Category Archives: Music Events in Savannah Georgia

Sarah Poole and Abigail Eller make their SSS debut Sun., Sept. 6, along with Wyatt Espalin and Taylor Martin

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Sept 6, from 6 – 7:30 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant
1651 East Victory Dr. 31404
Free admission. Free parking.
All ages. Non-smoking.
Songwriters in the round:
Sarah Poole, Abigail Eller, Taylor Martin and Wyatt Espalin

Two local female songwriters make their Savannah Songwriters debut Sun., Sept. 6, along with Hiawassee’s award-winning songwriter Wyatt Espalin. Savannah’s Taylor Martin returns for the first time in two years.

Sarah Poole

Sarah Poole

Savannah-born singer/songwriter Sarah Poole is an avid performer. A self-taught guitarist, Sarah draws inspiration from the 1990s grunge scene she grew up in.

Following in the footsteps of artists such as Jewel, Alanis Morissette, and Natalie Merchant, Sarah crafts her music based on her personal experiences and relationships.

A known personality in the Savannah music scene, Sarah has two EP’s under her belt. She currently lives in the Savannah area and aspires to become a full-time musician.

Abigail Eller

Abigail Eller

Abigail Eller is originally from Illinois, but moved south when she was a small child. She picked up the guitar a few years ago and decided to give it a go. After a few years of teaching herself, she has picked up many songs, and written a few of her own. She has always enjoyed the pleasure of singing and sharing her message. She also loves to act.

Entertaining audiences in his hometown of Hiawassee, Georgia as early as age eight, Wyatt Espalin’s passion for music was obvious, even from the barn room stage built by his grandfather. He and his brother Matt were known as “The Fiddling Brothers.” While Matt hung up his fiddle and bow after high school, Wyatt was just getting started. Armed with a guitar and a desire to write songs, he paired with his friend, Cobi Ferguson to form the acclaimed Americana duo, Trees Leave.

Wyatt Espalin

Wyatt Espalin

After years of touring the duo broke up and while working as a raft guide and caring for his ailing grandfather, Wyatt began writing the songs for his debut album, The Pardon (2013).

His songs have garnered much attention winning the New Song Songwriting competition at the acclaimed L.E.A.F. festival in 2014. He also placed as a finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at Merlefest, the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriting Competition and Eddie’s Attic Open Mic Shootout.

Taylor Martin is originally from the mountains of north central Arkansas, but he’s lived in Savannah for a little over 10 years.  He works as an outside salesman for a construction supply company and spend a great deal of time out on the roads of southeast Georgia.

While he’s been playing guitar most of his life, he began writing about 20 years ago, but he got serious about his songwriting the last 10 or so. I’ve really taken it more seriously in the last 10 to 15 years.  “I love a good story, and I’ve always loved country and folk music because of its emphasis on good story telling,” Martin says.

He made SSS debut in 2013.

The Savannah Songwriters Series is a monthly showcase of original music, fostering an appreciation for Savannah’s songwriting community.  Hosted at Johnny Harris Restaurant the first Sunday of each month, all shows are free and begin promptly at 6 pm.

If you are interested in playing, please email your information to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com or visit our website at savannahsongwriters.com

 

Phillip Wise makes SSS debut Sun., Aug. 2; joined by Daniel Nickels, Robert Benton and Navi Singh

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Aug. 2, from 6 – 7:30 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant
1651 East Victory Dr. 31404
Free admission. Free parking.
All ages. Non-smoking.

A young Savannah native makes his Savannah Songwriters Series debut Sun., Aug. 2. Phillip Wise will be joined by touring singer/songwriter Navi Singh and SSS veterans Robert Benton and Daniel Nickels.

Phillip Wise

Phillip Wise

Phillip Wise is a 32-year-old Savannah native. He first picked up a guitar at 15 after years of loving hearing his father, uncles, and brother play. He played drums for a few bands that never made it off the ground and finally started writing his own music a couple of years ago when he found his way back to playing and singing again.

He attends many open mics around town meeting. Currently working on an album with Craig Tanner and a number of other talented people he’s met along this music path.

This will be Phillip’s SSS debut.

Daniel Nickels

Daniel Nickels

Daniel Nickels is an acclaimed, up and coming singer songwriter who has traveled the world playing music. A true vocal artist, the musical genres he can sing span the whole spectrum. His diverse musical projects include collaborations in rock, pop, hip-hop, rhythm and blues and folk.

