In a town that cherishes chilling out as fiercely as Savannah does, an intimate night of live folk music seems like the perfect way to ease into a weekend. 

But a toe-tapping jam fest pumped over a killer sound system? 

You'd be surprised. 

First Fridays for Folk at First Presbyterian Church are all this and more. 

The complexities of folk music's character are what Chris Desa, president of the Savannah Folk Music Society, hopes to expose to new listeners. 

"Folk music has been around for a long time, and it's got many genres. Those who don't really know tend to think it's just what Bob Dylan did, but it's not. It's always evolving." 

For 18 years, Savannah's folk music enthusiasts have been able to find their monthly fix with the Savannah Folk Music Society's First Friday events. 

Thanks to Desa, revelers have access to both local and touring acts that he has carefully selected to represent and unite the folk community in one of the most coveted listening rooms in Savannah.

For those who are less acquainted with the variety of genres folk spans, a First Friday for Folk can be an eye-opening and addictive experience. 

The Oct. 4 lineup is a perfect example of just how different folk musicians can sound (although both guest acts cite Dylan as an influence). 

On the ticket are two full performances by local musicians: First up is solo artist Thomas Oliver, followed by The Casual Forces. 

In addition to hosting, Desa will also perform a short set to tie it all together.

A 30-year veteran of the Atlanta newspaper business, singer-songwriter Oliver knows how to hook you with a punchy line. 

Oliver and his wife, who had worked with him at his paper as an editor, decided to pack up and move to Tybee when the failing business gave rise to their third buyout opportunity. 

He began writing music, and to this day, she still lends an editor's eye to his work. 

Oliver will be playing songs from his latest album, "The Edge of America."

As evidenced in local crowd-pleasers like "Welcome to Tybee," where he sums up the island as able to "ink you up or save your soul," Oliver's whip-smart wisecracks can deftly turn introspective or spiritual from one end of a verse to the other. 

He wields his journalistic flair interchangeably with his experiences growing up as the son of a Sunday school teacher in distinctly American country hues.

Oliver has spent many years building his songwriting chops, particularly with his own bimonthly singer-songwriter nights, where he and his fellow musicians aim to increase awareness of original talent in the Coastal Empire's listening audience. 

"So much of Savannah's local music can get focused on covers because of the tourist trade," Oliver said. 

"We have a lot of talented songwriters here. I want to help create a community feeling of all the songwriters here, so we can meet and support one another."

Indie-folk newcomers The Casual Forces are located firmly on the other side of the folk spectrum from Oliver's bluesy twang. 

Comprised of Jamison Murphy, Michael Britt, Alex Saad-Falcon and Landon Trust, The Casual Forces have developed a uniquely ambient folk sound. 

Starry cymbal crashes tumble around with sleepy electric guitars under and over Murphy's soothing vocals and mandolin. 

Murphy has played a First Friday solo before. 

Each member of the band brings distinctive performance experience to the mix, and together they are eager to round out their experimental folk sound for the discerning First Friday audience.

"I choose who I think is useful, performers the audience will like," Desa says. 

"I'm able to be very picky because it's such a sought-after gig. 

"No one is paid to play a First Friday for Folk, but we're always booking very far in advance because it's so special for the performers." 

"The audience really listens to what they have to say. For a performer, that's like winning the lottery without getting any money in your pocket."