How Savannah Stopover music fest Stole My Heart, pt. 2

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

By Kathleen McCafferty

Dispatches from Stopover, Saturday, March 8th

Good morning, headache. Ugh. I should have had more pizza. And drank more water! Oh well, at least I have the day to recover before the shows that evening, and what better way to recover than by napping at the beach?

After a leisurely breakfast (Kambi made the most awesome scrambled eggs, courtesy of the chickens in the backyard), we head out to Tybee Island AKA Savannah Beach. It’s a bit too windy to strip down to our swimsuits, but we still laze around like champs and watch gangs of seagulls descend upon anyone with snacks. I see a woman with a big bag of chips try to punch a seagull that hovers above her head. She misses, though.

Next thing you know, it’s time to leave the sea to the gulls and hear more music at Stopover.

First Stop: Moon River Beer Garden13. Hooray for the Riff Raff

Hurray for the Riff Raff  plays an enchanting set at dusk, underneath a slinky moon. It’s beautiful out, and they sound fantastic. Singer/songwriter/guitarist Alynda Lee Segarra gives a shout out to opening for Shovels and Rope  the night before at the Orange Peel, and then launches into Blue Ridge Mountain, a tune that’s inspired by the Carter family.

After their set, I mingle with the crowd a bit and meet a super cool dog named Finn. He immediately jumps into my lap and gives me a big French kiss. So, that happened.

Second Stop: The Jinx

Hands down this is our favorite bar/venue at Stopover. The Jinx is an amazing “boozery and musiquarium,” and a true Savannah landmark with eclectic decor that includes taxidermy, records, skulls, paddles, posters, and weird paintings.

The bartenders are burly, bearded, tattooed, and hot as hell. When you order a PBR tallboy, they crack it open for you and then punch a hole on the top with a can opener, so you can drink it faster. (Smart.)

We end up scoping out a booth with a Ms. Pacman game table, and sidle up to the lone stranger occupying it. His name is Price. “Like the Price is Right,” he tells us.

Other gems from Price: “You have to go down on the Price to win.”


And: “If I have a kid, it’s going to be Pricey.”

[Ba-dum-dum.]15. Price from The Whiskey Gentry

Price, go figure, is a drummer out of Atlanta. His band, The Whiskey Gentry, played The Jinx earlier that evening, and he was just kicking it in his cool mint-ice-cream-green specs and pork pie hat. Sweet guy, that Price.

While chatting away to Price, local Savannah band Ambrose gets on stage and vacillates between playing soul, funk, and hip hop infused songs.

None of that matters though, because what happens next is my personal musical highlight of Stopover: PitchBlak Brass Band17. PitchBlack Brass1

Holy crap, people, this is THE STUFF.

PitchBlak Brass Band is a Brooklyn-based 10-piece band comprised of musicians, composers, and emcees, effortlessly blending funk, rock, hip hop, and jazz together with masterful skill. Their leader is Chanell Crichlow, a fierce tuba player and emcee, and now I know that the tuba is my favorite instrument of all time because she is one of the coolest, toughest chicks I have ever seen on stage and she totally killed it on that thing.

NOTE: PitchBlak plays Asheville Music Hall with Empire Strikes Brass on Friday, March 14th, and Asheville, you DO NOT want to miss this!

After PitchBlak, we step outside and spy on “Japanese action comic punk band,” Peelander-Z, who look like they’re practicing some kind of last-minute dance moves for their closing performance at The Jinx. They wear lycra “skinsuits” in bright, anime-inspired colors, and the lead singer rocks a Crayola-yellow beard with matching hair.

We move on.

Last Stop: Knights of Columbus

Okay, so this is where I start to feel old. We walk to Knights of Columbus, which is great, but as soon as we step into the venue, it’s a full-on amp assault. Damn. The music is SO loud that it rattles my ribcage and re-scrambles my DNA.

Seriously, why? I just want to know WHY it has to be so loud. If you know, please enlighten me.

I stuff some complimentary earplugs in my earholes (Stopover, I love you and your thoughtfulness), and make my way in to see Oberhofer. He’s pretty awesome, I have to admit, and I really like his voice, but I would be a lot happier without earplugs. Reading lips is hard. 19. Oberhofer

Frontman Brad Oberhofer is twenty years old, so maybe that’s why it has to be so loud, but his sound is really interesting: melodic, charming, and ramshackle. At its heart, Oberhofer is unbridled indie rock. He hails from Tacoma, Washington, but now operates out of Brooklyn. The entire band is really energetic and entertaining to watch, but, just, please…turn it down, Oberhofer. Because, ouch. Music shouldn’t hurt.

Ditto for Small Black, and their “lo-fi synthpop.” Nice melodic stuff, you guys, but way too loud.

And here’s where I embrace my oldness. After two days of music, and super late nights, it’s time for this Cinnabon to sit her weary buns down and take it easy. We finish out the show, though, and I’m going to fast-forward through the part where an impish young photographer tries to convince me to make out with him in the corner of the room. He tells me he works for “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” shows me the “secret whisky” in his coat pocket, and then cheekily lifts up my dress and peeks underneath. (I was wearing full-on opaque leggings, you idiot.) (Also: I will punch you).

Instead, let’s cut to the cab ride home, where three sleepy girls from Asheville pack into a Magik Cab van with two sweet, kind-hearted, intelligent rugby players from Kentucky. They’re in town playing a tourney–and winning–and we swap some of our stories about Savannah.

When it comes time to pay, they wave our money away.

From Brian Huskey to these rugby players, it is, as Kambra puts it best, “a full-circle sweet moment.”

Savannah Stopover Music Festival, I really do love you. From the bottom of my soles to the top of my head, and from the center of my heart, I love you and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

So, who’s coming with me?

* * *22. Asheville Ladies

Heaps of thanks to Jason Sandford and Ashvegas for the chance to explore Savannah Stopover Fest from the front lines, and to my wonderful friends Kambra Meyer and Brandy Bourne for accompanying me along on the journey.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

You Might also Like

1 Comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Stories