Day 1 of a 17-Day Adventure at the Savannah Music Festival

Music journalist Doug DeLoach to pen daily blogs


Writer Doug DeLoach has left Atlanta traffic behind and headed to the coast to bunk down for the entirety of the Savannah Music Festival. Each day, he’ll check in with reviews, recommendations and a little insight into local life.

After a protracted rain-soaked journey from Atlanta on Lost Interstate-16, I’m delighted to be reporting to you from the comfortably but not overbearingly swanky Hilton Savannah Desoto overlooking Madison Square in the Historic District. The air is thick and gray, but not pouring buckets at the moment – may the gods show mercy and keep it that way for the rest of the evening, as your intrepid correspondent is hoofing it.

Tonight’s Savannah Music Festival itinerary starts with a chamber ensemble recital at the beautiful Trinity United Methodist Church (est. 1848) where violin maestro Daniel Hope will lead an all-star troupe featuring Benny Kim (violin), Philip Duke (viola), Eric Kim (cello), Keth Robinson (cello) and the incomparable Sebastian Knauer (piano). The program includes two works by Franz Schubert, one of which is the composer’s celebrated “Cello Quintet,” with the centerpiece being Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 1 in E-flat Major.

Then it’s off to the Trustees Theater to catch the iconic R&B soul sister her own bad self, Mavis Staples. As a symbol of the abiding resiliency of the American spirit, Staples still lays down grooves of steel seven decades and change since she began performing.

If I’m lucky, I can dash from Mavis to the Ships of the Sea garden hall where the Wood Brothers (as in late of Madeski, Martin & Wood) just might still be locked into whatever world/folk/funk fusion experiment they would have started earlier in the evening.

I’m already missing The Boxcars, Balsam Range and AJ Ghent – and it’s only the first night, y’all. So much music, so little time, only one mortal coil. (Thursday, March 19 – Entry One – DD)

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