A relatively new Savannah transplant recently told me that she and her children had never experienced St. Patrick's Day in Savannah.

I might not be a Savannah native, but I've attended the parade and other festivities every year since 1996, so I immediately started gushing with suggestions about ways she could enjoy the day with her kids.

For families and those who are primarily interested in the heritage of St. Patrick's Day, the parade is the high point of weeks of events. But please note that some excellent bands are generally booked for the extended holiday, though the schedules can sometimes be difficult to find.

With so much emphasis on the big party, the details regarding the actual musicians can get lost in the shuffle. For example, I'm writing this column three days before the festival officially begins, and the lineups for the outdoor stages haven't been publicly posted.

But if you're looking for some excellent, upbeat music to accompany your weekend, you can start by checking out The Jinx at 127 W. Congress St. The club has exceptional lineups for three straight days.

On March 16, The Jinx hosts a night devoted to different flavors of punk, with Burns Like Fire from Athens, hometown heroes COEDS and Atlanta-based Starbenders.

On March 17, The Jinx gets rolling early with a reunion of Anders Thomsen's former band The Ex-Husbands at 12:30 p.m.

That set will be followed by the talented country artist PeeWee Moore at 2 p.m., local blues from Bottles & Cans at 4 p.m., outlaw country from Damon and the Sh!tkickers at 6:30 p.m., another set from PeeWee Moore at 9 p.m. and then The Train Wrecks closing out the night with a set that begins at 11 p.m.

On March 18, The Jinx lineup kicks off at noon with Savannah-based Clouds & Satellites. There will be bands playing all day, with the wildly entertaining Jeff Two-Names and the Born Agains closing out the holiday with a set that begins at 1 a.m.

Aside from The Ex-Husbands, I've seen every act playing in those three days at The Jinx, and I recommend all of them without reservation.

Of course, live music won't be limited to The Jinx. You'll be able to find excellent bands at venues and on public stages throughout downtown Savannah beginning Thursday and continuing until the early hours of Sunday morning.

If you choose to brave the drunken hordes, this weekend presents wonderful opportunities to check out some immensely talented musicians, many of whom are based right here in Savannah.

Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com) and hissing lawns (www.hissinglawns.com). Email billdawers@comcast.net.