Because a drayage load can mean a few different things, confusion among carriers is common. Many carriers link drayage with going into a port, but that isn't always true. While all drayage loads typically originate from a port of entry, there are often several legs of a drayage journey before a container turns up at its final stop. Legs of a drayage load may include:
You may be thinking, what's so important about drayage? It's such a small step in the container storage transport process. In reality, it's an integral piece needed in the logistics industry and a crucial part of U.S. supply chain management.
To truly understand the importance of drayage, let's use flowers as an example. Most cut flower shipments enter the market from areas in South America until they end up at Dutch auction houses. Once there, wholesalers purchase flowers in bulk and send those products to retail outlets worldwide. Because flowers are perishable, they typically need to be refrigerated and are often shipped in reefer containers. These refrigerated vessels must maintain a certain temp to prevent loss.
Drayage companies like RelyEx allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services. Drayage companies allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind, because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services.
If port drayage is compromised, it can cause delays and even fines. You know the packages you get delivered to your front door from apps like Amazon? Without drayage and drayage brokers, one or two-day shipping times wouldn't even be possible.
As a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, it seems like drayage shipping issues shouldn't exist. But the fact is inefficiencies and congestion are still major problems at ports. Whether it's a lack of carriers, absent chassis, or overburdened terminals, delays lead to missed deadlines, lost revenue, and worse.
But anytime challenges exist, so too do innovative solutions.QUOTE REQUEST
At RelyEx, we like to consider ourselves problem solvers. The nature of the container drayage industry presents new challenges every day, but we're firm believers that there's a solution to every hurdle we encounter. And while some drayage businesses implement a reactive approach, RelyEx customers choose us for our proactive mindset. We take pride in solving your company's drayage challenges to help you avoid frustrating fees, missed expectations, and delayed shipments. We strive to make every transaction successful and streamlined by partnering with shippers who prioritize transparent, prompt, and accurate communication.
RelyEx approaches your business from the customer's perspective - a unique approach that helps us provide high-quality, effective drayage services. We've been in the customers' shoes, know their pain points, and because of that, provide first-hand solutions to stressful supply chain issues. With over 30 years of collective knowledge, our team excels in:
Our varied, high-level drayage shipping experience helps us achieve our overarching goal: expertly managing your freight movement needs. That way, you can direct your time and focus on growing the core aspects of your business while we handle the heavy lifting. Throw in proactive planning to avoid bottleneck situations and strong communication for transparent customer relations, and you can see why so many companies trust RelyEx.
When it comes to shipping logistics, it only takes one mistake by a mediocre worker to disrupt your business. That's why, at RelyEx, we pride ourselves on forming and nurturing relationships with carriers who match our standards of care. Our founding partner started his career transporting freight for companies as an on-demand carrier. He uses that knowledge to maximize the resources of our carriers so that our customer's expectations aren't just met - they're exceeded.
Based in the port city of Savannah, RelyEx has a keen understanding of the challenges of managing the inbound and outbound flow of containers. Our team of container drayage experts provides your business with unique solutions to nuanced shipping problems, minimizing demurrage and ensuring the successful delivery of your freight.
Customers choose RelyEx because:
Some drayage brokers don't care how customers feel about their service as long as they sign a contract and get paid. As a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx takes the opposite approach. We're motivated by the opportunity to overachieve for our customers and to provide them with the best logistics experience possible. With professional experience as carriers and shippers ourselves, we know the roadblocks and challenges you're facing. We excel at mapping out the best plans of action to solve those problems. But that's just the start.
Our tracking experts monitor and manage every aspect of your drayage shipment from booking to delivery, 24/7. Once booked, we look for the availability of your containers hourly once they're at port. When they arrive, our team acts quickly to access your storage containers when they're available.
Plus, RelyEx ensures your company's requirements are met by the carrier during loading and delivery and provide necessary documentation as fast as possible. With real-time tracking updates and access to our customer service professionals, your team has complete visibility throughout the shipping process.
