The Savannah Bar and Grille is celebrating its 15th birthday with a customer-appreciation week and sets by national artists. The Westlake club began as a restaurant, but live local blues soon became its signature dish. It's one of the city's busiest and most affordable venues, with live entertainment seven nights a week and no cover for local bands.
"It filled the void that was created when our first West Side home, Brother's Lounge, closed up back in the '80s," says bandleader Colin Dussault, who has played the bar the first and last Saturdays of each month since it opened. "Savannah is still a great corner shot-and-beer joint, with good food and great music."
The club specializes in blues but regularly hosts oldies band Eddie & the Edsels and country groups like Kentucky Thunder.
Thursday nights, the club is home to the city's longest-running blues jam, which has been a staple since shortly after the club opened. Past regular hosts included Dussault and Austin "Walkin' Cane" Charanghat. Swamp Boogie Band frontwoman Swamp hosts the Thursday, August 7, session. Her band plays Saturday, August 9.
Wednesday, August 6, Mingo Fishtrap - a horn-driven Texas blues-rock combo - headlines. On Friday, August 6, singer-pianist-saxophonist Deanna Bogart plays. Sunday, August 10, golden-oldies group the Four Lads performs an early set that starts at 5 p.m.
Most of the staff has worked at the club since it opened. Dressed in suits and dirty work clothes, a crowd of regulars keeps the atmosphere casual and fun.
"I would never have made it if I didn't have great customers," says owner Jim DePaul. "Over 15 years, we've seen people go through, and we've had their kids come in later. We've married 'em and buried them."
¥ Bay Village singer-songwriter Kate Voegele kicks off her first headlining national tour on August 8, in Pomona, California. The two-month trek will take her around the country, with a stop at the House of Blues Cambridge Room (308 Euclid Ave., downtown) on Sunday, August 24. She has contributed a new song, "Lift Me Up," to the AT & T Team USA Soundtrack, a collection dedicated to Olympians, which also features Sheryl Crow, Nelly and 3 Doors Down.
¥ Akron-based sensations the Black Keys play the third annual Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore on Sunday, August 10. Cleveland alum Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails also plays that day, alongside Bob Dylan, Stone Temple Pilots and Kanye West.
If you're not up for a road trip and a $175 weekend pass, you can catch the Keys on the Sundance Channel's Live From Abbey Road. The episode features interview and performance footage, including "I Got Mine" from the new Attack & Release album.
¥ Cleveland alums Skeletonwitch have been added to Danzig's Blackest of the Black mini-festival tour alongside Dimmu Borgir, Moonspell and others. The Columbus band spent a year in Cleveland while drummer Derrick Nau attended the Cleveland Institute of Art.
In the tour announcement, guitarist (and Scene contributor) Scott Hedrick reminisced, "I can recall Nate [Garnett, guitarist] one Halloween, half shit-canned, with half a 30-pack and a Marshall half stack, standing on his roof playing Danzig riffs." The tour runs from October 10 through November 10; the nearest stop is Detroit's Fillmore theater.