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MB ROAD TRIP!

Coming up at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach: Bay area all-star band RatDog (see p. 59) make an appearance on St. Patrick's Day with support from the musically ambidextrous Béla Fleck & The Flecktones; Delaware blues-rocker George Thorogood gets bad to the bone on Sun. March 19. Check the schedule at www.hob.com/venues/clubvenues/myrtlebeach.

ANTENNA = UP

98X and sis station The Bridge at 105.5 are back and stacked. Their antenna and coaxial cable took a direct hit from a lightning bolt on Sun. Feb. 12. They were back on the air in just two days ... but just barely. "We patched it up to get back on the air temporarily, but we had to get a crew to get out there and repair it," says program director Mike Allen. "We were running at about a fifth of our normal wattage [50,000 watts per each station]."

MUSIC FEST

The 2006 Savannah Music Festival — a 17-day "musical marathon" — kicks off on St. Patrick's Day and continues through Sun. April 2. The festival features more than 500 artists participating in more than 100 events. Highlight performers include Irish band Lúnasa, jazz pianist Bill Charlap, singer/songwriter Emmylou Harris, bluegrass guitarist Larry Keel, tango/jazz combo The Pablo Ziegler Quartet, jammers Oteil & The Peacemakers, and many others. Tickets are available for between $5-$65. For additional program information, visit www.savannahmusicfestival.org or call (912) 234-3378.

CD RELEASES

Local "Southern-Americana band" trio Rooster Scratch celebrated the release of their new, self-titled disc at Cumberland's on Tues. Feb. 28. Recorded at Carolina Studios in North Charleston last summer, the tunes rock and twist with loose, riffy swagger. Newly-formed trio Maestro — guitarist Chris Peterson, bassist Taylor "Noodleson" Nelson, and drummer Jordan "Hershifter" Herschaft — officially released their debut disc — a six-song EP titled Mescalito — at a show at the Village Tavern last Friday. Herschaft utilized his own recording facilities at Fusion 5 Studios for the session (see www.myspace.com/maestrorocks). Local bassist/vocalist and painter John Crain put his songwriting talent on display with the release of a riff-filled new 10-song solo rock album titled Unsolicited (also recorded at Fusion 5 Studios). Crain is perhaps best known for his session work and bass skills with such local acts as Booty Call, MacDaddy, and The Stiff Joints. Guest players on the disc include pianist Travis Allison, drummer Jim Ratcliffe, and vocalist Jourdan Laws. See www.johncrain.com for more.

CD RELEASES (ARTY!)

Atmospheric rock trio A Decent Animal — guitarist Jonathan Nicholson, bassist Richard Weld, and drummer George Baerreis — celebrate the release of a new disc, The Rabbit Hole EP, on Sat. April 1 at Cumberland's. "We're doing a big event with three bands — Clint 4, Pyramid, and us — a tap dancer, nine or 10 artists, and a few other treats," reports Weld. "We're redecorating Cumberland's for the event and commissioning artists. The idea is to have about 10 new pieces of work from various local and regional artists that were all 'inspired' by the music on the CD."

BATTLES: STILL ON!

A Dough Re Mi's Bud-sponsored March Madness Battle of the Bands heads into Round Three on Fri. March 17 and includes Dewey Muggles, The Golden Palace, Parker, and Tiny Montgomery. The fourth and final round takes place on Fri. March 24 with sets from Catala, Tripping the Mechanism, and Virgil Kane. Congrats to first and second round winners L. Brown Odyssey and Hot Charlie. heck out www.adoughremi.com for more details.

TEE TIME

The First Tee of Augusta (located at 3165 Damascus Road in Augusts, Ga.) announced the lineup for their second annual Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough benefit concert on Tues. April 4, during the week of the Masters Tournament. R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills will step in as host. Musical guests include headliners Collective Soul and Hootie & The Blowfish with supporting acts Better Than Ezra, Emerson Hart (of Tonic), and The Edison Project. Proceeds benefit the Augusta chapter of The First Tee Network, which provides learning facilities and educational programs that promote "character-development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf." Tickets are available for $30 on the day of the show and for $25 in advance. Call 706-364-4653 or check www.ticketalternative.com.

DIG THE NEW DIGS (AGAIN)

Pulse reported on several newly-opened venues last week, including the Fiddler's Green Pub and D.D. Pecker's Wing Shack. This week marks the "grand opening" of yet another new music venue: The Dark Room. Located in the former Bar 145 spot at 145 Calhoun Street, this new live rock club with feature live local and touring guitar-rock bands and DJs on a weekly basis (check Music Board for this week's lineup). Call 937-0314 for more info. —T. Ballard Lesemann

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