Modern isn't a word many would associate with Randy Wood Guitars and its customized instruments, created since the 1960s for the likes of Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Bill Monroe.
Although his handiwork dates back decades and the music performed at the venue harkens back to a simpler, pre-Internet time, Wood has teamed up with local multimedia production company Saltymoss to provide livestreaming of the bluegrass, blues, jazz and gypsy jazz concerts that grace the stage of his Pickin' Parlor.
This week, Wood welcomes Little Roy and Lizzie, and you can watch the show by going to saltymoss.com and clicking the LiveStream tab at the top of the page. You can also watch from Randy's Flatt Mountain Records website, flattmountainmedia.com, from the LiveStream app on either your iPhone, iPad or Android phone, or from Saltymoss' Facebook page.
So why did Wood decide to start livestreaming some of the shows, for free?
"We only seat 100 people, and there are fans all over the world that can't access these shows any other way," Wood said. "It's rare to find our type of venue anywhere, especially in the country."
So, this online listening option gives people access to these unique boot-stomping performances worldwide, which is great exposure for not only Randy Wood Guitars but also the performers. These shows can also help Savannah's reputation as a destination for great music to grow.
Cody Slatten, CEO of Saltymoss and nine-time nominee and four-time Emmy Award winner, shared how the partnership between Randy Wood Guitars and Saltymoss came about.
"While shooting a sizzle reel for a possible reality show called 'Country Pluckers' about Randy's Store and its employees, I spent several hours in 2011 at Randy's Pickin' Parlor and his music store shooting the day-to-day events and discussing with Randy how to broaden his viewing audience for his one-of-a-kind venue," Slatten said.
"The show almost got the green light from the History Channel, I am told."
His relationship with Wood is one of mutual respect.
"Cody is very good to work with and takes his work seriously," Wood said.
Slatten added, "With a resume like Randy's, he's got fans all over the world; now they can see who is playing right in our own backyard at the Pickin' Parlor. His place is truly a hidden gem of the Lowcountry."
Randy's shows sell out quite frequently due to the small size of the Pickin' Parlor, but even if people can't grab a ticket, livestreaming means they have the next best thing to see these world-class acts perform.
And musician Lizzie Long welcomes the opportunity for her show to be available in real-time online.
"Randy Wood's is always a sold-out venue, and we always have to turn people away ... I guess we just want everybody to get a chance to see it. I'm cool with it myself. Exposure, exposure, exposure," she said.
But she loves interacting with the audience at Randy Wood's, where she and Little Roy have performed several times in the past.
"We love the folks there. It's so nice to be up and close to the audience and really see their reaction. We are treated so well at Randy's, and Randy and the boys always repair or tweak our instruments after months on the road. It's a blessing."
Wood said other shows they plan to livestream in 2013 include The Boycars, Claire Lynch and Roy Bookbinder.
"So far, we've had a much better response than expected," he said.
Little Roy and Lizzie said they are excited about the second Little Roy and Lizzy Music Festival in May 2014.
As for Saltymoss, "Currently we are in talks with Chump Car Series about possibly streaming some of their endurance races or their heat races this summer and next season. I hope this comes to fruition. The series seems super fun and exciting," Slatten said.
IF YOU GO
What: Little Roy and Lizzie show
When: 8 p.m. July 5
Where: Randy Wood Guitars, 1304 E. U.S. 80, Bloomingdale
Contact: randywoodguitars.com, saltymoss.com, littleroyandlizzy.com