Over the years, RelyEx has built a strong network of drayage carriers, transloading locations, and container storage spaces to provide you with the best possible options to match your drayage service needs. We know that searching for quality service presents an added layer of complexity and stress to our customers. That's why we work hard to take that off your plate by connecting you with our reliable shipping partners.
With a background moving freight as an on-demand carrier, our founding partner understands how to maximize the resources and equipment of our carriers to match your needs.
Like other industries, the global logistics space is complex. Mistakes will be made, and problems will happen. With those truths in mind, RelyEx has built its reputation as problem solvers. Unlike other drayage companies, we don't shy away from this industry's complexities because we take pride in solving problems. Even better, we aim to do what's needed to avoid those problems altogether.
As your logistics partner, we will provide your company with accurate, transparent, and prompt communication. If there are unexpected issues, we'll notify you immediately and will provide several options to remedy the problem. We even offer custom reporting for large clients who need at-the-moment updates and quick access to shipment documentation.
Why let the unpredictability of your industry dictate your success? With a background working in manufacturing, our founders are familiar with the demands of managing production schedules and sales orders. That experience makes it abundantly clear to us that every business and industry is different. If you struggle with seasonal surges or other factors, our team supports your business with a mapped-out plan and schedule, so you stay ahead of the game.QUOTE REQUEST
Typically, shippers need four specific documents to clear shipments through customs: A Bill of Lading (or BOL), a commercial invoice, a packing list, and an arrival notice. Seasoned drayage brokers like RelyEx are used to preparing these documents, but new shippers tend to miss this step due to inexperience.
If a shipper only pays for part of their shipment, a vessel operator may refuse to release their freight until their bill is fully paid. Payment delays lead to cargo detention at the port of entry, which triggers demurrage charges.QUOTE REQUEST
Paperwork is needed when you're shipping goods with a drayage company. When documents like the Certificate of Origin or Bill of Lading arrive at their destination late, you can expect demurrage fees. RelyEx avoids this situation entirely by being proactive when submitting paperwork.
Additional causes for demurrage fees can include:
At RelyEx, we know first-hand how stressful supply chain problems can be for business owners. Though drayage shipping might seem minor on the surface, it affects every stage of your shipping process. And when inevitable hurdles manifest, RelyEx propels you over the proverbial roadblocks with a proactive mindset and a passion for challenging projects. We believe that all problems have a solution, and our unique vantage point allows us to provide first-hand solutions to customers in a wide array of industries.
When it comes to your business, don't settle for anything less than RelyEx. Contact our office today to learn more about how we make your shipping experience streamlined and stress-free.843-885-3082
Doctor's Expert Insights about Pets and Your Brain Health in GeorgiaKnow this: "Recent research is showing that for those over 50 and living alone--a furry friend can help slow down memory loss, and cognitive decline. Simple acts of taking care of pets through interaction, exercise, and communication, all acts of love, might be rewarding your brain by keeping it healthy and active. This insight can be particularly beneficial for people who are at a higher risk of cognitive decline. Now, keep in mind, t...
Know this: "Recent research is showing that for those over 50 and living alone--a furry friend can help slow down memory loss, and cognitive decline. Simple acts of taking care of pets through interaction, exercise, and communication, all acts of love, might be rewarding your brain by keeping it healthy and active. This insight can be particularly beneficial for people who are at a higher risk of cognitive decline. Now, keep in mind, this study doesn't show a complete correlation between pet ownership and a reduction in cognitive function. Rather, it shows that keeping your mind active is the best way to slow and delay cognitive decline--and your pets may help play an important role in maintaining good brain health." Dr. Adriana Davis, Family Medicine.
Beyond the news: This research adds to existing evidence that suggests pet ownership can help in healthy aging.
