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Savannah Bordieri hopes to write and record her first album by the end of next summer, when she’s not so busy with homework.
Palm Coast Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 7 years ago

Teen singer strums with spunk

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by: Mike Cavaliere Multimedia Director

Savannah Bordieri, 14, will lead a band of middle-aged men Nov. 19, in St. Augustine.

Savannah Bordieri, a 14-year-old high-school freshman who swings her legs on stools and hits imaginary rim shots after cracking jokes, hates public speaking. During presentations at school, she blushes.

But ask her to pick up her guitar and play you a song, one-on-one, in the bright of a Friday afternoon inside her father’s printing shop, and she won’t hesitate.

She’ll even play you two.

“When I’m put on the spot, I feel, like, shy and weird,” she says. “(But) I’m going to be performing at the St. Augustine Amphitheater, and there’s going to be so many people there, and I’m not even nervous!”

For the past five months, Savannah has been performing with local band Low Profile, a group of middle-aged men who have been touring Flagler’s bar circuit for the past 30 years, at places like McCharacters Music Café & Sports Bar.

The winner of Kids Rock the Nation’s first guitar giveaway last December, she will be fronting the band Nov. 19, for a showcase at the St. Augustine Amphitheater.

“I have short, stubby, little fingers,” Bordieri says, explaining that when she first began learning guitar — she taught herself how to play, as well as how to read and write music, from YouTube videos — she found it hard to hit full-fret bar chords.

But within six months, she was playing full songs. Today, she’s adding keyboard to her instrument list, has written two originals and is trying to nail the intro to Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.”

The first song she sings is “Rolling in the Deep,” by Adele, a 23-year-old singer-songwriter with a huge voice and sprawling range. It’s a track Bordieri says took her less than 30 minutes to learn and, maybe, all of two days to master.

Strumming the first chord, Savannah transforms. She’s not a teenage freshman anymore; she’s a performer. Her voice fills her father’s print shop. She doesn’t blush, or shake or stammer.

(She only giggles when I jump out of my chair for a high-five, only to realize the song wasn’t over, but in a bridge.)

“She’s hardwired for the music part,” says Ralph Abraham, drummer for Low Profile and worker in Bordieri’s dad’s shop, Vinny the Printer. He heard Savannah singing in the shop one day and asked if she’d want to play a few songs with him at The Golden Lion Café. She did, and ever since, he says, she’s evolved faster than anyone he’s seen.

He calls her a musical “prodigy.”

She’s so good, he says, that his rock band goes pop for her setlists. They play Taylor Swift songs, Adele, Justin Beiber.

“Our band is her band now, whenever she needs us,” he says. “You’ll see her somewhere soon; I would bet my life on it.”

Bordieri’s father, who calls himself Savannah’s “roadie,” says: “We’re pretty blown away. As parents, we just can’t believe it … I love live music, so every time she plays to me, it’s like a mini-concert.”

Savannah stands up for her next song, Justin Beiber’s “Baby.” She tweaks the style, giving it an oldies, bluesy feel, something she does often, to make the song fit her.

As she starts, Abraham leans back, tapping his fingers on a cardboard box. Savannah sings. Her father smiles.

Playing with the full band, Savannah has heard entire bars go dead quiet. Everybody stopped. And she thought, Wow, they’re stopping because of me. It’s that feeling that keeps her so passionate.

Bordieri performs with Low Profile three Saturdays per month at McCharacters, as well as at any open-mic night she can find.

They’ll play Oct. 29, at Golden Lion’s Halloween party. Savannah will perform in costume, as Darth Vadar.

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