The best part about going to music festivals is arguably the element of discovery. At the Savannah Stopover Festival March 6 through 8, discovery is the name of the game.
Thanks to Savannah's fortuitous location near interstates 95 and 10, the Hostess City has been a prime pit stop for the exodus of bands traveling to the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin since 2011. With more than 100 performances in three days, Savannah Stopover is SXSW in miniature, an East Coast version of its larger musical cousin in Texas.
The Stopover Festival features a combination of local and touring bands, most of them relatively unknown and ready to be discovered. The festival is spread out around various venues in Savannah's Historic District, allowing music lovers to bounce from place to place, exploring new sounds and genres.
Lowcountry Current highlighted three local and three out-of-town bands that festivalgoers should be sure to stumble upon this weekend.
Local bands not to miss:
mumbledust: This folk duo from Savannah have a homey yet ethereal sound borne of a mixture of instrumentation. There's banjo, accordion and some whistling thrown in for good measure. Listen for the musical saw.
If you like: Devendra Banhart, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Playing: 8:30 p.m. March 6 at the Artist Lounge (36 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.); 2 p.m. March 8 at Congress Street Social Club (411 W. Congress St.)
Fare the Gap: An indie-pop group that combines bouncing melodies with rhythmic syncopation.
If you like: Vampire Weekend, Phoenix
Playing: 9 p.m. March 6 at Hang Fire Bar (37 Whitaker St.)
Velvet Caravan: This eclectic Savannah band labels its music as "European redneck," which apparently is a mix of gypsy/jazz/honky tonk/Latin swing. To understand it, you have to listen for yourself.
If you like: Is there really a band out there like this? We don't know.
Playing: 3 p.m. March 8 at Moon River Beer Garden (21 W. Bay St.)
Touring bands not to miss:
Wye Oak: Baltimore-based duo Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack combine indie rock with pop and electronic influences to create an energetic sound and lively performances.
If you like: The xx, Bon Iver
Playing: 11:30 p.m. March 6 at Knights of Columbus (7619 Waters Ave.)
Oberhofer: Founded by frontman and Washingtonian Brad Oberhofer, this band will keep your toes tapping with eccentric instrumentation and catchy melodies. Watch for Matt Scheiner on the glockenspiel.
If you like: The Kooks, STRFKR
Playing: Midnight March 9 (as in Saturday night) at Knights of Columbus (7619 Waters Ave.)
The Weeks: A Mississippi-based Southern rock band with punk influences and alternative, grungy harmonies.
If you like: Kings of Leon, Cold War Kids
Playing: 8:30 p.m. March 8 at Ellis Square (201 W. Bay St.)
- You don't know what European redneck music is? Allow Velvet Caravan to explain
- Full Savannah Stopover Festival schedule
- Savannah Stopover Festival