Next steps: Silver Sneakers provides free gym memberships and online fitness options for seniors in and around Savannah. Find out if you're eligible (Visit Resource Here)
"Perceived social support between humans is thought to provide benefits to mental health both directly and indirectly via stress buffering (Thoits, 2011). Although pets are not capable of providing tangible or instrumental support (e.g., a car ride to a doctor’s appointment), some studies suggest that they may provide owners with emotional support, particularly when owners are otherwise socially isolated..." (Study Source)
Key Drivers in Chatham County:
The study specifically found that people who were 65 or older and had owned their pet for more than five years showed better overall brain function over time compared to those who had pets for five years or less, or those who didn't have pets at all. This difference was most noticeable in tests that measured how well study participants could remember words.
Verbal memory is an important part of your cognitive function and can be impacted by chronic long-term stress.
It should be emphasized, that this study is observational and doesn’t establish a direct cause-effect relationship between pet ownership and reduced cognitive decline. More comprehensive research will be needed to understand the full impact of pets on cognitive health in various populations.
What they're saying: "Although causal biological pathways cannot be determined from these population-based data, our findings allow speculation about mechanisms by which sustained ownership of a pet could protect cognitive function. A growing number of studies have identified associations between pet ownership and factors linked to cognitive function in humans. One area of increasing interest is the effect of oxytocin on brain function. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide produced in the hypothalamus that influences lactation, reproductive function, and mother-infant bonding. Oxytocin has also been shown to affect social cognition and memory encoding in humans (Guastella et al., 2008). Several studies have identified associations between oxytocin levels and pet interaction and bonding among dog owners... raising questions about oxytocin as a mechanism by which pet ownership could benefit cognitive health." (Study Source)
All of these variables above play an important role in the outcomes of your overall health.
The Health Standard Newswire.
Enter to Win Savannah magazine’s ‘So Savannah’ Photo ContestSavannah magazine is excited to introduce our second annual “So Savannah” photo contest — inspired by the city’s inimitable beauty and creative spirit.We’re looking for professional, amateur and student (under 18 years of age) photographers to share their best original images that capture the essence of the Greater Savannah area and Georgia coast.Cash prizes:Amateur Category...
Savannah magazine is excited to introduce our second annual “So Savannah” photo contest — inspired by the city’s inimitable beauty and creative spirit.
We’re looking for professional, amateur and student (under 18 years of age) photographers to share their best original images that capture the essence of the Greater Savannah area and Georgia coast.
Amateur Category = $400Professional Category = $400Student (under 18 years of age) = $200Readers’ Favorite = $200
Each applicant may submit up to five images in only one of the categories.
Submissions will be judged by the Savannah magazine team as well as a panel of guest judges. The finalists and winning photographs will appear in the July/August 2024 issue of Savannah magazine.
Additionally, Savannah magazine will host an online Readers’ Favorite award at savannahmagazine.com. That winner will be announced in the September/October 2024 issue and receive a $200 prize.
All submitted photographs must be in digital format. Only online entries will be eligible. No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry into this contest.
All submitted photographs must be in digital format. Only online entries will be eligible. No print or film submissions will be accepted for entry into this contest. All digital files must be 10 megabytes or smaller, in JPEG, .jpeg or .jpg format, and at least 5,000 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 3,000 pixels tall (if a vertical image) at 300 dpi.
By entering this contest, participants grant Savannah magazine the right to use and publish their names and photographs in print and online.
The contest and all of the related pages, contents and code are copyright of Savannah magazine. Copying or unauthorized use of any copyrighted materials, trademarks, or any other intellectual property without the express written consent of its owner is strictly prohibited.
Photographers submitting in the contest also grant to Visit Savannah (Savannah Convention and Visitors Bureau) the right to use and publish their name and photograph in print and online. Photographers waive any liability or claims against Savannah magazine, Morris Communications or related parties/officers/employees for entry into the So Savannah contest, including such photo usage by Morris Communications or Visit Savannah.
Entrants agree to abide by the terms of these official rules and by the decisions of the contest administrators.
