional acts will focus on blues, Southern rock, Americana, bluegrass, gospel, folk and soul music.
"We wanted to do a festival that was more focused on the South and that celebrates the revival in roots music," says MusicFile Productions CEO Kayne Lanahan.
"So many bands have jumped on this style since the explosion of Mumford & Sons that it's become a little cliched," she says. "We wanted to focus on up-and-coming bands that we feel are really getting it right."
The festival will incorporate food, drink and art, and is designed for everyone.
The festival will kick off with a performance by Savannah's own Sweet Thunder Strolling Band. At 12:30 p.m., band members will march from the entrance gate to the museum's paint shops.
Attendees not only are encouraged to participate, they'll be given Mason jars filled with black-eyed peas for extra percussion.
The seven-piece band was organized by Andrew Hartzell and created especially for the festival. Its members are Anna Chandler on vocals and accordion, Phillip Reynolds Price on snare drum, Jamison Murphy on mandolin and Hartzell on bass drum.
Also performing will be The Ghost Town Crooners, with Echo on resonator guitar and vocals, Lucas on banjo and washtub bass and Willy on harmonica.
Local bartender Andrew Jay Ripley, who happens to be principal oboist for the Savannah Philharmonic, has curated all of the beer and bourbon offerings for Revival Fest.
The Belle Meade bourbon tasting tent will offer five tastings representing the four different whiskey grain bills, including Bardstown Barrel Selections' Temptation and Redemption bourbons.
Ripley also has concocted two bourbon cocktails for the event featuring Belle Meade - the Revival Fest Mint Julep and the Revival Fest Pineapple Whiskey Fix. Local/regional breweries will offer six local craft brews.
Francis Allen, founder of Savannah's Starfish Community Garden, has helped curate the food offerings for the festival, which will focus on a fun and decadent day of Southern treats.
The Mail Chimp Snack Shack will offer retro snacks with Southern heritage, including Moon Pies, ChickOSticks, Atomic Fire Balls, Coca-Cola in bottles, ICB Root Beer and more. The Starfish will have a day-long bake sale and watermelon stand, as well as boiled peanuts.
The Sentient Bean will offer free iced coffee all day. PowWow Yaupon Iced Tea will offer free samples.
A planned oyster and pig roast was canceled because of restrictions by the Chatham County Health Department.
Customers who bought advance tickets will receive a refund. Attendees will be allowed to bring their own coolers, picnic baskets and even takeout, but no outside alcohol is allowed.
More than a dozen local artisans and crafters will have booths at the festival.
The Jinx will host an after-party, which will feature a second performance by one of the bands.
It's free to Revival Fest attendees and $5 at the door for the general public.Party with Truth & Salvage Co., 10 p.m.Revival Fest headliners Truth & Salvage Co., a roots rock/Americana band, moved to Nashville last year to be near the heart of the music industry.
They'll play at 10 p.m. on the Paint Shop Stage.
"There were three of us who all met in Asheville, N.C., about 13 years ago," says Walker Young, a native of Atlanta. "We decided around 2005 to move to Los Angeles and met three other guys in the group there."
The current band was formed in 2009. Its other members are Bill "Smitty" Smith, Adam Grace, Tim Jones, Scott Kinnebrew and Dean Moore.
"Everybody in the band writes songs," Young says. "We felt Nashville might be a good place to be career-wise, to get into the national songwriting scene.
"Since we've been there, probably 20 of our friends from different parts of the country, all musicians we've met over the course of our musical career, have moved to Nashville.
"There's really a big synergy there," he says. "There are a lot of good things happening there."
The band members got a big break when a friend introduced them to Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes, who signed them to his label, Silver Arrow Records. Truth and Salvage Co. released an album on May 25, 2010.
"It was our first album and he produced it," Young says.
"Once we had recorded that, he took us out on the road with The Black Crowes, which was amazing. It really set us up. A lot of fans come to see us because they saw us open for the Crowes, or because Chris Robinson produced our first record. He got us off to a great start."
When he was young, Young visited the Georgia mountains. His father lives in Jacksonville, and he became familiar with Savannah while going back and forth.
"Two years ago, I spent two weeks going to Savannah, Wilmington, Charleston and the Lowcountry," he says. "I fell in love with the whole coastal region. It's my new favorite spot."