His songwriting is based on real life situations and experiences he skillfully and passionately intertwines with stirring melodies and lyrical storytelling.

Soon, he will be releasing the first single,”Our Love”, off of his upcoming solo album.

Navi Singh is a singer-songwriter, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, based out of New York City. Blending classical training with popular music sensibilities, Navi’s painstaking lyricism and musical exploration culminate in performances that are uniquely colorful, organic, and expressive.

An active composer, Navi has created music for short films, animations, television spots, as well as various arrangements for concert and studio settings. Navi’s compositions have been performed on concert stages and screened at film festivals across North America, Europe, and Asia. Navi also teaches guitar and piano to students of all ages in his private studio in Manhattan.

Robert Benton

Robert Benton

Robert Benton has been playing and singing for more than 20 years. He grew up on Wilmington Island and attended UGA. In the last few years, he has been focused on writing and his band, Benton Hill.

Those who have heard Robert always remember his strong vocals.

The Savannah Songwriters Series is a monthly showcase of original music, fostering an appreciation for Savannah’s songwriting community.  Hosted at Johnny Harris Restaurant the first Sunday of each month, all shows are free and begin promptly at 6 pm.

If you are interested in playing, please email your information to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com or visit our website at savannahsongwriters.com

 

Jan Spillane returns to SSS stage and is joined by newcomer Dakota Woods Sun., July 5 at Johnny Harris

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., July 5, at 6 – 7:30 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission. Free parking.  
All ages.  Non-smoking.

Jan Spillane returns to the Savannah Songwriters Series Sun., July 5. A young songwriter making his SSS debut as well as SSS veterans Pete Love and Ben Wells will join her.

Born and raised in Savannah/Tybee Island, Ga., singer/songwriter, Jan Spillane has been recording music since she was eight and performing in front of audiences since she was 16.

Jan Spillane

Jan Spillane

Her music stretches across multiple genres. She is heavy on blues, soft on jazz with drops of folk, pop, and country spread throughout her work. Playing piano/guitar, she has written and recorded numerous songs. To date, she’s released four albums, three singles, and two videos.

Jan is currently working on her latest CD, Blue Canvas with high hopes for its release this year.

Dakota Woods is a 21-year-old self-taught guitarist who learned to play guitar at the knees of his grandfather, starting off with gospel and old school country. He previously played lead guitar and vocals with two other local bands, including Exit 76, but has decided to focus more on writing music moving forward after a recent trip to Nashville.

Dakota Woods

Dakota Woods

Dakota can been seen and heard playing solo around Richmond Hill, Pooler, Rincon and Hinesville.

This is Dakota’s SSS debut.

Pete Love, a SSS favorite, has played with groups such as the Denny Phillips Band, Spectrum, Band in the Park, Mary Davis and Co., the Navigators and Smokin Gun.

A sought-after guitarist who is comfortable with most genres, Pete also performs solo and with bassist Dobby Simmons. He self-produced his CD “Chester and the Elements.”

Ben Wells is a math teacher who for many years was known for his side work with other bands and songwriters. He played on both Pete’s and Jan’s CDs. In the last couple of years, he started writing his own songs. He enjoys trying out his new material at the Coffee. Deli acoustic jams on Wednesday nights.

Ben Wells

Ben Wells

This year, he and Robert Cooper have started playing around town.

The Savannah Songwriters Series is a monthly showcase of original music, fostering an appreciation for Savannah’s songwriting community.  Hosted at Johnny Harris Restaurant the first Sunday of each month, all shows are free and begin promptly at 6 pm.

If you are interested in playing, please email your information to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com or visit our website at savannahsongwriters.com

 

Witt and Waits return to SSS stage Sun., May 3

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., May 3, at 6 – 7:30 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission. Free parking.  
All ages.  Non-smoking.

Cc Witt and Jon Waits return to the Savannah Songwriters showcase Sun., May, 3, along with veterans Jason Salzer  and Tom Cooler.

Cc Witt

Cc Witt

Cc Witt is the lead vocalist and songwriter for country-pop band, Lyn Avenue. But Cc has a story all her own. She has been winning songwriting awards since the age of 13. Her songs are known for their depth, dynamic range, and particularly, the stories within the lyrics. Her voice has been compared to Norah Jones, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum, and Kacey Musgraves.

