Gallery: Winter Snapshots from the Clubs, Concert Halls, and More




Metronome Charleston ventured out and about over the last three weeks to catch a weird range of local and visiting acts — from amped up punk-funk and beer-fueled bar-rock to eclectic Americana and delicate indie-pop.

Singer/sax player Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher led the mighty Fishbone through a wildly energetic set at the Pour House on Feb. 15. The L.A.-based ensemble was loud, proud, and positively upbeat. Moore dove off stage more than a few times. The vigorously unpredictable Mike Dillon Band opened with a percussive set of their own, accented by an impromptu rap by the shirtless bandleader.

We caught a brief set of local blues-rock band Disco Demolition Knights at Home Team BBQ in West Ashley on Feb. 21. Guitarist-singer Brian Graham had invited bassist Thomas Champagne and drummer Tommy Hamer to play the show [I was somehow talked into sitting in on a classic Black Sabbath anthem].

That same evening, we swung next door to the Tin Roof to see local combo Elim Bolt (with special guest Nick Jenkins on the kit), a new version of New York’s Wilder Maker, and singer/guitarist Mike Mewborne of Columbia’s the Lovely Few (Elim Bolt’s Hearts & Plugs labelmates). The low-key Mewborne struggled with computer/electricity problems early in his set, but he “powered” through okay. Elim Bolt’s Johnnie Matthews happily collapsed to the floor after their closing number.

Sol Driven Train’s triumphant, two-set album release concert at the Charleston Music Hall on Feb. 22 featured a slew of special musical guests and surprises (read Stratton Lawrence’s review here). They played most of their new disc Underdog and much more.

The Charleston Brewvival beer festival drew a sold-out crowd to North Charleston on Feb. 23. Nashville’s Kingston Springs shared the music stage with Americana trio James Justin and Co. and local singer/guitarist Graham Whorley (click here for the full gallery and review).

Local indie pop/Americana singer/guitarist Julie Slonecki and her backing back headlined the Tin Roof on Feb. 27, playing much of her new collection titled TRUTH/IDEALS. She joked about her lead guitar abilities, but much of her licks were pretty damn cool and solid. Local singer/guitarist Harper Marchman-Jones (Urban Praise band, Clint 4) opened the show under the stage name Hark! The Marching Bones.

Toward the end of the night on Feb. 27, we caught the tail-end of the reggae-tinged foursome Cribbulous Quattro at the Red Drum Gastropub in Mt. Pleasant. Led by local singer/guitarist Derek Cribb, they jammed well with lead guitarist Tommy Gielingh, drummer Jeffrey Mangan, and bassist John Picard on hand.

The Awareness Rocks benefit — an annual party and fundraiser for the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance (MUSC) — took place at Castaways Grille on James Island on March 1. Local folk-pop quintet Moonlight Ale opened the show. MUSC’s Dr. Paul O’Brien hit the stage as the guest vocalist with a ramshackle version of the Bad Signs (featuring members of Booty Call and Outervention). Century City — combo featuring singer/guitarist Ryan Bailey, lead guitarist Carl Wine, and bassist Shawn Leberknight — played a set entirely comprised of songs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers [I got to sit in on drums again].

Gypsy-rock duo Megan Jean and the KFB returned to Charleston after a lengthy road trip to headline their official CD release show at the Tin Roof on March 1. To a packed house, they celebrated their long-awaited new studio album The Devil Herself with opening trio Paleface. Megan Jean and Byrne Klay recently announced plans to relocate from the Lowcountry to Atlanta, but they’ll be back and forth plenty through the rest of the year or so.

One of the most anticipated local concerts of the winter was the Shovels & Rope homecoming show at the Charleston Music Hall, which sold-out hard last month. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent spent much of 2012 on the road traveling to across the U.S. in support of the harmony-laden, self-produced album O’ Be Joyful. Singer/guitarist Bill Carson and guests opened the show. Local photographer Anne Chandler was there. “Bill Carson was great — very mellow,” she reported. ” I loved the xylophone bell things Rachel Kate played. Carson reminded me of Buddy Holly. And Jonathan Gray made the songs real and more expressive with his bass.

Cary and Michael were great,” Chandler added. “Tore it up. Came out with a boom. Four songs went by like a shot out of cannon. Then they switched up between drums and guitar. You could tell they were so excited. My momma was with us, and she was dancing by the end. Mom said, ‘You know the best thing about the whole show, other than the music, is that you can really tell they are in love. You can see it and hear it.’ I thought that about summed it up.”





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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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