By Jim Reed
If you have followed the local music scene even slightly at most any given time between the late 1980s and the present, the names Eric Culberson and Greg Williams should both ring a very loud bell.
For decades now, these two Savannah area natives have been an almost constant presence in our region’s nightclubs, bars, restaurants, listening rooms, charity fundraisers and outdoor festivals. Over that time, they’ve each released a handful of impressive, polished albums, and served as charismatic frontmen of several lineups of electric bands which have all borne their respective names.
They’ve crossed paths often, regularly catching the tail end of each other’s shows after completing one of their own in an adjacent location, sharing drinks and talking jive (as musicians are wont to do) whenever they wound up within shouting distance. However, to the best of their recollections, they’ve never officially shared a bill before.
That’s somewhat hard to believe, as together, these solid, impressive singer-songwriters are two of Savannah’s finest (on top of being ace interpreters of other artists’ tunes). And, as if their mutual devotion to quality control wasn’t enough of a qualifier, Culberson’s funky, flashy, rock-tinged take on Chicago, Memphis and Texas blues is an almost perfect complement to Williams’ blues and soul-infused pop and folk-rock.
Come Sunday, this perplexing incongruity will at long last be rectified, when the Greg Williams Band opens for the Eric Culberson Band at the newly restored Tybee Post Theater. Singer-songwriter Crystina Parker, a member of local indie-rock band Lovely Locks and punk/garage rockers P. Launcher, kicks things off with what will likely be a solo set. These three artists make up the latest installment of “Tybee City Limits,” the seated, all-ages venue’s increasingly popular, regularly scheduled showcase of outstanding local talent.
“Eric and I met and jammed years ago for the first time,” Williams recalls. “We’ve recorded together and performed many times together at his open mic nights around town. But this is the first show of this type we’ve ever played together.”
Williams holds Culberson in the highest regard as a fellow performer, offering that, in his opinion, “nobody does it better.” In this case, “it” means the kind of intense, electric blues music exemplified by Freddie, Albert and B.B. King — three surname-sharing seminal figures of the genre which Culberson notably paid tribute to in a well-attended all-star tribute show at the Lucas Theatre a few months back.
“Eric and his group have really delved into the blues,” Williams says. “Over the same time, my songwriting has become more versatile, and now I’m drawing on everything from hard rock to country. I may lean more in the rock ‘n’ roll direction than Eric, but we share a great deal in our love for roots music.”
Culberson is quick to sing Williams’ praises as well.
“I think Greg’s an amazing songwriter,” says the notoriously difficult-to-impress bandleader. “He really delivers at his shows.”
The three acts will likely feel no small amount of pressure to perform to the very best of their abilities at Sunday’s concert. The historic Tybee Post Theater is a beautiful, if spartan, 200-capacity seated venue that has recently reopened after more than a decade of community fundraising efforts. With an ample stage, new sound and lighting system and sloped floor, there is quite honestly not a bad seat in the house, and this is a chance for each artist and their bandmates to be presented in a much more refined and respectful manner than virtually any other spot one is likely to catch their shows.
Williams says he’s extremely excited to play this old-fashioned room “for the vibe alone.”
“Just look at that place,” he says. “I feel like Buddy Holly or somebody. Playing a place like this is akin to being in a listening room. Those are venues where the usual conversations and bar noises are frowned upon, and people come specifically to pay attention to the music. To a real artist, nothing is more flattering.”
“The people that will be there will be there for the music,” echoes Culberson. “That’s the focal point, and because of that, I can work the dynamics of the songs. Settings like this tend to bring out the very best performances that I can remember.”
Both men say they are putting together special sets of material just for this particular show, which are markedly different from the songs they’d normally include at their less formal gigs. Which is to say, if you’re a fan who’s seen one or both of these musicians and their bands in a bar or restaurant, you won’t have necessarily seen what they’re capable of when the pressure is on and the occasion calls for something really special.
“My set will be based entirely on my original work as opposed to the mixture of cover and original tunes I normally play,” Williams says. “We’ll include songs from all five of my albums, plus unreleased tunes from my upcoming record.
