June 28–Southern rock is returning to the Golden Isles — and in a big way. The Drive-By Truckers are on tap to headline the annual Southern Grown Festival, hosted by Sea Island.
This year, the three-day event will be held over the long Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1 to 3. The concert will go down Sept. 2 at Rainbow Island on Sea Island.
The event is a little later than in the two previous years, which Casey Lavin, vice president of operations for Sea Island, said was a move geared at offering more for residents and guests during the holiday weekend.
“When we looked at the schedule for Southern Grown for 2017, including conversations with the Convention and Visitors Bureau and past attendees, we realized that there was no major local event set for Labor Day weekend for residents and visitors to enjoy,” Lavin said.
“Staging one of the Southern Grown Concert Series shows in June and moving the festival to Sept. 1-3 seemed like a good thing not only for the festival, but for the Golden Isles community as a whole.”
Regardless of the date, Lavin fully expects the show will be one to remember, even with the bar set high by the two previous years. The first saw the Avett Brothers take the stage in 2015, along with opening act the Wood Brothers. In 2016, the Tedeschi Trucks Band headlined, along with Grammy winner Jason Isbell, who kicked off the show as the opener. Coincidentally, Isbell, a strong solo artist these days, is a former member of the Truckers.
The Truckers won’t be the only musical talent taking to the stage come September. On Friday, festivities kick off with a concert by the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers on Rainbow Island, Sea Island’s casual, marshfront venue on the Black Banks River. That particular show will be a part of the kick-off dinner, hosted by partner Garden & Gun. It will also feature creations by Mike Lata, a James Beard Award-winner and self-taught chef, from FIG Restaurant in Charleston.
Lavin said this year’s line-up will continue the high quality musical tradition established by the previous acts.
“The first two years of Southern Grown were a success and we were thrilled with the response from Glynn County. This year, the Steep Canyon Rangers and the Drive-By Truckers, among others, were handpicked to carry on the legacy that the Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell and Tedeschi Trucks started in years past,” he said.
This year, however, will offer a new bit of flare as the Athens-based Drive-By Truckers bring their own moonshine-marinated music to the area. Billed as an “alternative country” group, the Truckers blend the South’s quintessential sounds — the likes of Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd — with rock fueled by character-driven lyrics — a la, Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty. There is also a biting bit of instrumentation, much of it delivered by the group’s three guitarists, as well as the Southern-centric mandolin and saw.
The rest of the weekend’s agenda will include a variety of foodie fun, as well as seminars and exhibitions from some of the regions very best artisans and purveyors.
Following Friday’s festivities, Saturday will bring the Southern Grown Marketplace & Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, a demonstration of nature through art and presentations. Participants can also participate in an array of demonstrations and lectures, including cocktail crafting lessons with mixologists, falconry experiences and a bird dog training exhibition. That evening, prior to the Truckers concert, Atlanta chef, Chef Linton Hopkins, will serve an oceanside Southern-themed meal for attendees on the lawn of the Beach Club.
Local barbecue favorite Southern Soul will also be on hand to serve up dishes for concert-goers during the show. VIP ticket holders will have the option of light bites from Jacksonville’s Chef Chris Dickerson. After the performance, guests can indulge in an Elvis-themed after party — “Little Less Conversation” After Glow Party.
On Sunday, the weekend concludes with brunch at Tavola, the resort’s Italian restaurant, which will go country for the morning. In addition to Southern staples, the event will also feature freshly-made donuts from Certified Burgers & Beverage of St. Simons Island. The final day of Southern Grown will include live music set against the final day of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.
“In addition to the concerts on Friday and Saturday, guests can experience the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, known as SEWE, in dozens of booths with unique Southern artisans. Celebrated chefs and mixologists provide some exceptional food and beverage to round it all out,” Lavin added. “Overall, the entire weekend fits perfectly into the Southern Grown theme of celebrating the food, drink and music of the south. Overlooking the river on Rainbow Island is the perfect setting for those celebrations.”
(c)2017 The Brunswick News (Brunswick, Ga.)
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