For 25 years, Jon Waits has been writing and performing in coffee shops, bar and alleyways. He is currently the main songwriter and vocalist for Waits & Co., a Savannah-based Americana and Alt-country trio.

Jon Waits

Jon Waits

He moved to Savannah four-plus years ago.

DoSavannah wrote: “Waits, as most fans in Savannah probably know, is a hardened performer with more than 20 years of stage experience echoing throughout his songwriting.”

Jason Salzer spent over a decade in Nashville. There he honed his songwriting craft working alongside hit songwriters. Salzer has independently released his own acclaimed albums, working with producers like Mike Wanchic (John Mellencamp).

“My favorite part of the music business is still the time spent on stage,” Salzer says. He has made connections with audiences all over the country, sharing the stage with the likes of Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.jasonguitarbw

He relocated to Savannah in 2014. “Savannah has taught me to take my time. This town is laid back and beautiful and I feel like here we have it all,” Salzer says.

Tom Cooler is a veteran of the SSS circuit. When he isn’t playing a SSS showcase, he’s heavily involved behind the scenes, helping set up and tear down and often running sound.

He released his first CD in 2012, “Nebraska Boy,” which included the popular “Tuscaloosa” about the devastating tornado in that hit that town in 2011.

In 2013, he released a new live CD, “This is What You Get.”

The Savannah Songwriters Series is a monthly showcase of original music, fostering an appreciation for Savannah’s songwriting community.  Hosted at Johnny Harris Restaurant the first Sunday of each month at 6 pm.

If you are interested in playing, please email your information to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com or visit our website at savannahsongwriters.com

Christina Christian returns to SSS and Clark Byron makes his debut

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., April 5, at 6 – 7:30 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission. Free parking.  
All ages.  Non-smoking.

Savannah Songwriters Series favorite Christina Christian returns Sun., April 5, along with local veterans Mark Molloy and Jonathan Hill.  Clark Byron will be making his SSS debut.

Christina Christian

Christina Christian

Born and raised in south Alabama, Americana, country singer-songwriter Christina Christian returns to the Savannah Songwriter Series for her third showcase. For the last five years, Christina has traveled the Southeast, performing her music.

Last year was a turning point. Christina began being recognized for her songwriting craft, which led to performing in the Frank Brown International Songwriter’s Festival, the Mississippi Songwriters Festival, and the Hwy. 80 Songwriters Festival in Meridian, MS.

She also lived briefly in Nashville before moving to Perdido Key, Fla., where in between shows, the 22-year-old is also marketing director at Blue Hound Promotions in Pensacola, FL.

This year Christina plans to release new music, with a single in the Spring, along with a Live album in the Summer.

Clark Byron

Clark Byron

Clark Byron will be making his SSS debut. A 40-year veteran of songwriting and performing.  The lion’s share of his accomplishments were in the Christian music world, with two successful CD albums almost exclusively of original material. His recordings have sold the world over. After spending 26 years in Kansas City, Clark moved to Savannah four years ago.

Clark has performed all over the country in both sacred and secular venues. He has appearned many times on local, national and worldwide television, on such networks as The Nashville Network, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and the Daystar Television Network.

Mark Molloy

Mark Molloy

Mark Molloy is a well-known bluesman in the Savannah area. A self taught guitar player, Mark has become highly skilled in the styles of rock and roll, country and blues and still works to perfect his style and technique every day. He has played with the likes of The Late Great Isaac Scott, Albert Collins and David Brewer and opened for Bruce Hampton.

He has toured and recorded in many areas of the country from Alaska to Georgia and released three singles of his own. He now lives and plays with his own trio called “Gypsy Slim” and a duo called “The SlimRoc Duo,” also the “Hounddog slim duo.”

Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Hill has been playing in Savannah for the last five years after moving from Mississippi. He is a touring bassist and spends his off time recording and writing in his home studio.

He is about to release two cd’s and is working on a third of his own material. He is also producing and engineering other musicians’ projects.

His music can be very eclectic from folk and finger picking blues to rock and electronic.

The Savannah Songwriters Seriesshowcases original music the first Sunday at Johnny Harris’ restaurant in Savannah.

