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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

Sarah Tollerson returns to SSS Aug. 24, along with two young songwriters making their SSS debut

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Aug. 24, at 6 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

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

One of Savannah Songwriters Series favorites returns for another showcase Sun., Aug. 24, at Johnny Harris Restaurant.

sarah tollersonSinger/songwriter Sarah Tollerson headlines a group that includes two songwriters making their SSS. debut.
Tollerson was raised in Winder and started singing at an early age with her musically inclined family.

She studied classical music at the University of Georgia before going to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston to study songwriting and voice.
Shortly after graduation, she relocated to Nashville to continue her career as a singer-songwriter and session vocalist.

Her songs have received awards such as the John Lennon Scholarship for Songwriting, the Berklee College of Music Performing Songwriter Award, and several fan choice awards on OurStage.com and Upromise.com.

Last year she moved to Savannah.

Joining Sarah and making their SSS debuts are Danni Ri from Heflin, Ala., and Nikko Raptoulis .

Danni Ri

Danni Ri

Danni Ri (Ree) from Heflin, AL., has been singing since the age of 4.  She grew up a family whose member favored different decades of music, from 40s big band to 80’s bid hair.

She  is currently pursuing opportunities to advance her songwriting career in Nashville and with songs like “Mamma Don’t,” she getting noticed.

Herr first self-produced full Country album titled “Cliché” is now available on i-Tunes, Amazon, et. al.

Nikko Raptoulis moved to Savannah in December after 6 years of performing in and around Orlando, not far from his home-town of Longwood, Fla., and four years  performing in Provo, Utah, where he produced his EP, “King of This Castle.”

In Savannah, he has pulled back from performing aside from a few open mics, deciding to recede from the scene a bit to write and enjoy music as a passion and less of a career for the time being.

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

Anna Chandler leads trio of new voices to Savannah Songwriters July 27

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., July 27, at 6 pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

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

Three new voices to Savannah Songwriters Series take the stage Sun., July 27, at Johnny Harris restaurant.

Anna Chandler, Isaac Smith and Rachael Shaner make their SSS debuts.  Long-time SSS veteran and host Thomas Oliver will join them.

Anna Chandler

Anna Chandler

Anna Chandler’s earliest childhood memory growing up in Greenville, SC, she’s barefoot hanging onto the top of a metal fence, furiously blowing into a harmonica and disturbing the neighbors early on a Sunday morning. As a grown woman who is now a vocalist, guitarist, and accordionist, primarily with Savannah bands Lovely Locks and COEDS.

While attending SCAD on a creative writing scholarship, Chandler fell in love with Savannah. In 2009, Chandler and Devin Smith formed  General Oglethorpe & the Panhandlers.

A lifelong lover of all-American rock ‘n’ roll, folk songs and hymns, and lush harmonies, Chandler’s lyrics are flushed with realism, urgency, a little paranoia and a healthy dose of Southern sweat.

Lovely Locks just released “Trust No Man,” which is available at lovelylocksband.com. COEDS’s latest single, Summer Hits, Some Ain’t, can be heard at coeds.bandcamp.com.

Isaac Smith is hard to pin down as an artist.  From Atlanta, he is steeped in Southern culture, trained in classical music, and raised on the pews of his father’s church.  He blend’s all of these elements into his live performances.

In his live performance, you can expect to hear soulful re-imaginings, roots rock, pop, and maybe even catch a hymn from his youth.

When Isaac is not performing around Savannah’s music scene you can catch him on Sunday mornings at Tapestry Church.

Rachael Shaner

Rachael Shaner

 Rachael Shaner was born and raised in Savannah. She was classically trained on upright bassist for 12 years. She then wandered a bit. From Atlanta to Colorado but got drawn back to Savannah.

Only recently has the 23-year-old Rachael begun writing and singing. She just picked up the guitar and started writing/playing this past February.  Soon she was attracting attention at the open mic at Tybee’s Social Club.

Last fall, Tybee Island songwriter Thomas Oliver released his first CD in seven years.  “The Edge of America.”

One reviewer said the songwriter displayed a “journalistic eye for detail and poetic flow.”  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

 

Savannah Songwriters Series moves to once a month at Johnny Harris restaurant

The popular Savannah Songwriters Series is moving to a once-a-month Sunday showcase at Johnny Harris restaurant.