Employees of Savannah magazine, its respective parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, and the immediate family members of each are not eligible.
Online privacy concerns focus on the protection of “personally identifiable” information which an individual or customer reasonable expects to be kept private. As the term suggests, “personally identifiable” information is information that can be associated with a specific individual or entity.
The only personally identifiable information Savannah magazine obtains about individual users through our web sites is information supplied voluntarily by the user. Users interacting with our sites may provide Savannah magazine with name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, domain name or URL or other personally identifiable information that Savannah magazine may use for its own business purposes. Savannah magazine will collect and use this information for the ability to provide and change service, to anticipate and resolve problems with your service, for billing purposes, or to create or inform you of products and services that better meet your needs.
Savannah magazine does collect some non-personally identifiable generic information about our users as a means of measuring the effectiveness of our web sites. Savannah magazine identifies certain user information in the normal course of operation, but such information does not reveal a user’s personal identity. We collect this information only in the aggregate and use it to evaluate and improve our web sites. The following are examples of non-personally identifiable generic information:
IP Addresses: An IP address is a number that is assigned to a user’s computer whenever that user is using the World Wide Web. Web site servers must be able to identify individual computers by their IP address. Savannah magazine collects IP addresses for the purposes of system administration security and to report aggregate usage information. Savannah magazine does not link IP addresses to any personally identifiable information.
Computer settings: Settings, technical and other information from your computer, such as your operating system, browser version, connectivity, various communication parameters and other information related to the operation and interaction of Savannah magazine web sites may be collected by Savannah magazine. Except as otherwise provided in this policy, Savannah magazine will use such information solely in order to provide technically appropriate formatting of information provided by Savannah magazine. The collection of this information will not include any personally identifiable information about you or any individual user.
Savannah magazine will not sell, trade, or disclose to third parties any personally identifiable information derived from registration for or use of a Savannah magazine service without the consent of the customer, except as required by subpoena, search warrant, or court order pursuant to applicable law, regulation or legal process or in the case of imminent physical harm to the customer or others.
Any user who does not wish to receive further contacts from Savannah magazine may write to 6602 Abercorn St., Suite 202, Savannah, GA 31405.
Savannah magazine will protect the confidentiality of its customer’s personally identifiable information to the fullest extent possible and consistent with law and legitimate interests of Savannah magazine and its employees. To protect the loss, misuse, and alteration of such information, Savannah magazine has appropriate physical, electronic and management procedures in place.
Savannah magazine is not responsible for the content or the privacy practices of non-Savannah magazine websites, including web sites reached through a link on a Savannah magazine website. Other web sites may have different privacy policies, or no policy. Users should review the privacy policies of any web site before providing personal information.
The historic architecture and palpable charm of Savannah, Georgia, make it one of the most beautiful cities in the South. Live oaks dripping in Spanish moss loom over stately town squares, and a thriving culinary scene draws foodies from around the country. Thanks to its coastal location, Savannah has a consistently mild (if humid) climate, but the weather fluctuations that do exist help dictate its tourist seasons, which are as follows.Spring brings azalea blooms and the lion's share of tourists, but don't overlook the shoulder seaso...
The historic architecture and palpable charm of Savannah, Georgia, make it one of the most beautiful cities in the South. Live oaks dripping in Spanish moss loom over stately town squares, and a thriving culinary scene draws foodies from around the country. Thanks to its coastal location, Savannah has a consistently mild (if humid) climate, but the weather fluctuations that do exist help dictate its tourist seasons, which are as follows.
Spring brings azalea blooms and the lion's share of tourists, but don't overlook the shoulder season, says Amanda Marks, a Les Clefs d’Or concierge at Thompson Savannah. “I love our fall weather, and recommend coming to Savannah in November before Thanksgiving."
Keep reading for more details on the best times to visit Savannah for fantastic weather, smaller crowds, lower prices, and more.