“My band will feature Shane Baldwin on guitar, Paul Coper on drums and our newest member, Jon Willis on bass. I’m thrilled to have them on stage with me, as we all share an enormous amount of respect for each other.”
Culberson’s current band includes bassist Jonathan Hill and drummer Larry Duff.
“Larry was a session player back in the ’80s, and has worked with great artists like James Taylor, Al Jarreau, Curtis Mayfield and Chaka Khan, to name a few,” Culberson says. “That’s a plus, because in my band we cover a lot of ground within the realm of the blues.
“Jon is a good ol’ Mississippi boy, and he brings that Southern soul to the mix. Those guys and I are well balanced.”
Both bandleaders express their admiration for Parker, and are excited to have her on the bill as well.
“I have yet to see her solo show, but have enjoyed her electric side with Lovely Locks,” Williams says.
Culberson adds, “She’s a little firecracker, and will really complement the entire night.”
To encourage folks to make the drive from surrounding areas out to Tybee for their show, Williams offers kind words for the upstart venue.
“I love what the Tybee Post Theater is trying to do, and hope for a great turnout. It’s a beautiful setting for almost any concert.”
Says Culberson with conviction: “It’s gonna be a great night of good music.”
By Molly Hayden
It’s been more than four decades since Huxsie Scott first took the stage belting out blues to an adoring crowd, and for her, it’s still a dream job.
“It’s something I want to do every day,” she said. “That hasn’t changed.”
The Savannah legend said her musical influences have always leaned to the blues, colored in a bit of gospel.
“They both tell a story and that’s my job — to tell that story and give the message of the song.”
Scott will tell the stories of love on Feb. 13 at Tybee Post Theater during a Valentine’s Day-themed concert coined “Ladies of the Blues.” This is the first of a three-part blues concert series and will feature Scott and another local songstress, Danielle Hicks.
The pair, both originally from Georgia, represents two generations of the blues: Scott as one of the leading names in female blues in the South, and Hicks with a newer adaptation of the genre.
“I started out singing rock ‘n’ roll with my dad’s band, then pop and R&B in New York,” Hicks said. “I’ve only focused on the blues for the past five years, but I’ve always been drawn to it. The blues represents something so classic.”
The musical showcase will honor the classic as well with its talent and simplicity.
Set in cabaret style, the vocalists take center stage accompanied by pianist Jared Hall. This arrangement, void of theatrics, allows the audience to focus solely on the music, and with Hicks’ sultry vocals complementing Scott’s signature soul, is sure to be a diverse performance.
Ricardo Ochoa, music programing director for Tybee Post Theater, said the intimate setting, with less than 200 seats available, would add to the experience.
“The audience can enjoy the performance up close,” he said. “(This is) a place where the community can get to know the artists and feel proud of the them.”
The blues, like the other great American music forms — jazz, country, zydeco — was born in the South and then exported to places like St. Louis and Chicago, where it expanded and developed its own sound. But the theme is always the same, Hicks said.
“I feel like blues is about love or heartache. One or the other,” she said. “And that makes it personal.”
By Anna Chandler
Pre-game for Valentine’s with an evening of blues from two of Savannah’s finest vocalists, Huxsie Scott and Danielle Hicks. Each represent a different generation of Savannah blues and are famous ’round these parts for pouring soul, passion, and stunning chops into their set.
Huxsie “The Golden Voice” Scott is a local legend, known as one of the greatest jazz/blues artists to ever represent the Lowcountry. Scott was the original vocalist for the Savannah Jazz Orchestra and acted as the great Ben Tucker’s featured vocalist for many years; she’s performed with numerous jazz ensembles and symphony orchestras since 1973. Among her many career highlights, Scott sang the title song in the 1996 Olympics, placed in the American Traditions Competition, and has been inducted into the Savannah Tribune Gospel Hall of Fame as well as Coastal Jazz Association’s Hall of Fame.
Hicks is a native of Tifton, Georgia; after graduating top of her high school class, she headed north to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy on scholarship for acting, singing, and dancing. New York City was home for nine years, but Hicks found her way back to Georgia and is happily settled in Savannah, where you can catch her at all manner of venues many nights of the week.