After nearly three years of twice-a-month showcases, the producers of the Savannah Songwriters Series are returning to the original monthly format and basing the series at Savannah’s legendary Johnny Harris. The restaurant has been the site of the 4th Sunday SSS showcase the last three years.

“We are thrilled that the Savannah Songwriters Series is committing to Johnny Harris,” said Corbin Parker of Johnny Harris Restaurant.  “We’ve been proud to be a part of the series’ growth and look forward to it’s continued success here.”

Roy Swindelle, one of the producers of the writers-in-the-round series, said the earlier move to having showcases twice a month was more happenstance than planned.  “And once it happened, it took on a life of its own.”

The series produced two showcases of original music each month, the second Sunday at the American Legion on Tybee Island and the fourth Sunday at Johnny Harris.

“The American Legion has been great to us,” Swindelle said, noting that 64 people attended the last showcase there.  “And we hate leaving.”

“But,” said, Thomas Oliver, another SSS producer, “we have small group of volunteers, most of whom are working musicians, and the twice-monthly workload had, frankly, become too much.”

Coincidentally, Oliver said, as he and Swindelle were discussing the move to once a month, Johnny Harris approached them about wanting to make more of a commitment to turning their dining room venue into a true listening room – something that Savannah music scene boosters have long sought.

“We are turning our main dining room into a listening room for the Savannah Songwriters performances,” said Parker.  “We want to contribute to Savannah’s original music scene.”

 

 

 

 

Andrew Gill leads strong cast of songwriters Sun., May 25 at Johnny Harris

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., May 25, at 6pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

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

Andrew Gill leads a strong lineup of songwriters for the Sun., May 25, Savannah Songwriters showcase at Johnny Harris restaurant.

Andrew Gill

Andrew Gill

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.

He will be joined by another veteran of the Savannah Songwriters Series: Joan Maute. A self-described  ”old folkie from the 60s”, Joan is a retired teacher who lives on Hilton Head.

Joan took her guitar and music into the classroom when she began teaching in 1970. She used music to help her teach social studies, reading and language arts, and she continues to share her techniques with teachers across the country and in Canada.

Joan will be singing some songs from her third CD, “So Much More.”

Jason Salzer, who relocated to Savannah last year after a 15-year career in Nashville, returns 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.

Steve Simpson will be making his debut with the SSS. He comes form Charlotte.  Like so many, he played guitar as a youth, but shelved it for a career in business. Returning to guitar and songwriting almost 15 years ago, Stever has released two CDs, worked with the local chapter of the Nashville Songwriters Association International and plays out as often as he can.

 

Four songwriters with guitar chops take the stage Sun., April 27, at Johnny Harris

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., April 27, at 6pm
Johnny Harris Restaurant 


1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

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

Savannah Songwriters Series will double as a guitar playing showcase Sun., April 27, when four musicians known as much for their guitar chops as their songwriting take the stage at Johnny Harris.

Daniel Nickels will be making his SSS debut, while Craig Tanner, Pete Love and Mark Molloy are veterans of the series.

Daniel Nickels

Daniel Nickels

Daniel Nickels is an acclaimed singer songwriter who has traveled the world playing music. He has performed with many different bands including Leeward Fate, The District, PSR and Seconds From A Fall. He has collaborated on different genres of music projects including, progressive rock, pop, rhythm and blues, folk, instrumental and alternative. His songwriting incorporates real life situations and experiences intertwined with beautiful melodies and storytelling. Many say he writes from the heart.

 Craig Tanner, one of the most sought after sidemen in the area,  writes very intelligent songs.  Tanner is a well-known photographer, filmmaker and widely acclaimed photographic educator.  As with his photography, Craig is self-taught on the guitar, and those who have heard him say he is one of the finest flat-pickers in these parts.  He can frequently be heard playing with Eric Britt and their new band, American Hologram, with Britt Scott and Eric Dunn.

Craig Tanner

Craig Tanner

His original songs reflect his love of country and blue grass music, yet the newer songs are more folk in nature in their take on political and societal issues.