“In my 20 years living here, I’ve found that Savannah is most crowded in spring (March, April, and May) and fall (September, October, and early November),” Marks says. So if you’re looking to admire Georgian homes or amble down River Street with fewer people around, consider booking your trip in January or February. Marks says that January is the quietest month in terms of travelers, but that some attractions may be closed this time of year, too.
Summer is another less-busy season, though it also brings challenging weather. Temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit are common in July and August, and humidity is usually sky-high, too. If you can tolerate that — or if the main goal for your trip is simply to enjoy the city's delightful (and air-conditioned) restaurants and nearby beaches — a summer visit may be worth considering, since it'll likely reward you with smaller-than-average crowds.
The best weather in Savannah comes in spring and fall. Temperatures range from the high 50s to the mid-80s from March to June, when trees and flowers — most notably, azaleas — come into bloom and adorn the city with lush hues of green and pink. Prepare for a spring visit by packing layers, including a rain jacket or umbrella. “Nearly every afternoon, at around 3 p.m., it will rain for 30 to 40 minutes,” Marks says. But don’t let a little rain deter you. “Savannah is beautiful during and right after the rain. When the Spanish moss is draped with raindrops, it sparkles in the sun,” she explains.
If you can’t swing an early spring trip, Perry Lane Hotel staffer and lifelong Savannah resident Mandy Heldreth says to aim for June. You might squeeze in a visit just before the higher temperatures and humidity arrive, which tends to be in July and August.
The autumn portion of Savannah’s shoulder season, from mid-September to mid-November, is another time to find travel-friendly weather. Heldreth says that this is when “the city begins to cool off” again, with daytime temps in the low 70s.
Unsurprisingly, the limited demand seen in Savannah’s off-season translates to lower prices on accommodations. “When visiting in the off-season — before President’s Day, during the summer, or from November through the end of the year — more savings can be had," says Marks, "and exploring the city may be more enjoyable and easier to navigate with less foot traffic around." Try visiting at these less-popular times for a deal on the great hotels that showcase Savannah's Southern hospitality.
Off-peak months like January and November can also bring discounted airfare — though there's a chance you can snag a deal on flights at any time of year. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is served by several budget carriers, including Allegiant, which connects the city to nearly a dozen major and not-so-major airports (Appleton, Wisconsin, anyone?) across the country. Though you'll have to pack light and watch out for hidden fees, these airlines can be a great way to get to Savannah for the lowest price possible.
Like Charleston and other Southern cities, Savannah hosts many events and festivals in the spring and fall, when the weather is at its best. “St. Patrick’s Day is considered a holiday in Savannah,” Marks says, “and while many attractions and tours are closed, we do have a fantastic parade to watch and enjoy.” Music and art are also a large part of local culture — the city is home to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), after all — and spring celebrations include the Savannah Music Festival and the SCAD Sidewalk Arts Festival. “The art students gather in Forsyth Park and draw on the sidewalks, creating beautiful masterpieces for everyone to enjoy,” Marks says of the latter.
In September, Savannah Jazz Festival’s live performances are held at Lucas Theatre, the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, and Forsyth Park over the course of a week. October has its own set of events and festivals, too, including SCAD Savannah Film Festival, Savannah Pride, and the Savannah Greek Festival. Plus, it's a great time to enjoy the city's famous spooky side.
Though it's more affordable and less crowded, summer in Savannah isn't ideal for most travelers, given the sweltering temperatures and oppressive humidity found in July and August. Unless you love heat, it's best to avoid visiting during this stretch. Also on the subject of weather, it's smart to note that hurricane season runs from June to November. Though Savannah isn't as vulnerable to tropical storms as much of the southeast (thanks to the sharp inward curve the coastline takes just north of the city), a direct or indirect hit is always possible — and it may be a risk some travelers would prefer to avoid.