Local songwriters who would like to be considered for a SSS showcase, should email links to their music to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com

 

Award-winning folkie leads strong lineup at Savannah Songwriters First Sunday Feb. 1

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Feb. 1, at 6 – 7:30 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission.  Free parking.  
All ages.  Non-smoking

Chart-topping, award-winning folksinger Linda McRae heads a stellar cast of songwriters at the Savannah Songwriters’ showcase at Johnny Harris Restaurant Feb. 1.

Joining Linda will be North Carolina’s Todd Hoke, one of the founding members of the SSS, Jefferson Ross, and Savannah Folk Society president Chris Desa.

Linda McRae

Linda McRae

No Depression wrote this month of a McRae performance: “Playing a banjo and singing in a strong alto, McRae went on to offer a masterful and stirring set of songs — songs with a capital S — that take you on a sonic journey while steadily cracking open your heart.”

Earning two-platinum and three gold records as a member of Spirit of the West Linda left the band in 1996 to resume her solo career and has since released four critically acclaimed recordings.

The Canadian folk artist tours throughout North America.

Todd Hoke

Todd Hoke

Todd Hoke was born in, Texas, lived in Austin for a dozen years, and currently pays his utility bills in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Todd has recorded three albums of rootsy, folksy, bluesy music covering a wide array of topics.

Todd paints pictures of the world according to Todd. Combining comedy with tragedy and often times throwing in a brutally sharp wit comment, Todd’s songs are journeys you must experience.

He became a SSS crowd favorite with his 2013 performance.

Jefferson Ross

Jefferson Ross

Southern folk artist, Jefferson Ross, is a songwriter, singer, guitar slinger and painter.  After years in Nashville as a songwriter and bandleader, Jefferson moved in 2010 to Savannah where he helped start the Savannah Songwriter Series. He moved to Atlanta in 2013. There he resumed with a passion his painting, taking it in a folk art direction with many renderings of famous blues musicians.

He continues to play house concerts and festivals throughout the South.

Chris Desa is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter specializing primarily in six and 12-string guitars. With over five decades experience, he blends well-known tunes of the 60’s- 80’s with his own compositions.

He is president of Savannah Folk Music Society since 2011 and has served as a long time member and board member.

The Savannah Songwriters Series showcases original music the first Sunday at Johnny Harris’ restaurant.

Local songwriters who would like to be considered for a SSS showcase, should email links to their music to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com

 

 

SSS moves to new First Sunday date, Dec. 7, with a strong lineup

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Dec. 7, at 6 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission.  Free parking.  
All ages.  Non-smoking

 A strong set of songwriters inaugurates in a new date for Savannah Songwriters’ showcases, Sun., Dec. 7.

Kris Youmans returns to her hometown with her fusion of Texas swing, Americana and traditional country. She’ll be joined by local songwriters Andrew Gill, Thomas Claxton and Roy Swindelle at Johnny Harris Restaurant, as the SSS moves to the First Sunday of each month.

Kris Youmans

Kris Youmans

Kris Youmans has always been influenced by the Southern charm and coastal life of Savannah, where she was born and raised. Now living in Newnan, she is the founder of Newnan Unplugged, a popular songwriter showcase in Newnan, and is also the co-coordinator for the Carrollton chapter of Nashville Songwriters Association (NSAI). She is a community partner with Meals On Wheels and organizes musical fundraisers for them annually.

She has been nominated several times at Ga-Country.com for female vocalist of the year as well as the Georgia Music Awards 2013.

The Kris Youmans Band performs in venues throughout the Atlanta metro area and just completed a new CD of original tunes.

Andrew Gill was the lead vocalist for the popular, local band Wormsloew.  He can be heard most weekends around Savannah solo or fronting the Andrew Gill Band (AGB).

Andrew’s vocals are as dynamic as any in the Coastal Empire.  He possesses perhaps one of the strongest voices to grace the Savannah Songwriters Series. His lyrics are as strong as his voice.

Thomas Claxton is a popular fixture on the Savannah music scene.  A native of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., the 31-year-old has been performing professionally for over a decade.

“…Thomas is a breath of fresh air …,” according to Connect Savannah.  His performances are high-energy and the breadth of rock songs he knows and performs is astounding.

He is currently playing with his band the Myth.

