Zimmer & Rudd: A duo detour City Hotel members come together for duo EP, Tybee Post Theater show

By Sean Kelly/Connect Savannah

Collectively, Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd are already a known entity as part of City Hotel. Last year, Zimmer released his excellent solo album, Saints & Heretics, and now he’s joining forces with Rudd for a new project.

Zimmer & Rudd, Volume 1 is a five-song EP of original material written and performed by the duo that fall under the umbrella of roots music and follow in the tradition of bluegrass guitar and mandolin duos. They’ll be celebrating the project with a show at Tybee Post Theater on Sat., July 13, alongside special guests Russel Cook and the Sweet Teeth.

We chatted with Zimmer ahead of the show. Read More


Brothers Duet: Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd release new album with Tybee Post Theater show

Brothers Duet: Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd release new album with Tybee Post Theater show

By Christopher Berinato/Do Savannah

Aaron Paul Zimmer and Jay Rudd having been playing together in local bluegrass band City Hotel since 2011.

The band has released two albums in that time and last year, Zimmer released his first solo album, “Saints and Heretics.”

When not playing solo or in City Hotel, Zimmer (guitar/vocals) and Rudd (mandolin) occasionally perform as a duo.

“Some time last year we did a duo show at Tybee Post opening up for Lynn Avenue… and that was our first public performance as a duo,” said Rudd. “That went over really well. We got a great crowd reaction so we thought we should probably do this again.”

A few months ago, Zimmer booked this upcoming date at Tybee Post Theater and asked Rudd if he would like to try the duo again. Rudd suggested recording a new EP to promote the show, which is a reversal of the usual stages of booking a gig.

“It all happened really quick,” explained Rudd. “We went into the studio with Jason Bible (The Train Wrecks) and got it done in maybe four or six hours in the studio. And that was it.”

The five track EP, “Vol. 1,” features four original songs, two written by Rudd and two by Zimmer, plus one cover.

“One of them is actually a cover by Aaron’s father-in-law, Ernie Palmer,” said Rudd. “It’s a song that we actually have on one of the City Hotel albums, called ‘Gainesville Mill.’ We decided to re-record that for this project.”

Zimmer and Rudd each draw upon their own strengths as songwriters for this EP. “Aaron is very much in the singer-songwriter vein,” said Rudd. “I started writing music when I was in high school. I was in a garage rock band. We literally played in a garage. I would write rock songs.”

Of course, Rudd has been writing bluegrass songs ever since with City Hotel. “I think that our styles are very different because Aaron’s stuff is more lyrical and he’s an amazing storyteller when he writes songs,” said Rudd. “I’ve always written more on the instrumental side of things.”

Although the pair enjoy performing as a full band with City Hotel, they also like the opportunities to explore their instruments as a duo. “It feels really different when you just have a guitar and a mandolin because it just changes the groove a lot,” Rudd explained. “In a bluegrass band, it’s the bass and the mandolin and guitar together that create the overall groove. Without having a bass it changes the way Aaron has to play the guitar. Also, it’s just a lot more stripped down. There is a way I wouldn’t play mandolin in a full bluegrass group… It’s a more intimate sound and it really lends itself to showing more of the dynamic beauty of those instruments you don’t get in a full band. We can really showcase the more airy side of the instruments. There is a depth to the instruments that you don’t hear when you have five instruments going at once.”

There is a long tradition of guitar and mandolin duos in bluegrass music. The format actually began in the 1930s and ’40s, prior to bluegrass. “There were tons of these, what were called, Brother Duets,” said Rudd. “Bill Monroe and his brother, Charlie, had the Monroe Brothers and that was before he started the whole Bluegrass music.”

Rudd also cites Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice’s duo as an influence. Rudd still brings his other influences outside of bluegrass into his songwriting. “I didn’t get into Bluegrass until I was in my 20s,” said Rudd. “Before that I was into My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, those kind of rock bands, so I get a lot of influence from that sort of stuff. The kind of music I gravitated towards before bluegrass is still a huge part of how I hear music.”

Zimmer and Rudd will play a varied 90-minute set and have CD copies of “Vol.1” for sale at the show. Special guests Russell Cook and the Sweet Teeth are opening up. Cook recorded with his wife as Little Country Giants, but now is exploring a two guitar and drums juke-joint trio with the Sweet Teeth along with guitarist Scotty Knight and drummer Jeremy Clark.


GPB climate change episode previews on Tybee

GPB climate change episode previews on Tybee

By Mary Lander/SMN

The Georgia Public Broadcasting Program “Georgia Outdoors” is exploring climate change with a special episode, “The Rising Sea,” which will be previewed at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Tybee Post Theater.

“Tybee to me is one of the most vulnerable islands we have simply because it’s so populated,” said executive producer and host Sharon Collins.

Collins interviewed Tybee resident Cathy Sakas, a marine biologist who has headed the Tybee Beach Task Force, and learned, as many locals already know, that U.S. 80 flooding is worse than an occasional nuisance.

“She remarked to me that the causeway or route 80, she never knows whether it’s going to be flooded or not if it’s high tide,” Collins said in a phone interview. “I thought that was once or twice a year, and we’re finding out it’s a lot more than that.” Read more:

Cats Under The Stars salutes Jerry Garcia

Cats Under The Stars salutes Jerry Garcia

Members of Charlie Fog Band pay tribute to Garcia’s other band

By Sean Kelly/ConnectSavannah

Dan Berman is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to music in general, but even more so with the music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia. He’s become known for playing with the Charlie Fog Band, an impassioned tribute to the legendary group. Now, he’s taking that a step further with Cats Under the Stars—a tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band.