Spring is generally regarded as the best season to visit the city, but if you're more interested in affordability than perfect weather, you may want to bypass the pricey peak period. The off-season months of January and February are some of the most affordable of the year, and though they won't be warm and sunny, they won't be ice-cold either — winter temperatures rarely dip below 40 degrees.
Hoping for a white Christmas in 2023?If you’re spending the holiday in Savannah, keep dreaming.It’s happened just once in the more than 150 years since climatological record-keeping began in the area, according to the National Weather Service.A couple inches lingered into the holiday in 1989 after a freak winter storm blasted areas from Florida to North Carolina. But Savannah has never seen a measurable amount of snow actually fall on Christmas Day.That’s because coastal G...
Hoping for a white Christmas in 2023?
If you’re spending the holiday in Savannah, keep dreaming.
It’s happened just once in the more than 150 years since climatological record-keeping began in the area, according to the National Weather Service.
A couple inches lingered into the holiday in 1989 after a freak winter storm blasted areas from Florida to North Carolina. But Savannah has never seen a measurable amount of snow actually fall on Christmas Day.
That’s because coastal Georgia’s subtropical climate keeps temperatures well above freezing most of the time. Historically, the average high temperature on Dec. 25 in Savannah is 61 and the normal low is 42.
Warmer winter air can hold more moisture. But where that moisture falls — and whether it falls as rain or snow — mainly depends on temperatures. Fewer freezes raise the likelihood of moisture falling as rain — not snow.
Winter warming tied to climate change further stretches the already-long odds for holiday snowfall.
Winter, in fact, is Savannah’s fastest-warming season — a phenomenon being experienced by much of the U.S. Locally, the average temperature from December through February (considered the climatological winter) climbed 3.6 degrees over the past half-century, according to Climate Central, which tracks long-term weather trends.
Climate Central’s predicted probability of a snowy Savannah Christmas this year? Zero.
In 1989, the largest snowstorm to ever hit the Southeast U.S. coast arrived just in time to hamper holiday travel in a region already unaccustomed to – and unprepared for – extreme wintery weather.
Snow began to fall in Savannah at about 7 p.m. on Dec. 22, according to the National Weather Service. By Christmas Eve, a total of 3.6 inches had accumulated at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
In South Carolina, Charleston reported 8 inches, and Myrtle Beach was buried under a record 14 inches. In Florida, areas as far south as Jacksonville were blanketed.
Frigid conditions contributed to wintry atmosphere. On Dec. 23, temperatures in Savannah peaked at just 22 degrees. That was the coldest high temperature recorded in the city for the entire 20th century. Highs climbed into the low 40s on Christmas Day, but a covering of snow remained over much of the city.
Highs hit a balmy 82 degrees on Dec. 25, 2015. That’s a full 60 degrees warmer than the maximum temperature for the area’s lone White Christmas and more than 20 degrees above the normal high.
While the absence of snow is pretty much a sure bet, predicting whether shirtsleeves or ugly sweaters will be appropriate for Savannah’s holiday season is a challenge. Over the last four Christmases, for example, the high temperatures yo-yoed from 69 in 2019 to 44 in 2020, to 73 in 2021 and back down to 45 last year.
The coldest Christmas ever in Savannah was in 1983, when the low dipped to 10 degrees. That actually tied for the fourth-coldest temperature ever recorded in the city (the all-time low was 3 degrees on Jan. 21, 1985).
A year later, in 1984, Savannah hit 80 degrees on Christmas.
Savannah experienced its wettest Christmas back in 1873, when nearly 2 inches of rain soaked the area.
John Deem covers climate change and the environment in coastal Georgia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New traditions are popping up around Savannah, and one of the most exciting is the first Savannah Bluegrass Festival coming Feb. 16, 2024.Savannah, a city known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and southern charm, is now preparing for its first-ever bluegrass festival, aptly named the Savannah Bluegrass Festival. This exciting event is set to showcase the finest talents in the bluegrass genre, with the renowned Yonder Mountain String Band headlining the festival.Yonder Mountain String Band, who hail from Colorado, bring a...
