Savannah Stopover is something of a hidden gem as far as music festivals go. Located in Savannah, Georgia, the three-day festival boasts a packed lineup of up-and-coming artists of all backgrounds and genres. Throughout the weekend, shows take place in small to mid-sized venues across Savannah’s historic district, establishing an intimacy that is rare among festivals today. This year will mark Savannah Stopover’s eighth year running, with no shortage of diverse talent. With March 8 just around the corner, here’s a list of the top 15 must-see artists at this year’s Savannah Stopover Music Festival.
15. Wild Moccasins
There’s something infectious about the unique, eclectic look and sound of Wild Moccasins. With a strong female lead vocalist and vintage beats, their sound is reminiscent of ‘80s pop. Known for their creative costume design and infectious stage presence, they’re sure to put on a good show.
14. John Stickley Trio
If you’re looking for good ol’ bluegrass music you can dance to, look no further than the John Stickley Trio. These extremely skilled musicians take their audience on a musical journey with their flawless technique and exploratory jams. Their sound should fit in perfectly with the rustic, coastal scene of Savannah, Georgia.
13. The Vegabonds
Part Americana, part rock ‘n roll, The Vegabonds seem to be gaining more and more momentum each day. The band has grown a great deal since their start in the college circuit back in 2009. Now with three European tours under their belt, The Vegabonds don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
12. David Barbe & Inward Dream Ebb
College professor by day, punk-rock lead singer by night, David Barbe does it all. Rooted in Athens, Georgia, Barbe has successfully embedded himself deep within Athens’ vibrant music scene. His band’s sound is a product of the evolution of punk and rock throughout the years, bringing with it a sound that doesn’t quite conform to any one genre.
KOLARS is a two member band consisting of Rob Kolar and Lauren Brown. The combination of Kolar’s vocals (think David Bowie meets The Killers) and Brown’s innovative performance drumming makes for a strange and wonderful chemistry. KOLARS is a prime example of the extensive musical variety that can be found at Savannah Stopover.
10. Acid Dad
Acid Dad’s sound is reminiscent of something you might hear in an underground club twenty years ago, and don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. Their ‘we don’t give a damn’ attitude and punk meets hard-rock sound gives them an appearance of self assurance and decisiveness that is often hard to come by in new talent, putting them at number ten on my list of must-see artists.
9. Lola Marsh
Savannah Stopover’s lineup this year is seeing a plethora of strong female vocalists, and Lola Marsh is no exception. Since their impressive self-released EP in 2016, the duo has seen a quick rise in popularity with tours across the US and Europe. Consisting of singer Yael Shoshana Cohen and guitarist Gil Landau, the duo has developed a strong fanbase thanks to their unique, upbeat sound.
8. Stoop Kids
There’s nothing like the infectious energy of bands who look like they’re having a genuinely great time with each other on stage, and that’s exactly the kind of vibe Stoop Kids gives off. The New Orleans-born quintet delivers an updated version of classic sounds found in New Orleans’ rich culture, from hip-hop, to jazz, to rock.
7. Future Generations
Indie pop band Future Generations has really taken off since their debut album in 2016. The album has seen millions of streams on Spotify and the group has been regularly touring across the US. Their music is reminiscent of bands like STRFKR, Moon Taxi and Portugal. The Man, with an alt-indie sound that is popular among most audiences today.
6. The Bones of J.R. Jones
The Bones of J.R. Jones is the one-man blues and roots act of New York native Jonathon Linaberry. It’s hard not to admire Linaberry’s extensive skills as he does percussion, vocals and a combination of either guitar or banjo, with an occasional harmonica all at once. If not for his musical ability, it’s worth seeing The Bones of J.R. Jones just to witness the passion in his performance.
5. Larkin Poe
This sister duo is keeping the spirit of old school music alive with their soulful, gritty rock ‘n roll sound. Originally from Georgia and now living in Nashville, Rebecca and Megan Lovell draw inspiration from their southern roots, and after growing up in the same household, they’ve developed an undeniable chemistry in their music.
4. Nikki Lane
I just can’t get over how many great female artists are blessing Savannah Stopover this year! Americana wonder Nikki Lane is a bad**s southern woman with her own personal style and distinctive vocals. Her set is definitely worth making it to.
3. of Montreal
It’s hard to describe the art of Kevin Barnes, the mastermind behind of Montreal. With his extended club mix 80’s pop sound, drag looks and out-of-this world performances and music videos, Barnes is making a serious impression on today’s music scene. With a look similar to Andy Warhol and a self-proclaimed paranoia of big government, Barnes seems to have an artistic complexity within himself that is evident in his music.
2. Cicada Rhythm
These folk/americana Athens locals bring a soulful sound that’s largely uncommon today, along with sincere, impassioned performances. The chilling harmonies of Andrea DeMarcus and Dave Kirslis put them high on my list of must-see artists, and once you see them live, you’ll understand why their sound is so hypnotic.
1. Wild Child
What started as the brainchild of Kelsey Wilson and Alexander Biggins in Austin, Texas has blossomed into a seven-piece indie-pop band complete with ukelele, violin, cello, trumpet, harmonica, drums, guitar and keyboard. With four studio albums under their belt and multiple worldwide tours, the band has gained a solid, steady momentum and developed a devoted fanbase. Their newest album, ‘Expectations,’ exemplifies a mature, confident sound as the artists drew from inspirations all over the world while writing the music while on tour. It’s hard not to smile while watching the band’s undeniable chemistry unfold as they grin cheek-to-cheek while performing.