Summer Entertainment Fireworks Started July 2nd


“Summer Entertainment on a Roll”

by Hank Weisman

The Savannah Folk Music Society kicked of its 15th year of First Friday for Folk Music on Friday, July 2nd with a show that really sizzled. This monthly showcase of local and touring folk music talent draws 200 folk enthusiasts to First Presbyterian Church at 520 Washington Avenue in Savannah every month. It is wholesome, family entertainment starting at 7:30 PM and for the bargain of a $2 per person recommended donation.

July’s First Friday for Folk Music opened with Roll on Rodney, an eclectic quartet in terms of members and music. The group includes veteran Savannah musician John Powers with his son, Zach, Rob Robertson and Mary Joe Adams. John arranges the group’s unique approach to songs old and new, provides most of the humor and plays a myriad of instruments; Zach plays keyboard and saxophone (yes, a sax in a folk show!); Rob lays down some great guitar riffs and vocals; and Mary Joe does many of the lead vocals and gives the group some much-needed good looks! You can always expect the unexpected when Roll on Rodney rolls onto the stage.

Bill and Eli Perras also made their second visit to First Friday. The many inspired lyrics given to and interpreted by Eli Perras, combined with Bill Perras’s bluesy finger-style guitar playing create a uniquely modern take on true Americana music in its purest form. Receiving recognition for their tightly woven musical creativity, they humbly remain true to their personal values. They speak out with strong heartfelt lyrics accompanied by soulful genuine pentatonic rhythms against social injustices, corporate greed, and daily follies in everyday life. They can grip your heart, search your soul, change a mindset, or softly strike a funny bone, all the while leaving the audience with a sentiment for the common good desired in all mankind.  They have opened for Bill Staines, Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, Michael Smith, John Gorka, Jack Williams, Anne Feeney, Scott Ainslie, Small Potatoes, Emma’s Revolution, Paul Geremia, Panama Red and many more nationally recognized entertainers. They are regulars at the many Florida folk music venues and festivals and frequently travel the country sharing their music beyond the Sunshine State.

Besides the 14th anniversary edition of First Friday for Folk Music which occurred before this issue of Tybee Times hit the stands, there were two other June events sponsored by the Society. On June 12th at the Frank Murray Community Center on Whitemarsh Island, the last Old Time Country Dance of the season took place at 8 PM. Dances will resume in September when its not as brutally hot as it is in July and August. Playing the dance was the Glow in the Dark Stringband and the steps were called by Bob Beatiie and Joyce Murlless.

A Pot Luck Pickin’ Jam was held at 2 PM on June 13th at the home of Bill Morris on Wilmington Island. Bill’s waterfront home has plenty roomy for lots of folks to bring instruments, voices, enthusiasm and of course, their favorite dish to share.

Looking ahead, the Fall will bring more great music. Concerts have already been planned featuring Mark Erelli & Meg Hutchinson, David Jacob-Strain and Phil Minissale. First Fridays will include such notable performers as Dana Cooper and Buddy Mondlock. And the Oct. 8-10 Savannah Folk Music Festival includes Karla Bonoff, Otis Taylor, Sam Pacetti and Carl Jones & Beverly Smith. And one more thing….is your teenager working on an original song to submit by September 1st for the Youth Songwriting Competition??? Keep folkin’ !

For information about SFMS, call Hank Weisman at 912-786-6953. Visit:

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