New traditions are popping up around Savannah, and one of the most exciting is the first Savannah Bluegrass Festival coming Feb. 16, 2024.
Savannah, a city known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and southern charm, is now preparing for its first-ever bluegrass festival, aptly named the Savannah Bluegrass Festival. This exciting event is set to showcase the finest talents in the bluegrass genre, with the renowned Yonder Mountain String Band headlining the festival.
Yonder Mountain String Band, who hail from Colorado, bring a non-conformist approach to bluegrass, combining jazz, country, folk, and even reggae influences with authentic roots music. By incorporating non-traditional instruments like drums, they add complexity and depth to their compositions. Their electrifying live performances, often featuring extended jam sessions, have captivated audiences worldwide, creating an unforgettable experience.
Yonder Mountain String Band's progressive spirit has inspired numerous other bands to experiment with different styles while honoring the essence of bluegrass. This notion speaks to the power of their sense of community, the bond they have forged with listeners who crave innovation yet appreciate the traditional elements that make bluegrass unique.
It's important to understand the historical context of bluegrass to appreciate its recent rise in popularity. Bluegrass emerged in the early 20th century, combining Appalachian mountain music with the energy of the modern industrial age. Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, with the banjo stylings of Earl Scruggs, transformed the genre into something fast, virtuosic, and unforgettable. However, bluegrass's popularity declined with the rise of rock and electric instruments, leading many to consider it outdated.
Times, however, are changing. Acoustic music, with its unfiltered and authentic sound, is regaining its appeal. America's younger generation, in their search for authenticity, has rediscovered the country's earliest string bands, finding their sound replicated in trendy bars across major cities. You cannot find further proof of Bluegrass's popularity than Billy Stings playing monster festivals like Bonnaroo. Even in traditional concert halls, bluegrass's influence is felt, with classical musicians like Yo-Yo Ma embracing instrumentalists whose virtuosity mirrors their own. But what has sparked the surge in bluegrass's popularity?
We asked Yonder Mountain String Band's bassist, Ben Kaufman, about the revival of bluegrass music across the United States and beyond. Kaufman quickly responded, "The simple answer to the question is because bluegrass music is awesome," he chuckled. "But it may also be because people from different backgrounds are finding bluegrass bands, with perhaps non-traditional styles, that provide access to this amazing music." Kaufman believed that without innovation, traditional musical forms run the risk of becoming museum pieces. Luckily, bluegrass had managed to break free from that fate, with countless banjo-driven melodies captivating audiences worldwide.
As Kaufman reflected on their journey, he marveled at how bluegrass had evolved over the two decades they have been together. "From what I’ve seen, the evolution of bluegrass involves musicians with non-bluegrass backgrounds falling in love with the sounds, songs, and instruments of bluegrass and then combining their own influences and songwriting instincts with that more traditional form," Kaufman said. "I think of it as many limbs and branches growing from the trunk of a vital and thriving tree."
Yonder Mountain String Band had always been known for their incredibly dedicated fanbase, a community of passionate music lovers known as the "Kinfolk." When asked about their secret to cultivating such a deep connection with their listeners, Kaufman smiled and said, "So much of Yonder's fan base was self-motivated. We created an environment at our shows where people felt themselves part of a community and a family. It’s telling that our fans came to call themselves 'Kinfolk.' I certainly hope that can be felt by the people who come to see us and that when attending a Yonder show, they feel at home."
The inclusion of homegrown talents like Swamptooth and the Salt Flat Pickers in the Savannah Bluegrass Festival showcases the strength and vibrancy of the local music scene. These bands not only contribute to the festival's diverse lineup but also demonstrate the wealth of talent that resides within Savannah.
Filling out the roster is Florida's own, Remedy Tree, and Colby T Helms and The Virginia Creepers.