Other band members like Savannah, too.
"We've been to Savannah about three times and we're building a fan base down there," Young says. "The people involved in Revival Fest are big fans of ours."
The band recently released its second record, "Pick Me Up."
"We'll play probably some hits from the first record and the new record and some cover tunes, as well. It's obvious we're going to bring the party, so put on your dancing shoes."REVIVAL FEST PLAYLIST
Getting down with Wild Child, 9 p.m.The festival's other headliner will play at 9 p.m. on the Bridge View Stage.
Wild Child, an indie-folk pop band, hails from Austin, Texas. Members include Kelsey Wilson, lead vocals and violin; Alexander Beggins, lead vocals and baritone ukulele; Evan Magers, keyboards and vocals; Carey McGraw, drums and vocals; Sadie Wolfe, cello; Chris D'Annunzio, bass; and James Bookert, banjo.
All the songs are written by Beggins and Wilson, who started the group as a duo. Wild Child has two LPs, their debut, "Pillow Talk," and "The Runaround," which will be released Oct. 8.
The other members were added when Wild Child began recording its first album. The added personnel enabled them in their debut at the SXSW music festival.
"When writing the songs for 'Pillow Talk,' Alexander and I were just writing for a ukelele/violin and our vocals," Wilson says. "Since then, we have added a drummer, keys, cello, bass, banjo and horns, so the sound has become much bigger, less limited and more fun for us on stage.
"The songs are just as intimate and personal as the ones on the last album, we just had a producer and a legit studio to record in this time," she says. "We weren't limited to what we could just pull off ourselves.
"Adding other musicians allowed us to play in loud, noisy bars where a quiet love song set wouldn't grab anyone's attention, and helped us get over stage fright ..." Wilson says. "Also, the songs wouldn't be what they are today if we didn't have an incredible team of musicians behind us, making these tunes their own."
The band's name started out as a joke.
"We were in a band called Grand Child together, and while on tour, Alexander and I took a picture in the woods that looked a lot like a band photo," Wilson says.
"We kept it just in case we ever started a band and decided we would call it Wild Child. It started out as a bit of a joke, but stuck so quickly we couldn't ever go back."
The two work on songwriting together.
"He writes the riffs on the uke and brings them to me for a melody, then we work on lyrics together," Wilson says.
The first album release was an exciting experience.
"It was the first time Alexander and I ever tried to write and record our own tunes, so releasing the final product to all of our friends and family was a beautiful experience for all of us," Wilson says.
"We had some hype machine love on the last album," she says.
"We ended up with three songs on the Top Ten list at the same time and shortly after, we got to play our favorite hometown festival," she says.Whiskey Shivers brings a 'folk tornado'
With a band name like Whiskey Shivers, fans can expect a riotous time.
Described variously as "freewheelin'," "trashgrassin'," "a folk tornado" and "crazy-assed redneck music," Whiskey Shivers takes traditional instrumentation, soaks it in gasoline and sends it into outer space. The instruments include upright bass, fiddle, washboard, banjo and guitar.
The Austin, Texas, band will play Revival Fest at 1:30 p.m. at the Paint Shop Stage.
"Whiskey Shivers is essentially the feeling you get when you drink your first drink of whiskey," says member Joe Deuce. "It translates to people who typically may not be whiskey drinkers who drink a few whiskeys and turn everything into quite a wild party."
Members of the band are Jeff "Horti" Hortillosa, James Bookert, Andrew VanVoorhees, Bobby Fitzgerald and Joe Deuce. Fitzgerald and VanVoorhees first hooked up 2009, followed by the others.
"I lived in the same apartment complex," Deuce says. "We've been together, it feels like forever."
A year ago, the band was playing a show and when the spotlight hit center stage, Deuce saw fellow band members getting pats on the back from the crowd.
"We were surrounded by a few hundred people freaking out," he says. "It was a really good time. How the crowd participates supersedes how well you think you did."
Fans can expect an exciting show, he says.
"We have our energetic side," Deuce says. "Usually once we're on stage, it's hard to slow it down.
"There will be thrills and chills and the spectacular," he says. "We will be throwing a party."