When El-Rocko Lounge opened in 2016, the bar was not planning on becoming a regular venue for live music, but circumstances dictated otherwise.

So even though El-Rocko was designed without a proper stage or backstage, it has turned into one of the most interesting venues in the downtown area with its eclectic booking, including collaborations with Savannah Stopover and parent company MusicFile Productions.

Stopover and El-Rocko team up again this week to present the Anders Thomsen Trio, another early show in a special summer series.


Thomsen is one of the city’s most talented performers, but many live music fans might only know him as the phenomenal guitarist with Damon and the Sh!tkickers rather than from his other projects.

The album “Anders Thomsen with The Downtown Sheiks” — which showcases Thomsen’s songwriting, rollicking rock style and extensive work with area musicians — can be streamed and downloaded on Bandcamp. Thomsen formed the stellar alt-country act The Ex-Husbands way back in 1993 — 25 years ago.

El-Rocko’s doors open at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 17, with the Anders Thomsen Trio scheduled for 6 p.m. Tickets will be $5 at the door. The happy hour set is billed as an “after-work show” and will feature cocktails with ASW Distillery Resurgence Rye and Breckenridge Distillery Bourbon. Beer specials will include the Mountain Jam from Savannah’s own Southbound Brewing Co.

On Aug. 18, El-Rocko hosts a show with Pinky Doodle Poodle, a fast, fun rock band founded in Japan a decade ago.


Also on the bill is fiasco, a Charleston-based indie rock act with an aggressive edge. The Holy City is just up the road a couple of hours, but musicians in Savannah and Charleston don’t make the trip as often as they should.

Perpetual Care, one of the most interesting up-and-coming Savannah bands, is also on the bill. The music should get rolling around 10 p.m.

El-Rocko Lounge is at 117 Whitaker St., at the corner of West State Street. If you’re looking for on-street parking in the area, you are most likely to find spaces if you drive east and south of the venue rather than toward the bustling Congress Street area.

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