Bluegrass music's power lies not only in its musicality but also in its cultural significance. It sits on the fault line of America's political divide, being deeply rooted in the folk tradition of the South. Bluegrass is an art form learned from generations before, played communally in informal jam sessions, where solos are passed around, each instrument attempting to surpass what came before. It remains a fundamentally democratic and social music, inviting anyone who can hold their own to join in.
The peculiar cultural exchange that occurred between the blue-collar performers and middle-class city kids at festival campgrounds widened bluegrass's appeal further. This fusion led to the exploration of boundaries, with artists incorporating jazz, rock, and psychedelic influences into bluegrass. While the definition of bluegrass has been fiercely contested, with strict rules regarding rhythm and instrumentation, the genre has proven to be adaptable, attracting artists who want to take it somewhere new while still honoring its roots.
Rich Henrich, Savannah Bluegrass Festival's executive director, explained why Savannah was chosen as the location. "Savannah's dynamic nature and rich musical history were the main factors that drew me to host the festival here. The blend of regional and international culture, along with the thriving music scene, makes Savannah a perfect fit for a bluegrass festival," Henrich said.
Henrich also mentioned the charm of the Starland District, with its multitude of small businesses, restaurants, and shops, as a contributing factor in choosing Savannah as the festival's location. "The Starland District has a unique vibe and offers the perfect setting for a festival of this nature. It adds to the overall experience for both performers and attendees."
When asked about why the Savannah Bluegrass Festival is such a good fit for the city, Henrich highlighted the growing demand for music festivals in Savannah. He said, "We have seen the success of events like the Savannah Music Festival and Savannah Jazz Festival. Bluegrass adds another dimension to the music scene, and we believe there is a demand for it."
Henrich acknowledged the tremendous support from Brian Goldman and Victory North in bringing this vision to life. He mentioned, "Victory North is a fantastic venue with a dedicated team, and they have been instrumental in making this festival possible. It's great to have their support."
Dr. Mohamed Eldibany, the owner of Victory North, expressed his delight in being chosen as the host venue for the Savannah Bluegrass Festival. He said, "I am thrilled to have the festival at Victory North. This is the beginning of another long-standing festival in our city, and we are already witnessing many wonderful things happening in the Starland area."
Eldibany mentioned that Victory North has had great success with bluegrass-themed concerts in the past, featuring acclaimed artists such as the Dead South, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Daniel Donato's Cosmic Country. He added, "We have a history of hosting exceptional bluegrass acts, and having the festival here is a testament to our commitment to promoting this genre of music."
With the enthusiastic support of Victory North and the vision of Rich Henrich, the Savannah Bluegrass Festival promises to be an exciting addition to the city's vibrant music scene. Henrich said, "By bringing together renowned artists like the Yonder Mountain String Band and celebrating the thriving music and cultural fabric of Savannah, we aim to solidify the Savannah Bluegrass Festival as a must-see event for both locals and music enthusiasts from afar."
Finally, Henrich noted Savannah's popularity as a tourist destination as a contributing factor in creating an event that would appeal to locals and music enthusiasts from other areas. "Savannah is a city that attracts tourists from all over the world. Bluegrass is a genre with wide popularity, reaching audiences across the country, Europe, and beyond. It's an ideal fit for Savannah's blend of roots music and culture," he said.
As Savannah prepares for its inaugural bluegrass festival, excitement fills the air. This event not only celebrates the city's rich musical heritage but also exemplifies the resurgence and evolution of bluegrass music. From the traditional sounds of Bill Monroe to the groundbreaking innovations of the Yonder Mountain String Band, bluegrass continues to captivate and inspire, making its mark on audiences worldwide.
As the Yonder Mountain String Band prepares to return to Savannah for the festival, Kaufman couldn't contain his excitement. "We've enjoyed every moment we've gotten to spend in Savannah and can't wait to come back!" he exclaimed. The city holds a special place in their hearts, and they cherish the opportunity to share their music with the people of Savannah once again.
Ticket announcement coming soon.