Known for their reimagining of soul and R&B songs, as well as originals that were outside of the realm of the Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band was a passion project for the iconic guitarist and songwriter up until his passing.

Cats Under the Stars is set to stage a JGB tribute at the Tybee Post Theater on June 22, and we spoke to Berman ahead of the show. Read More…

SCAD film students showcase ultra-indie shorts and acclaimed feature at Tybee Post Theater

By Jim Reed/DoSavannah

Although the title certainly sounds like it could be the name of an extremely cornball off-off-off-Broadway musical revue, “Off Tha’ Block” it is in fact a locally produced showcase of ultra-indie filmmaking. Specifically, films created and produced by either current or former film and television majors at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

Organized as something of a personal challenge by SCAD Junior Liz Kraushaar, this under-the-radar presentation occurs only once, on May 24.

It is divided into two distinct parts: The first, which runs from 2 p.m. till 5 p.m., is a compilation of various short films. The second, which runs from 7:30 p.m. till 9:30 p.m., consists of the second-ever public screening of a just-completed feature film entitled “Nesting Dolls.” Read More

Savannah-born, Grammy nominated Victor Wainwright plays Tybee Post Theater

Savannah-born, Grammy nominated Victor Wainwright plays Tybee Post Theater

By Christopher Berinato/SMN

Bluesman Victor Wainwright may consider Memphis, Tennessee, his base of operations, but Savannah will always be his home. After all, he is known as the “Piana from Savannah.”

Wainwright and his band, the Train, are returning to his birthplace for an overdue performance at Tybee Post Theater.

“I try to visit for the holidays,” Wainwright said. “That’s about the best I can do these days, I’m on the road so much.”

Wainwright, who is a charismatic performer and an electrifying boogie piano man, is coming off of a recent Grammy Award nomination for last year’s “Victor Wainwright and the Train,” released on Ruf Records, and has seen his fanbase and critical acclaim rapidly grow…. Read More:

Alright alright alright: The “Beach Bum” @TybeePost

Alright alright alright: The “Beach Bum” @TybeePost

By Jim Reed/SMN

On May 16, the Tybee Post kicks off a three-day, five-show engagement of one of the most frustratingly impressive and perplexingly enjoyable dramedies in recent memory: provocative filmmaker Harmony Korine’s latest topsy-turvy look at the downside of monied party culture, “The Beach Bum.”

Described as “an epic goof” by one critic, this wide-eyed portrait of the downfall of a decadently hedonistic counterculture literary sensation is played with tremendous aplomb by Matthew McConaughey. He’s become a volatile Key West stoner icon who can be a bit of a rough slog at times.

The movie’s pacing is rather uneven and it veers wildly from borderline inscrutable art-house territory to populist, low-brow, gross-out slapstick shenanigans. However, with Korine (“Kids,” “Gummo,” “Ken Park,” “Trash Humpers,” “Spring Breakers”) at the helm, the end result is a bracing, tumultuous blur of vivid, crowded images and occasionally unconnected vignettes that wind up sending semaphore signals to the audience rather than a lengthy email.

Boasting unexpected faces who acquit themselves very well in key supporting roles (Snoop Dogg, Martin Laurence, Jonah Hill) and stunt casting cameos by folks who either hit it out of the park (Zac Efron – yes, that Zac Efron) or who drop the ball so clumsily that you can almost feel the audience groaning in embarrassment for them (Jimmy Buffet playing himself, no less), “The Beach Bum” is definitely not an uplifting picture, although there are plenty of nervous laughs to be had along the way. Cleverly booked into this cozy venue just in time for the island’s own famed Beach Bum Parade, this passion project by a willfully obstinate auteur may leave many Tybee residents in a state of utter confusion, but I am sure Korine wouldn’t have it any other way.

Showtimes at 7 p.m. on May 16, 17 and 19, with 3 p.m. matinees on May 17 and 19.

Chatham County Line’s bluegrass revival

Chatham County Line’s bluegrass revival

By Sean Kelly/ConnectSavannah

The group’s Dave Wilson talks about their impressive career

IF YOU’RE unfamiliar with Chatham County Line, a good time to correct that would be on Fri., May 3 at the Tybee Post Theater. The group, founded over 20 years ago by North Carolina musicians making the transition from country rock to bluegrass, will be sharing the stage with fellow North Carolina buzz band Mipso as part of a short run of dates together.

Ahead of the gig, we caught up with the band’s guitarist Dave Wilson, who took time during the band’s stint at MerleFest to chat about their career and their latest project. Read more …

Mipso and Chatham County Line play Tybee Post Theater

Mipso and Chatham County Line play Tybee Post Theater

By Christopher Berinato/DoSavannah

When Mipso, a quartet from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, released their fifth studio album in 2018, it marked a subtle, yet noticeable shift in their approach to American roots music, one that values mood and atmosphere over traditional virtuosity. Read more …

Tybee Wine Festival is eleven years strong

Tybee Wine Festival is eleven years strong

By Rachael Flora/Connect Savannah

NOW IN its eleventh year, the Tybee Wine Festival is a favorite event for locals and tourists alike.

The laid-back weekend is a fundraiser for the Tybee Post Theater.

“It really is amazing that it has had such longevity,” says Melissa Turner, executive director of the Tybee Post Theater. “The same folks come year in and year out—they just love it. We have folks that plan their vacation around all three events, rent a house or a condo down here and make a long weekend out of it.” Read more …