Accompanied by piano man Jared Hall, the ladies will offer their takes on classic American blues from Etta James to Janis Joplin to Bessie Smith. With a fitting Valentine’s theme, it’s a perfect warmup to February 14.
Saturday, February 13, 8 p.m., $25 general admission, all-ages
By Adam Messer
Ama and the White Crane”tells the tale of a young woman’s journey to save her town from an evil demon that is killing the fish in her village, and therefore, threatening their very survival.
“We’ve been presenting live productions most weekends since our grand reopening, including live music, stand-up comedy and a couple of stage plays, including Neil Simon’s ‘The Last of the Red Hot Lovers’ and Savannah Shakes’ production of ‘Hamlet,’” Turner said.
They invited the Islands High School drama club to stage their production of “Ama and the White Crane” at the theater after Turner saw they did not have their own auditorium and stage.
“They had launched a Go Fund Me campaign to raise money for royalties, and I saw it on Facebook and reached out to Julie,” she said. “We wanted to support their efforts and give them a grand stage on which to perform, and they are very excited and inspired.”
Organizers hope to reach out to the community partners and fill the theater with families to enjoy the production.
“We hope they will keep coming back for other programming,” she said. “This is the just the first of a full slate of family-friendly programming we will present this year. During the summer, we will have daily children’s movies and some live educational entertainment as well. Think storytelling and song with an educational theme.”
Sukman spent 23 years in New York City as a working actress appearing in numerous plays, television shows and films. She who won a Best Actress award from the Hamptons Film Festival in 1997 for the film “Upstate.” She trained as an actress at the conservatory program at SUNY Purchase and earned her master’s degree in teaching drama from SCAD. She will be starring as Linda Loman in the Collective Face Theatre Company’s upcoming production of “Death of a Salesman” in February and March.
“I chose this play for a few reasons,” Sukman said. “We started the school year studying Eastern drama and this play is inspired by Kabuki theatre. The casting was very flexible and I wasn’t sure if we would have a theater space, and it was suitable for great simplicity or something more. I wanted the students to work on something that would be appropriate for a young audience so that we could share it with our ‘next-door’ schools: Marshpoint and Coastal.
“We currently do not have a theater space of our own and we needed flexibility to move it around if need be. When Tybee Post stepped in and offered their theater, we were absolutely thrilled and the students were extremely excited to have a real theater in which to work.”
The play is humorous, but also deals with issues we all face throughout life.
“For instance, there are scenes when the characters fly on the bird, White Crane, who is Ama’s puppet best friend (becoming real through her imagination.) One of the challenges we all face, but especially teenagers, is to maintain our individual spirits, our ‘true identities’ if you will, in the face of adversity.
“I also love that her grandfather sends her on her journey and — even though it sounds ridiculous to go talk to a mountain — she has great love for him; she trusts him; and so she goes. I just lost my father this week and the meaning of that scene now resounds very deeply for me.”
As her first student production, she said there are some unique features of working with students compared to other actors.
“I’ve gotten tons of support from family members of my students and other faculty at the school who have donated time, labor and materials,” Sukman said. “My actors have been terrific and it can be challenging for them having to balance school, other after-school activities, family, etc. and be able to devote time to rehearsals. Sometimes the focus goes a little haywire, for all of us, and it can be a challenge arranging times and commitments.”
The title character, Ama, offers a good role model for all ages.
“Her character is one of great spirit and imagination,” she said. “On her journey, she finds friendship while maintaining her identity as a loving daughter and creative soul.”
“Ama and the White Crane,” Sat. and Sun. matinees, Jan. 30-31, 3 pm
Bring the whole family to see this stylish retelling of the Japanese folktale, “Ama and the White Crane,” by Maureen O’Toole, performed by the all-new Islands High School Drama Club.
Inspired by the great Japanese theatre traditions, an imaginative blend of mystery, movement and music follows the journey of Ama and her puppet companion, the White Crane. Ama battles many forces in her epic quest to free her village from the power of an evil demon, while she is accompanied by a comic pair of samurai and servant.
Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 30-31, 3 pm matinee. Doors open at 2:30; curtain up at 3 pm
Tickets are $7 Adults; $5 Students, 17 and under.