Roy Swindelle is one of the Coastal Empire’s best-known musicians. Roy is a multi-instrumentalist, playing drums, bass, guitar, steel drums and harmonica.  He has been voted Best Musician on Tybee several times by the readers of the Tybee Breeze. He plays solo, often as Roy and the Circuit Breakers, as well as with the Christy Alan Band, which has been voted the Breeze’s Best Band two years running.

Roy is a producer of the Savannah Songwriters Series, which showcases original music the 1st Sunday of each month at Johnny Harris.  All are free to the public and start at 6 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Jon Waits debuts at Savannah Songwriters Series Sun., Nov. 23

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Nov. 23, at 6 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission.  Free parking.  
All ages.  Non-smoking

Jon Waits makes his Savannah Songwriters Series debut Sun., Nov. 23, at Johnny Harris Restaurant.

He’ll be joined by local SSS veterans Pete Love and Ben Wells. Also, Arsena Schroeder, who excited the audience with her March performance, returns from Charlotte to the writers-in-the round showcase.

For 25 years, Jon Waits has been writing and performing in coffee shops, bar and alleyways. He is currently the main songwriter and vocalist for Waits & Co., a Savannah-based Americana and Alt-country trio.

Jon Waits

Jon Waits

Born the son of a preacher-man in the early seventies in Atlanta, Jon first picked up the guitar at age 10. Growing restless in his early twenties he hit the road, traveling and living by the seat of his pants for the next decade, performing in coffeehouses, and wherever else would let him pick his guitar; sometimes for pay, sometimes just to be heard.

Eventually the high life brought him down, and the music was put on hold for several years. After getting clean and sober he slowly returned to playing. He moved to Savannah three-plus years ago.

DoSavannah wrote: “Waits, as most fans in Savannah probably know, is a hardened performer with more than 20 years of stage experience echoing throughout his songwriting.”

Pete Love, a SSS favorite, has played with groups such as the Denny Phillips Band, Spectrum, Band in the Park, Mary Davis and Co. and the Navigators.

A sought-after guitarist who is comfortable with most genres, Pete also performs solo. He self-produced his CD “Chester and the Elements.”

He will once again demonstrate his guitar skills and play his songs that cosmically and comically look at life and its meaning.

Ben Wells started writing his own music within the last couple of years, while working on Jan Spillane’s most recent CD. He co-wrote and recorded a song with her and John Banks.

Since then, he has written several songs on his own and has recorded them at home. He enjoys trying out his new material at the Coffee. Deli acoustic jams on Wednesday nights.

Ben is a math teacher with the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. He is married to Stacey and they have a young son, Charles. They reside in Coffee Bluff.

Arsena Schroeder

Arsena Schroeder

Charlotte-based Arsena Schroeder began her journey as a singer-songwriter and instrumentalist six years ago. Since then, she has performed locally, nationally and internationally at venues such as The Evening Muse in Charlotte, Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia, and WDVX The Blue Plate Special in Knoxville.

She’s also competed and advanced a round as an American Idol contestant.

She released her first EP, “Abundantly,” last year. It garnered her comparisons to Lauryn Hill, India Arie, Corrine Bailey Rae, & Tracy Chapman.

Her next release, “For My Artist Child” is scheduled to be released next month.

The Savannah Songwriters Series is a monthly showcase of original music, fostering an appreciation for Savannah’s songwriting community.  Hosted at Johnny Harris Restaurant the fourth Sunday of each month at 6 pm, the series will move to the First Sunday of each month beginning December 2014.

If you are interested in playing, please email your information to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com or visit our website at savannahsongwriters.com.

 

 

 

 

Jefferson Ross returns to Savannah Songwriters stage Sun., Oct. 26

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Oct. 26, at 6 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission.  Free parking.   All ages.  Non-smoking

The founder of the Savannah Songwriters Series returns to play a showcase Sun., Oct. 28, at Johnny Harris Restaurant.

Jefferson Ross will be joined by Jason Salzer, Tom Cooler and John Russell.

Jefferson Ross

Jefferson Ross

For over a quarter century, Jefferson Ross honed his craft in Nashville, both as staff songwriter for companies like Curb Records, a studio session player and as a road musician and background singer for folks like Terri Clark.

