For years, the Savannah-based musicians in Perpetual Groove were stuck in the middle. Made less desirable by the music scenes of Jacksonville, Fla., and Charleston, S.C., Savannah didn't attract artists. As a result, there were no venues to play. Looking for better opportunities, the band picked up and moved to Athens.
"Savannah is a very precarious place to be musicians," singer Brock Butler says. "Even if someone opened up a venue comparable to those [in the other cities], it wouldn't do as well."
The change in ZIP code brought a change in philosophy. Before an evening set at the Echo Project two weeks ago, keyboardist Matt McDonald explained how the musicians, including bassist Adam Perry and drummer Albert Suttle, are leading by example. During the planning stages for the jam band's third album, Tree Leaf Music approached Perpetual Groove with an idea: Put on shows and record CDs with renewable resources, McDonald says. The energy costs for LIVELOVEDIE, released in March, were offset by Green Mountain Energy. Recycled waste formed a base for the liner notes, and the lyrics were printed using soy inks.
"We're not ones to preach from the stage," McDonald says, admitting that the process was initiated entirely by the record company. "We were the guinea pigs, but nobody had any reservations."
The only question mark was extra money, something McDonald looked into by calculating what it would take for his family to go green for an entire year. The difference: $144. While the band's costs are significantly more, the slight increase in expenses seemed worth it.
"That's such a small amount to spend to do something that helps out," he says.
Perpetual Groove anchors a Halloween Spectacular Wed., Oct. 31, at Variety Playhouse. $17.50-$22.50. 8:30 p.m.
To hear "Save for One" from Perpetual Groove's latest release, click here.
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