Ladies of the Blues, Sat. Feb. 13, 8 pm
A Valentine’s Special. Huxsie Scott and Danielle Hicks belt out the blues in the first of a three-part blues concert series. This show features two female vocalists who follow in the footsteps of all-American vocal legends such as Bessie Smith, Etta James and Janis Joplin, among others.
Savannah legend Huxsie Scott will share the stage with the most talented Danielle Hicks. Two contrasting styles full of emotion, passion and excitement will feature music of the heart
accompanied by everyone’s favorite Jared Hall on piano. It is not surprising that these divas have chosen a Valentine theme to share with all who attend.
This Blues Series is sponsored by The Savannah Bee Company.
Sat. Feb. 13., Doors open at 7:30 pm. Show starts at 8 pm.
Tickets are $25 general admission; $22.50 for Theater members.
A Tribute to John Prine,
Sat. Feb. 20, 8 pm
The Accomplices Band and Friends present a night of live music honoring folk hero John Prine.
In addition to The Accomplices, featured performers include Folly Beach’s Dangermuffin and local favorites American Hologram (Eric Britt, Craig Tanner, and Britt Scott), Jason Bible (of The Train Wrecks), Aaron Zimmer (of City Hotel), and many more.
Get your tickets early for this very special show in the intimate setting of the historic Tybee Post Theater. Three quart of the tickets are already sold out.
Sat., Feb. 20, Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 pm.
Tickets are $25 general admission, $22.50 for Theater members
Tybee City Limits, Sun. Feb. 21, 8 pm.
The new year’s first Tybee City Limits, the Best in Live Local Music has a stellar lineup for this bluesy show. Our two headline bands are the Eric Culberson Band and the Greg Williams Band; and Crystina Parker is up as our solo singer/songwriter opening the show.
The Eric Culberson Band, like our two other performers, hails from Savannah and is steeped in the Blues tradition. They are a very popular, high energy three-piece band that has been on the road and entertaining audiences for more than 20 years.Greg Willliams’ brand of bluesy rock and pop has been heard in clubs and festivals from Savannah to St. Croix, sharing the stage with the likes of John Mayer, Shawn Mullins and Warren Zevon. And Crystina Parker, who also plays with the The Lovely Locks, is a storytelling raconteur and one of the most passionate hardest-playing songwriters on the Savannah scene. You won’t want to miss this show!
Sat., Feb. 20, 8 pm. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 pm.
Tickets are $10 general admission, $9 for Theater members
“A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline,”
Sat. Feb. 27, 8 pm
After hundreds of sold-out performances on the North American tour and an award-winning run in Branson, Mo., one of the hottest stage shows in America rolls into Tybee when we present the musical theater sensation, “A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline.”
The show traces the late star’s footsteps from her early honky-tonk days and radio fame through her rise at the Grand Ole Opry and triumphs at Carnegie Hall andLas Vegas.
Written and conceived by Dean Regan, the musical reveals the emotional depth and range of a singer who defined the term “crossover hit” by dominating country, blues, pop and gospel charts simultaneously in the 1950s and early 1960s. Starring a powerhouse singer and actress who sings 22 of Patsy’s greatest hits including “Walkin’ After Midnight,””Sweet Dreams,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Crazy,” “She’s Got You,” “Seven Lonely Days” and the title song, “Just a Closer Walk with Thee.”
Backed up by a band of singers and musicians, Patsy interacts throughout the show with Little Big Man, a disc jockey from her hometown in Winchester, Va., as well as a host of outrageous stand-up comics that serve as warm-up acts for her concerts and radio shows. You won’t want to miss this very special stage production!
Sat., Feb. 27. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 pm.
Tickets are $25 reserved seating, $22.50 Theater members, $15 Students 17 and under.
CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS
By Anna Chandler
IF YOU thank your lucky stars for clawhammer pickin’, freight-train-rapid mandolin, and the mellifluous sounds of Appalachia, praise Bill Monroe.
On Friday, the Tybee Post Theater will pay tribute to the Father of Bluegrass himself in an evening of music and oral history.
