Wednesday, June 11, 2014

River Street in Savannah, GA

Back in the days when I called Savannah home, going to River Street always seemed like an ordeal. The parking is scarce, the historic steps are scary, and there are throngs of drunk tourists stumbling on the cobblestones and spilling their frozen daquiris.

But on our last trip to Savannah, River Street didn't seem so bad. I saw it with new, less cynical eyes.

This area is called Factor's Walk. Back in the day it's where you could find cotton for sale, now it's where you'll find sneaky parking for the employees of the numerous restaurants.

Right on the riverfront is Kevin Barry's, my favorite Irish pub ever. The thing that sets it apart is that there are no televisions and there's live traditional music every single night. I grew up playing traditional Irish music, so these are major issues for me-I'm going to a pub for music and atmosphere. Pubs are integral to the whole session culture anyway!

Honestly, this pub means a lot to me. Back when I was a kid and just getting into Irish music, this pub welcomed me. The older musicians gave me a chance to play or sing alongside them, and when famous traditional musicians were in town, I was allowed to come in and listen. When it comes to traditional music, you need that kind of space where the older generation can teach the younger one. So kudos to KB's for keeping tradition alive.

If you're a traditional Irish musician looking for a session in Savannah, check out Kevin Barry's. They have a session every Sunday night and the nightly musicians who preform the rest of the week are really friendly as well.

As you explore more of River Street you'll see a mix of tourist crap, actually tasty restaurants, and a lot of beautiful old buildings. Even if it can be kind of touristy, there's something about River Street that does feel fun.

Just remember, don't attempt these monster cobblestones in stilettos. Not only will you break an ankle, locals will surely be on hand to laugh at you.

Happy Wedneday, y'all :)

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