The Jinx has hosted many musical styles in its colorful 15-year history, but the small club on Congress Street has never been fully appreciated for its programming of singer-songwriters.
J.W. Teller, an especially talented performer and songwriter from Mississippi now based in Missoula, Mont., will play The Jinx on Jan. 26 in support of his newly released self-titled album.
The art for the new record includes a magnolia blossom on an armadillo, which seems like a fitting symbol for the emotional tensions in the songs.
“Small Town Darling,” one of my favorite tracks on the record, begins by setting the scene of a small town diner: “Well the good ol’ boys are gathered now at the diner down the street / Talking ’bout that sophomore quarterback last night blew out his knee.”
But then the song shifts to an ambiguous ballad about lost love and missed chances.
Other songs on the record feature similarly sharp imagery and haunting stories of struggle and escape. The emotional impacts are heightened by the subtle instrumentation and Teller’s gritty vocals.
The record, which was primarily tracked in a living room in Missoula, includes Teller on guitar and experienced musicians on fiddle, bass, piano, dobro and other instruments.
Teller comes to Savannah in the midst of a 24-date tour that spans 13 states. James Arthur Bayer will also be performing with Teller at The Jinx and for several other shows on the tour.
The J.W. Teller show caps a predictably busy week at The Jinx. Obamabo will perform a DJ set Jan. 24. Observatory from St. Augustine will join Savannah bands XuluProphet and Towering Pines for a night of psych rock and other styles Jan. 2.
The Jinx returns to its metal roots with Windhand and Genocide Pact on Jan. 30. Tickets might still be available at the door for that mid-week show, but smart shoppers will snag one in advance just in case it sells out.
Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com) and hissing lawns (www.hissinglawns.com). Email firstname.lastname@example.org.