Atlanta’s New South String Band leads the production with selections from Monroe’s expansive catalog and stories of the legend’s life and legacy. Comprised of fiddle player Kenny Lambert, guitarist, banjoist, and vocalist Brian Stephens, clog dancer and bassist Maggie Aderhold Stephens and bluegrass pioneer Joel Aderhold, New South String Band is a troupe of champions who have scooped up many esteemed awards for their talents.
Lambert began his musical life on the fiddle and has enjoyed success as a symphonic violinist, touring with the likes of Yo Yo Ma, Robin Thicke, Casting Crowns, Wynnona Judd. He holds the 2012 Georgia Mountain Fiddle King crown from the Georgia State Championship fiddle contest, and is first violinist in the Savannah Philharmonic and Greenville Symphony Orchestra.
Brian Stephens has certainly racked up recognition at Georgia Official State Fiddlers’ Convention, taking home First Place honors in Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar – Finger Style, and Second Place in Guitar – Flat Pick.
Maggie Aderhold Stephens grew up with Georgia bluegrass and currently is a mainstay at Suwanee’s Everett Music Barn, where she and husband Brian perform together on Saturday nights.
Tybee Post Theater Music Programming Director Ricardo Ochoa predicts that the New Year will be filled with memories and loving tributes to Monroe’s legacy.
“It will be twenty years since his passing in 2016,” he notes.
Picking up the mandolin at the young age of 10, Monroe got his live performance start while playing guitar in his fiddler uncle’s band. Monroe formed a group with his brothers Birch and Charlie when he was 18, playing for evening barn dances after getting off work at the Sinclair Oil refinery. The Monroe Brothers toured, signed on to RCA-Victor’s Bluebird division to record in 1936, and scored a minor hit, “What Would You Give in Exchange,” before members went separate ways to form new groups.
After a brief stint in Little Rock, Bill headed to Atlanta, where he formed his seminal group. The Blue Grass Boys is the reason we have the term “bluegrass” today; Monroe himself invented a genre characterized by tight harmonies, quick tempos, and incredible musical precision that would change music forever.
Guitarist/vocalist Lester Flatt, banjoist Earl Scruggs, fiddler Chubby Wise, bassist Howard Watts, and Monroe comprised the “classic” Blue Grass Boys lineup that recorded with Monroe in 1945. With mandolin as a centerpiece, Monroe and his Blue Grass Playboys developed a hard-driving string band style; they hit the charts for the first time in 1946 with “Kentucky Waltz.” “Footprints in the Snow” followed, clocking in at Number Five on the charts.
Though Tybee’s tribute may not take place beneath Monroe’s classic circus-style tent, the Tybee Post Theater is a magical setting, perfect for a journey into the mind of a great American artist. Amidst the earthy scent of fresh-laid brick, handsome rows of stadium seats (originally from Trustees Theater), and a large American flag backdrop, the charming auditorium has a coziness and intimacy that’s perfectly suited for acoustic music.
If you’ve ever seen Ochoa’s gypsy jazz band Velvet Caravan, you probably are familiar with the group’s deep admiration for gypsy jazz pioneer guitarist Django Reinhardt; when they cover his songs, Ochoa and the Velvet Caravan boys often tell stories to contextualize the work. Naturally, Ochoa is very excited for Monroe devotees Lambert and Stephens to share their wealth of knowledge on Monroe’s life.
“Having them present and play makes it more interesting for the audience,” Ochoa says. “When I see an artist, I want to know about them. In a historical context, it will make you appreciate bluegrass more. It makes people love and appreciate the music more.”
This is a key moment for the resurrection of old-time, bluegrass, and traditional music. In a fast-paced, multi-tasking, screen-glow world, Ochoa thinks music lovers are searching for a certain kind of authenticity in their concert-going.
“More people are looking for an intimate setting and are getting away from the arena sound,” he observes.
An evening of mountain music by the sea? It doesn’t get much further from the arena than that.
Tybee Post Theater presents “Tribute to Bill Monroe”
The award-winning New South String Band to perform “Tribute to Bill Monroe, “The Father of Bluegrass” Friday, Jan. 15.
The New South String Band from Atlanta, GA, will commemorate the life of “The Father of Bluegrass” Bill Monroe, twenty years after his death.