Mark Molloy is also a self-taught guitar player, becoming versatile in the styles of rock and roll, country and blues. He has toured and recorded in many areas of the country, from Alaska to Georgia, and has recorded and released three singles of his own. He now lives and plays in Savannah, where he performs with his own trio called “Gypsy Slim” and a duo called “The SlimRoc Duo.”

Pete Love

Pete Love

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. for nearly three decades.  A sought-after guitarist who is comfortable with most genres, Pete is also developing a solo act.

The Savannah Songwriters Series showcases original music twice monthly – the 2nd Sunday at the Tybee Island American Legion and the 4th Sunday at Johnny Harris. All are free to the public and start at 6 p.m.

Cusack and Laist make SSS debut Sun., April 13

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., April 13;   6 — 7:30 pm
Tybee’s American Legion10 Veterans Dr.  
Tybee Island, GA 31328
Free admission.  Free parking.  All ages

The Savannah Songwriters Series welcomes two songwriters making their SSS debut. William Cusack and  Shari Lee Laist will join SSS veterans Roy Swindelle and Thomas Oliver Sun., April 13, at the American Legion on Tybee.

Shari Lee Laist

Shari Lee Laist

Shari Lee Laist is vocalist and songwriter with the Back Porch Band. A soprano

in the Savannah Philharmonic, Savannah’s highly regarded symphony orchestra and chorus, Shari Lee also has a strong background in folk music and has encouraged the Back Porch Band to perform period music for the many historical museums around Savannah. Shari Lee also plays bass in a local jazz band.

William Cusack was born in Austin, Texas, the

William Cusack

William Cusack

youngest of six children. He picked up music when he was 12-years-old and has been expanding his skills, writing and composing ever since. After finishing high school, he moved to Savannah, Georgia. His first major release, the year long recoding project “A Beautiful Life” is now available.

Roy Swindelle is also a co-producer of the series. In addition, he is a well-respected musician, having recently been named Best Musician on Tybee, where he often plays solo as Roy and the Circuit Breakers, as well as with the Christy Alan Band, which was recently named Best Band by The Tybee Breeze.

His new CD, “401-k Plan” will be available.

Last fall, Thomas Oliver released his first CD in seven years.  “The Edge of America.” One reviewer said the songwriter displayed a “journalistic eye for detail and poetic flow.”  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 twice a month – the second Sunday at the American Legion Post 154 on Tybee Island and 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

Two of Savannah’s talented young female songwriters take the stage Sun.,Feb. 23

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Feb. 23, at 6pm

Johnny Harris Restaurant 



1651 East Victory Dr.  31404

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

Two of Savannah’s hottest young female songwriters  return for their second Savannah Songwriters showcase Sun., Feb. 23, at Johnny Harris restaurant.

Kyrsten Paie Roseman and Sarah Tollerson will be joined by Jim Seem and Thomas Oliver.

sarah tollerson

Singer-songwriter Sarah Tollerson was raised in Winder and started singing at an early age with her musically inclined family. She studied  classical music at the University of Georgia before going to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston to study songwriting and voice.

Shortly after graduation, she relocated to Nashville to continue her career as a singer-songwriter and session vocalist. Her songs have received awards such as the John Lennon Scholarship for Songwriting, the Berklee College of Music Performing Songwriter Award, and several fan choice awards on OurStage.com and Upromise.com.

Last year she moved to Savannah.  This is her second appearance at a SSS showcase.

Kyrsten Paige Roseman shares the stage with her sister Kourtney in the indie soul duo, The Rosies, who have been making a splash in Savannah. They opened for Loretta Lynn at the Johnny Mercer Theater last fall.

Kyrsten Paige Roseman

Kyrsten Paige Roseman

A song off their E.P Spectrum, “Game of the Wicked,” has been selected as the protagonists theme song in the San Francisco Independent Film, “Writers Cramp” coming out this year.

Last year, Kyrsten blew away the audience at her first SSS showcase.

Jim Seem is making his SSS debut.

The Asheville, N.C., musician now living in Daytona Beach grew up in the Midwest where he

Jim Seem

Jim Seem

discovered Rastafarianism, skate boarding and punk rock.  All that against the backdrop of farm dances, Catholic mass and flat plains. 
However, it was 90s R&B and hip-hop that had a profound impact on the 30-year-old acoustic artist who idolized artists such as D’Angelo, Jodeci and the Wu-Tang Clan.