He lived in Savannah from 2010 until last year when he moved to Atlanta.  While in Savannah, he, his wife, Tami, and local musician Stan Ray founded the Savannah Songwriters Series.

As a solo artist, Jefferson has released three CDs —  “Azalea,” “Hymns to the Here and Now” and last year’s “Isle of Hope.”  Each has eclipsed the previous one in fans response and critics praise.

 John Russell is a 21-year-old songwriter from Detroit.  A  preacher’s son, John grew up in a musical family and started writing songs at 15.  He moved to Savannah about a year ago with his wife Melody.  He’s just beginning to make his mark musically.

A professional photographer, John brings a soulful sound belying his age.

Jason Salzer, who relocated to Savannah last year after a 15-year career in Nashville, returns to the SSS stage with some of his poignant songs.

Jason Salzer

Jason Salzer

While based out of Music City, Salzer toured the country, sharing the stage with renowned artists including Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and Steve Earle.  In addition to releasing several albums of his own, Salzer has had his songs cut by country, Americana, and Christian artists alike.  He has worked with some of Nashville’s top writers and producers.

Tom Cooler is a veteran of the SSS circuit. When he isn’t playing a SSS showcase, he’s heavily involved behind the scenes, helping set up and tear down and often running sound.

He released his first CD in 2012, “Nebraska Boy,” which included the popular “Tuscaloosa” about the devastating tornado in that hit that town in 2011.

Last year, he released a new live CD, “This is What You Get.”  Tom was chosen to play Tybee’s Third Thursday series earlier this year.

The Savannah Songwriters Series is a monthly showcase of original music, fostering an appreciation for Savannah’s songwriting community.  Hosted at Johnny Harris Restaurant the fourth Sunday of each month at 6 pm, the series will move to the First Sunday of each month beginning December 2014.

If you are interested in playing, please email your information to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com or visit our website at savannahsongwriters.com.

 

Two touring songwriters make their Savannah Songwriters Series debut Sun., Sept. 28

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Sept. 28, at 6 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

Free admission.  Free parking.   All ages.  Non-smoking

Two touring songwriters take the Savannah Songwriters Series stage for the first time Sun., Sept. 28, at Johnny Harris Restaurtant.

David Kraai and Claudia Nygaard will be joined by local songwriters Chris Desa and Thomas Oliver.

David Kraai

David Kraai

David Kraai (pronounced cry) is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who has been traveling and performing his melting pot of country, folk and rock music for over a decade. His roots stem from New York’s Hudson Valley.

Kraai has been fortunate enough to release several albums and share stages and bills with some of his heroes like Pete Seeger, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Dickey Betts, Leon Russell, Charlie Louvin and more.

After graduating from San Jose State University, Claudia Nygaard spent the next several years paying her dues singing in dive bars, rowdy honky tonks, and on noisy fairgrounds.

Claudia Nygaard

Claudia Nygaard

After her years on the road, she moved to Nashville and landed a job as a staff songwriter for Greenwood Music on Music Row. The job allowed her to focus on the craft of songwriting, and she learned it well.

Her songwriting has won her numerous awards including the prestigious Kerrville Folk Festival Songwriting Competition “New Folk.” Her skill as a guitarist earned Claudia a Tacoma Guitars endorsement, as well as an endorsement from Intellitouch Guitar Tuners.

With the release of her second CD, 2011’s “Let The Storm Roll In,” Claudia garnered some well-deserved praise from radio and press.  

Chris Desa is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter specializing primarily in six and 12-string guitars. With over five decades experience, he blends well-known tunes of the 60’s- 80’s with his own compositions. He also enjoys promoting songwriters who are not well known by playing his versions of their tunes.

He is president of Savannah Folk Music Society since 2011 and has served as a long time member and board member.

A seasoned maritime professional for over 40 years, he operates an independent maritime consulting company based in Savannah.  

Thomas Oliver will once again host the showcase.  He released his third CD, “The Edge of America,” last year.  Red Line Roots said, “…in a world of people trying to make country music and falling short, [Thomas Oliver] soars high above the competition.”

Thomas is one of the co-producers of the Savannah Songwriters Series, which showcases original music the fourth Sunday at Johnny Harris’ restaurant in Savannah.

Local songwriters who would like to be considered for a SSS showcase, should email links to their music to savannahsongwriterseries@gmail.com