This compilation of Georgia champion musicians, who are acclaimed bluegrass experts in their own right, will perform an original production at the Tybee Post Theater. The New South String Band members have numerous awards collectively, sharing their passion for old school bluegrass steeped in the tradition of Bill Monroe.
The group includes champion fiddler Kenny Lambert; guitar, mandolin, banjo and vocal champion Brian Stephens; clog dancing champion and bass musician Maggie Aderhold Stephens; and Joel Aderhold, North Georgia bluegrass pioneer.
The show will honor the musical life of the Father of Bluegrass with his band “The Blue Grass Boys.” Performing songs from different periods of Mr. Monroe’s life, The New South String Band will entertain the audience with masterful performance and nostalgic yet enchanting vocals.
The theater provides a unique experience that allows the audience to share the performance one-on-one with the artists.
WHAT: The New South String Band “TRIBUTE TO BILL MONROE, The Father of Bluegrass”
WHEN: Friday, January 16, 2016
TIME: Show starts at 8 pm. Doors open at 7:30 pm
WHERE: Tybee Post Theater. 10 Van Horne Ave., Tybee Island, GA 31328
TICKETS: $20; $18 for Theater members. Online at.tybeeposttheater.org or call 912-472-4790.
The newly renovated Tybee Post Theater is located in the heart of the Fort Screven Historic District at the north end of Tybee Island. Built in 1930 by the U.S. Army as a movie house, it closed its doors in the mid-1960s and stood vacant for 50 years. The Tybee Island Historical Society purchased it in 2001 and spearheaded the creation of the Friends of Tybee Theater, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Post Theater and operating it as a performing arts and movie venue for Tybee residents and visitors.
After 15 years and a nearly $2 million investment, the Tybee Post Theater reopened its doors with a Grand Opening celebration in September 2015. Through the Fall it has presented a variety of programming, including live music, comedy and theatrical productions. State-of-the art sound, lighting and projection systems are scheduled to be installed in February making the Theater fully operational.
About the Tybee Post Theater
The Tybee Post Theater is an historic 206-seat performing arts and movie venue on Tybee Island dedicated to providing quality creative programming in the performing arts, including live music, comedy and theatrical productions, as well as classic, children’s and first run movies.
For more information, photos, contact:
Melissa Turner, Executive Director, 912-472-4790 office, and 912-237-6367 mobile. email@example.com,
Ricardo Ochoa, Music Programming Director, 912-596-1360, firstname.lastname@example.org
“I jumped in for several years until I took over managing it,” said Tybee Post Theater executive director Melissa Turner. “Now I watch everyone else jump in. I can say from experience it is an exhilarating and very refreshing way to start your year off right!”
Organizers considered trying to beat their own record in the Guinness Book of World Records, set in 2012 for the largest gathering of people wearing swim caps (2,049). They looked at the record for an actual polar dip in a single venue, but the fine print said you have to guarantee the water temperature at or below 50 degrees, Turner said.
“Hence the word polar,” she added.
Of the 1,200 to 1,500 people who will show up, about 10 percent actually live on Tybee, Turner said. They come from all over. Last year’s winner of the Gang of Goofs costume contest was a team from Ohio, and they are expected to return.
The event is the second largest fundraiser for the theater, which began in the 1930s and remained idle from the 1960s until this year. After $2 million in renovations, the theater is now the home for concerts, plays and comedy shows, among other events.
“Friends of the Tybee Theater incorporated in 2001 with the mission to restore and reopen the theater,” she said. “The building had only half a roof.”
They hope to raise another $1 million to pay off the mortgage and construction loan, Turner said, and to expand the structure to include a list of add-ons such as dressing rooms in the back, a green room for performers doing live shows and theatrical drapes.
After expenses, including the purchase of official 2016 Tybee Polar Plunge long-sleeved T-shirts for those who register, they hope to net between $10,000 and $15,000.
Online registration is at www.tybeeposttheater.org. A new venue to sign up is at the Tybee Christmas Tree from noon-4 p.m. Dec. 27-31.
On Jan. 1, onsite registration starts at 9 a.m., the Gang of Goofs Costume Contest and Parade starts at 11 a.m. and the plunge itself is at noon.