You hear all of this in his folksy melodies and R&B lyrics.

Last fall,  Thomas Oliver released his first CD in seven years.  “The Edge of America.” Connect’s Bill DeYoung said the songwriter displayed a “journalistic eye for detail and poetic flow.”  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 twice a month – the second Sunday at the American Legion Post 154 on Tybee Island and 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

 

Jason Bible and Andrew Gill share Savannah Songwriters stage Sun., Feb. 9

Savannah Songwriters Series
Sun., Feb. 9; 6 — 7:30 pm
Tybee’s American Legion
10 Veterans Dr. Tybee Island, GA 31328
Free admission. Free parking. All ages

 

Two of the Low Country’s most popular and talented musicians will share the Savannah Songwriters stage Sun., Feb. 9, at the American Legion hall on Tybee.

Jason Bible and Andrew Gill will be joined by Christina Christian and Shawn Gordon, both  touring songwriters making their second SSS showcase.

Jason Bible

Jason Bible

As a solo artist, the Trainwrecks’ frontman Jason Bible has released seven collections of songs.  The influence of Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams and Johnny Cash permeate his sound.  He formed the Trainwrecks in 2005.  The band is a perennially voted best Americana band in Savannah.

Andrew Gill was the lead vocalist for the popular local band Wormsloew.  He can be heard most weekends around Savannah playing solo or with the Andrew Gill Band.

Andrew’s vocals are as dynamic as you’ll hear 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.

 

Christina Christian

Christina Christian

Christina Christian last performed a SSS showcase as Christian Cecrle.

She was born and raised on the Alabama Gulf Coast in the small town of Foley, Ala.  She began writing and playing guitar at the age of 16. After graduating fro high school, Christina attended Troy University for one year before deciding to pursue her music fulltime.

Christina released an EP “The Acoustic’s” which included “Mile 23″ and “Weathered Love.”

Christina makes occasional trips to Nashville to play at songwriter’s rounds such as The Commodore Grill and Hotel Indigo Downtown and plans to eventually move to Tune City to pursue her dream.

South Carolinian Shawn Gordon plays swamp boogie blues, rock and roll country and soul.   He plays solo gigs, is the lead singer and guitarist for The Shawn Gordon Band and also plays bass guitar for Johnny C and the Wrecking Crew.

Savannah Songwriters Series is entering its fourth year of staging showcases for original music.  All are free to the public and start at 6 p.m. the 2nd Sunday at the Tybee Island American Legion and the 4th Sunday at Johnny Harris.

 

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

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

Jefferson Ross will be joined Jim Crozier from Crawfordville, Fla., D.W. Besley from St. Augustine, Fla., and Tybee songwriter Thomas Oliver.

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.

Jim Crozier

Jim Crozier

Jim Crozier got his first guitar a year before the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show and picked up the bass soon after. After earning a degree in Music Composition from the FSU School of Music, he continued to live and work in the Tallahassee area, playing bass with everyone. While engaged as the musical director at a summer theater, he wrote some music for an off-Broadway musical, “Touch” – the original cast album was nominated for a Grammy.

Jim calls his style of much “edgy blues and twisted Americana.” In 2007, he released his album “Down to the Village” available at CDBaby.com. Jim is presently beginning work on another CD of his own Blues and Americana that he expects to release early in 2014.

Jim is making his SSS debut.

 David Watt Besley is becoming a regular on the SSS stage.  The Virginian currently resides in Saint Augustine, where he is mainstay in the local music scene, playing with the Northstar band he formed with his brother, Ed, and with the Big Lonesome he formed two years ago.  He also plays solo as “Dave.”

David has been playing music since the 1970s when he was part of the band Saucer that was one of the first U.S. bands looked at by Virgin Records. Even though he loves to get together with NorthStar and The Big Lonesome he finds his solo career the most enjoyable.

Last year, Thomas Oliver released his first CD in seven years.  “The Edge of America.” Connect’s Bill DeYoung said he displayed a “journalistic eye for detail and poetic flow.”  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 twice a month – the second Sunday at the American Legion Post 154 on Tybee Island and 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