Connect Savannah ‘Making music for Mother Earth’

Making music for Mother Earth
Saturday’s Earth Day event will feature three eco-minded local performers

By Bill DeYoung

Gardening, green cleaning and the incalculable benefits of a good compost heap are all subjects of workshops at Saturday’s Savannah Earth Day Festival in Forsyth Park. You can safely recycle all kinds of nasty stuff there, too — from old paint cans to rubber tires to that expired bottle of Fido’s ringworm medicine you’ve been meaning to get rid of.

This City of Savannah–sponsored event is more than just an exercise in environmental safety tips and community–mindedness — it’s a good excuse to get outside in this newly–gorgeous Spring weather, and to remember what a beautiful area we live in.

More than 80 exhibitors’ booths will provide information, education and tools for a more eco–friendly lifestyle. There’s a community bike ride.

Plus, the Savannah Earth Day Festival will include the official debut of the park’s spanking–new bandshell stage (if you don’t count Thursday’s Crooked Still Savannah Music Festival “thank-you” concert, which came to fruition at the very last minute). Three local performing artists, each with their own sizeable following, will make music on the new stage.

And what do you know? Saturday’s event, for each of the musicians, is more than just another gig. A lot more.

Lauren Lapointe (11–11:45 a.m.). One of the area’s most popular acoustic singer/songwriters, Lapointe is a native of Canada who’s lived in Chatham County for more than a decade. The Earth Day show, she says, “represents something that I feel strongly about. I have some songs that touch on environmental issues, and I definitely believe in all the stuff they’re doing at Earth Day. I’m involved with the Savannah Food Co–op, and I’m hoping to go over and work at the booth after I play. So it feels like a good fit.”

Lapointe, who’s also a yoga instructor, will aid in the afternoon yoga session at 2 p.m. (there’s an earlier one, at 10).
She’s thrilled to participate, she says, because the idea of an Earth Day festival is to create awareness of “how to make the world a better place. That goes hand in hand with what I’m trying to do with my music, trying to build community, bring people together, make people aware of different things going on. It’s definitely more meaningful than playing in a smoky bar somewhere.”

The Train Wrecks (12:30–1:45 p.m.). Singer, songwriter, guitarist and onstage dynamo Jason Bible remembers recycling in his home state of Texas. “Here, it took forever for this damn state to wake up and get curbside recycling. And still, for a lot of people, it’s just another trash can with a yellow top.

“And instead of creating jobs here, we’re outsourcing – all of our recycling goes to North Carolina! We’re shipping trucks to North Carolina to sort our recycling – causing more of an eco–print on the earth – when Savannah needs to get in gear and have a recycling center, where they hire people and create jobs to do that.”

The Train Wrecks are putting the finishing touches on their second CD (read all about it in an upcoming issue of Connect). Its working title was Devil in the Rear View Mirror. “We were going to set a car on fire, out in a field somewhere,” Bible says. “But we decided not to blow up a car, because that’s like the least eco–friendly photo shoot ever. Burning rubber.

“We changed the title of the record to Head For the Hills, and I think we’ll shoot the band just walking away from a junked–out car, kind of an anti–commercialism thing.”

Eric Culberson Blues Band (2:30–3:45 p.m.). A fixture on the local club scene for 20 years, electric guitarist Culberson – who recently ended his long association with the Mercury Lounge – is also polishing up a new album.

“They’re all original rock ‘n’ roll tunes – it’s blues–based, but there’s no straight, hardcore blues on there,” he explains. “It’s just what’s been bouncing around in our heads. It’s exciting and it’s refreshing. If everybody likes the rock ‘n’ roll side of what we do, they’re gonna dig the album.”

Culberson has the most esteemed environmental resume of all the Earth Day musicians – sort of. He once starred in a series of City of Savannah public service announcements alongside a character called Les Water, the Leaky Toilet.

Therefore, he’s a big believer in all that Earth Day stands for.

“We can’t keep on going with the frontier attitude, where you shoot all the buffalo, move on to the next ones and shoot all of them,” Culberson says. “We have to conserve and we have to recycle. And I think that’s kind of new to Savannah, with the new recycling program.

“It’s cool when I can be a part of something like that, because I really believe in it. You gotta take care of Mother Earth, that’s for sure.

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