“Last year, about 1,200 people took the plunge,” Turner said. “Several hundred more gathered around the shoreline and the pier. They didn’t go in the water, but they should have. The sun was out. It’s easy to warm up in a great big crowd like that.”
IF YOU GO
What: 16th annual Tybee Polar Plunge
When: Jan. 1; registration begins at 9 a.m., Gang of Goofs costume contest at 11 a.m. and plunge at noon
Where: Tybee Pier & Pavilion
Cost: Adults, $25, children 12 and younger, free; 10 percent discount for theater members
Info: 912-472-4790, email@example.com or www.tybeeposttheater.org
By Linda Sickler, DoSavannah
Don’t let the post-Christmas blues get you down.
Instead of sitting around feeling sorry for yourself, head out to the Tybee Post Theater on Dec. 26 for the Tybee Comedy Revue featuring Collin Moulton.
Star of his own Showtime special, “That’s Just Chicken Stupid,” he had a featured spot on Nickelodeon and recently appeared on “Last Call with Carson Daly.”
Just two years after getting started, Moulton won the Rocky Mountain Laff-Off.
Later that year, he was featured on Comedy Central’s “Best of the Improv” and was chosen one of the “Best in Fest” at the Montreal Comedy Festival.
Best of all, Moulton is local. In August, he and his family moved to Wilmington Island.
“It was a lifestyle choice,” Moulton says. “I was living in Los Angeles for 20 years. I love the barrier islands. When I was a little kid, I lived in Athens.
“My wife and I pinned the map and started checking Savannah out,” he says. “We love it here. That’s why I wanted to do the Tybee Theater show.”
So far, there are no disappointments.
“I love the town and can’t wait to be a part of it,” Moulton says. “We’re going to be in Savannah hopefully until we die.”
Never a show-off in school, Moulton nevertheless always wanted to do stand-up.
“The first time I was ever on stage was at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles for an open mic,” he says. “I had always wanted to do stand-up since I saw Steve Martin when I was 7 years old.
“It was at a college my mom worked at,” Moulton says. “I thought that was so cool. I didn’t realize people were allowed to go do it for a living.”
After moving to Los Angeles, Moulton had a girlfriend with connections.
“Her mom was married to a famous trombone player,” he says.
“Her mom knew about the artistic lifestyle and knew I could do these things, so she took me to The Laugh Factory.
“She said, ‘You know those guys have what you have.’ I wanted to hang out with them.
“She said, ‘You should hang out with them,’” Moulton says. “‘All you have to do is go to an open mic.’”
Then she went one better.
“She said, ‘I’ll support you for however long it takes,’” Moulton says. “‘Just get on stage every chance you get.’
“I went on four or five times a week and got better at it. What I do is more storytelling. I think connecting with people in a delightful way is my style,” he says. “Everything I talk about is real-life stuff.”
People identify more with real-life comedy, Moulton says.
“I talk about the things that crack me up,” he says. “Something that really happened, the stupidity of a bad choice.”
Television also has been an influence.
“I guess that’s because I grew up in the early ’80s,” Moulton says. “Shows like ‘Three’s Company’ and ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ were on.
“Over Thanksgiving, I replayed the WKRP scene with the turkeys,” he says. “It was posted on Facebook recently and it really took me back.”
For 15 years, Moulton has toured constantly.
“I do everything from cruise ships to colleges, corporations, clubs and everything else,” he says. “I used to tour a lot more but now I have little kids, so I try not to stay gone such a long time.
“I used to be away five to six weeks at a time. In the beginning, it was months.
“When I was first married, five to six weeks was too much,” Moulton says. “Now that I get more money, I fly more to get to leave on Wednesday and come home on Monday, and I try to take summers off.”
The opportunity to do a Showtime special was overwhelming, Moulton says.
“I have an imposter’s complex and feel like I’m out of place, out of my element,” he says. “It kind of dictates a lot of success or failure.
“The Showtime special was the only time I was able to parlay something into something good. I had a great show.”
Billy Gardell, comedian and star of CBS’s “Mike and Molly,” is a friend of Moulton, so he called Gardell and asked for advice.
“I’m about to go on stage when he calls back,” Moulton says.
