Gallery: On Stage with Steel Petals, Elim Bolt, and More

From the Isle of Palms to West Ashley, we got an earful of cool local music over the weekend — and we shot a few snapshots, too. Local blues-rock power trio Steel Petals headlined the Windjammer on Fri. Nov. 9 behind a brand-new studio album titled Ligero. Lead singer, guitarist, and pedal steel player Blake Ohlson cranked out a beautifully nasty tone with solid support from a newly enlisted rhythm section: bassist Jeff Narkiewicz and drummer Shank Wilson. Their heaviest new material leaned into vintage AC/DC-meets-the James Gang territory. Wilmington. N.C. roots-rock quartet the Fustics — led by singer/guitarist Brad Heller — opened the show with a sturdy set of twangy originals, many of which drew from the hook-filled catalogs of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and early Son Volt. A party of bridesmaids and a few older stragglers attempted to shag to both sets.

We caught the tail end of East Cooper band Fowler’s Mustache at Mt. Pleasant watering hole Art’s Bar & Grill on Friday night, too. They were bit tighter than the previous Art’s gig when singer/guitarist Matt Stanley was MIA. They were missing their bandmate Nick Collins, who continues to recover from severe injuries from a late-summer auto crash, but they had guest pianist Matt Goss of local band Savage Tongues on hand to fill a few sonic gaps. Singer/guitarist Thomas McElwee’s twisted reworking of the Talking Heads’ “Cities” (from the album Fear of Music) was a highlight. Their loose version of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” with a certain Metronome staffer on guitar was amusingly tragic.

On Sat. Nov. 10, we caught a quick glimpse of singer/guitarost Lindsay Holler and her trio (drummer Stuart White and Oh Ginger bandmate pianist Michael Hanf) at Art’s before heading over to the Tin Roof for local quintet Elim Bolt‘s CD release show for their new collection Nude South (Hearts & Plugs).

Scott Dence may be best known for his flexible handiwork in M-Tank, Boring Portals, and Sans Jose, but his opening set at the Roof was a one-man band deal where he played a bas drum and high-hat/tambourine set-up with his feet while strumming guitar and singing. Versions of the Stooges’ “TV Eye” and the Cramps’ “Garbageman” were cool surprises in the grungy set. In town by way of Greenville, Modern Man followed in full volume. Singer/guitarist David Allen Glenn and his bandmates stormed through reverb ‘n’ delay-soaked set of outer-space rock.

A sizable crowd of friends and fans packed in for Elim Bolt’s closing set. Singer/guitarist Johnnie Matthews and his bandmates — drummer Ryan Zimmerman, bassist Christian Chidester, guitarist Jordan Hicks, backing vocalist Amber Joyner, and organist Dan McCurry — delivered most of the seven-song Nude South plus a few extras with an intense, slightly deranged sense of romantic charm. Zimmerman’s hard-hitting style propelled the set, and Matthews’ Orbisonic vibrato and howls soared over the band’s dense sound.




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About the Author

Ballard Lesemann

is a musician and writer. Born and raised in Charleston, S.C., he spent years playing in bands and working for Flagpole Magazine in the bustling music town of Athens, Ga. He returned to his hometown and served more than seven years as the Charleston City Paper's music editor. He's better at drumming than he is at playing guitar.

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