Sugarcane Jane Plays Windmill Market in Fairhope Alabama

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By Glynn Wilson –

FAIRHOPE, Ala. — Upon recently discovering the Windmill Market restaurant and bar in this artsy community on Mobile Bay’s Eastern Shore, I was urged to show up Tuesday night to get a glimpse of and hear the sound of something quite unique: A new dynamic duo out of Alabama by way of Nashville Tennessee called Sugarcane Jane.

What I found out won’t surpise many Americana music afficinados in Alabamaland, since Anthony Crawford of Birmingham has been been around the bluegrass, country and rock world for years, performing with the likes of Neil Young, Steve Winwood, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill and Rodney Crowell. His sweetheart and playing partner Savana Lee-Crawford out of Loxley in Baldwin County has also been across the Tennessee tracks and back. When teamed up on the road playing tunes from their new album “Dirt Road’s End,” they inspire all kinds of accolades.

Crawford has been nominated for induction into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Muscle Shoals, and together they inspired a music writer at the Washington Times in D.C. to call them, “one of the best Nashville duos since Johnny and June,” as in Johnny Cash and June Carter.

“The two Alabama-born, Nashville-based artists, who are now married, mix and match their individual styles and virtuoso musicianship into a sonic smoothie bursting with old-style banjo, bass, lap steel, guitar, harmonica, boat paddle and more around just the right mix of hillbilly-tinged vocals,” the Times croons.

Of their album “Dirt Road’s End,” the paper calls it “funky, frisky (and) up-tempo.”

Best of new country sounds for the summer concert season

Now that’s some high cotton, folks, so you might want to sneak your way over to the porch stage at Windmill on Monday nights for a free concert in what is being billed not just as some routine accoustic bar show, but a “social gathering in an organic peace loving environment.”

The market, restaurant and bar are powered with wind and solar power and come with a rain catch system that would make any California hippie environmentalist proud.

You might want to take our advice if you live in these parts — or happen to be traveling through — and get hooked up on the Windmill Market Facebook page to watch for future shows.

Here’s a little video of clips from Tuesday night that should whet your appetite.

Watch the video and listen.

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By Walter Simon

Blues Jam Coming

Here’s another hint and a bit of a disclaimer. My own band, The Delta Drifters, is working with the new management of the market to come up with another night of music for this up-and-coming venue. Stay tuned for an announcement soon about our new blues-funk-rock open mic jam. We expect to draw some of the best professional and amateur musicians in the Mobile-Baldwin County neck of the woods for something a little special in these parts.

I’ve been slapping the skins with some of the best musicians around myself for years in places like the Maple Leaf bar on Oak Street in New Orleans, Sassy Anne’s in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the Takoma Park VFW in between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. I made the rock club circuit around the South in rock bands back in the 1970s and early ’80s, but went on parole from rock and roll to practice journalism for many years.

Guitar and bass player Walter Simon, the Mobile-Fairhope artist, has been around some too, in Mobile, Athens, Georgia and Birmingham. We’re about to be working out some tunes with guitar player-vocalist Mark Harper.

So stay tuned, and as they used to say on the radio, “Y’all come on out now and see us, ya hear?”

© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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