“He says, ‘Buddy, know this: Everything you’ve done is preparation for this. They’re lucky to have you. Go out and perform. You deserve to be there, you’ve already earned it.’
“I just went out like, ‘This is my stage,’” Moulton says. “I owned it more than anything I’ve ever done.”
Family and friends were in the audience to support Moulton.
“My father was there, my benefactor was there,” he says. “It was because of that support that I was able to perform so well on television.”
Moulton’s appearance on “Last Call with Carson Daly” was a different story.
“That didn’t go so well, but they edited it so it looked great,” he says. “It worked out fine.
“I survived it, but it wasn’t what I wanted. But it came out super nice.
“The people who run that show are the most professional I’ve ever worked with,” Moulton says. “What they used was perfectly pertinent.”
Right now, Moulton has no idea what he’ll do at the Tybee Comedy Revue.
“You get up there and an energy transfer happens and it’s on,” he says. “I create a show out of our combined energy.”
If there is such a thing as a big break, Moulton isn’t sure he’s had one.
“People say that stuff, but what they don’t see is that your big break is the grind,” he says. “You get your big break when you decide, ‘I’m going to do this until I die.’
“Stand-up is kind of who you are. You can’t choose to do it or not do it.
“I don’t think I could ever stop,” Moulton says. “If I did, I would have a massive hole in the middle.”
IF YOU GO
What: Tybee Comedy Revue with Collin Moulton
When: Saturday, Dec. 26. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Show starts at 8 pm.
Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.
Cost: $15 or $13.50 for theater members
In the third installment of our hit music variety show, Tybee City Limits, the Best in Live Local Music, we’ve got the talented singer-songwriter Payne Bridges; Andrew Gill’s Junkyard Angel, playing foot-stompin’ originals and rock-alt tunes you know by heart; and the Isaac Smith Band, an easy listening Southern-rooted band that displays a versatility of styles from Americana to pop.
Payne Bridges didn’t know a single guitar chord when she moved to Savannah about five years ago to attend college. But inspired by local musicians, she taught herself to play and now she’s got her own debut EP of five original songs titlled “GA Flame LA Burn.” As a songwriter, Bridges says she’s inspired by her surroundings and the stories that she reads. This year, it was an F. Scott Fitzgerald biography, and now she has written an imaginative song exploring the bond between Fitzgerald and fellow expatriate Ernest Hemingway.
“Music is something I sort of fell into in the last five years. I found myself being overwhelmed and inspired by different people and situations, and feeling the need to tell those stories through song, she says. “Getting lost in lyrics and melodies is now one of my favorite past times, but performing with friends takes things to a whole new level.
Junkyard Angel is “…a used, abused, honky-tonk-infused” collection of musicians and talent featuring Stewart Marshall on vocals and guitar, Scott Tanner on bass, and Andrew Gill on lead guitar and vocals. .Junkyard Angel is a lot of old school country and rock that is drawing on the likes of Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, Crazy Horse and the Flying Burrito Brothers with a good bit of Rolling Stones’ “Goat’s Head Soup” era colored outside the lines.
The band’s been around for about 10 years in various incarnations. The band members also have other allegiances: Marshall occasionally gigs around with his brother Jim, and Gill as the Marshall Brothers; Gill also fronts his own Andrew Gill Band and was a founder of the old Americana band Wormsleow. But as Junkyard Angel they are “making raucous, rootsy music with a deep country-rock flavor, with echoes of vintage 1966 Dylan and bits of the Stones, the Burritos, Waylon, Willie and even Asleep at the Wheel tossed into the mix,” says Connect Savannah.
Isaac Smith is hard to pin down as an artist. 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. Expect to hear soulful re-imaginings, roots rock, pop, and you may even catch a hymn from his youth. in 2014, he wrote his first EP titled ‘Magnolia Bloom.” When Isaac is not performing around the low country’s music scene you can catch him on Sunday mornings at Tapestry Church in Savannah, GA.
Smith’s band mates are Ethan Stewart on the electric guitar and vocals and Robert Saunders on drums.
Sat., Dec. 19. Doors open at 7:30. Show starts at 8 pm.
Tickets are $10 general admission; $9 Theater members
Our concession stand serves beer, wine, soft drinks and hot movie popcorn.