Published on August 22nd, 2013 | by Jessica Mickey and Ballard Lesemann0
Loaded for the Fall at the Charleston Music Hall
Ever since Charles Carmody took the reigns over as manager at the Charleston Music Hall last year, he’s brought a refreshing and impressive new vigor and consistency to what was once considered a venue featuring stale programming. Shows such as the Unchained Tour featuring Neil Gaiman to Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum and the homecoming show of local-made-good duo of Shovels and Rope to national-touring comedians Wyatt Cenac and Bill Burr have been keeping the lights on what used to normally be dark evenings at the Hall.
The Charleston Music Hall has been supporting local acts as well, providing a stage for the Lowcountry Comedy Tour, Steven Fiore’s album release, Crowfield’s farewell performance, Elise Testone’s Valentine’s Day concert, the Holy City Pop Show featuring Luke Cunningham and the soon-to-be-defunct Explorer’s Club, and Sol Driven Train’s two-set album release concert.
A series of recent show announcements makes it clear that Carmody and the Music Hall intend to keep going with this successful programming methodology full throttle.
To round out the month of August, the Hall will welcome the ever-busy Steep Canyon Rangers on August 22 at 8 p.m. — this time sans Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, whom they visited the PAC with earlier this year. North Carolina-based singer/songwriter Shannon Whitworth will join the bluegrass ensemble, bringing a smooth and Smoky Mountains-tinged vocal to the mix. The show is co-sponsored by the diligently supportive local music venue and collective Awendaw Green. Tickets are still available for $20 and can be purchased at Monster Music and Movies and Cats Music, and by phone at (800) 514-3849.
Programming kicks back into full swing in September with Grass in the Hall, a popular bluegrass/Americana series presented by Awendaw Green. Folk/old-time combo The South Carolina Broadcasters (now based in North Carolina), Angel Snow, and Mandolin Orange will take the stage on Fri. Sept. 13. The next installment of the Grass in the Hall series is set for Fri. Oct. 11 with BlueBilly Grit, Cranford & Sons, and the Grascals. Advance tickets for both shows are on sale for $15.
As Metronome Charleston announced last week, songstress and all-around local darling Rachel Kate will celebrate the official release of her new studio album Rachel Kate with Love and Hate the very next day on Sat. Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. The roster features two of her pals: Charleston-based singer/songwriter Jordan Igoe and Jackson, Tenn.-based country singer The Kernal. Advance tickets are on sale for $12.50.
On Sat. Sept. 21, Charleston Music Hall mainstay the Charleston Jazz Orchestra returns to the stage in full force with Latin Night: The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Co-presented by independent musical nonprofit the Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC), the event will feature two individual concerts at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Conductor/trumpeter Charlton Singleton and the 20-piece ensemble will explore the lively and complex works of Brazilian composer and pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim. Advance tickets are available for $25-$40.
This week, the venue announced that it will play host to two of Charleston’s most significant indie pop bands, veteran act Slow Runner (pictured above) and young Hearts & Plugs troupers Brave Baby, as well as award-winning comedian Dusty Slay, on Fri. Sept. 27 at 8:30 p.m.
Slow Runner mastermind/singer/keyboardist Michael Flynn and longtime collaborator Josh Kaler have been carefully juggling family duties, studio work, tours, and performances for the last few years. Kaler stays particularly busy with sessions at downtown recording studio Hello Telescope. Slow Runner shows are rare occurrences.
Earlier this week, Flynn posted a message to fans stating that the Music Hall show would likely be the band’s last performance for quite a while: “We’re not breaking up, and, in fact, we’ll probably still be making records when we’re decrepit and senile and barely able to speak in coherent sentences,” Flynn wrote. “But we’re taking an indefinite break after this show for a few reasons. One is that Josh has some amazing musical opportunities pulling him away from his beloved Charleston. He’s not falling off the face of the earth and, like many of you, I’m going to miss him terribly — but we both felt like the timing was right. Also, we can make records long-distance, and the process won’t really be that different for us.”
“We’re really proud of all the music we’ve made in the last decade and hope you’ll join us at the Charleston Music Hall to celebrate it,” he added. “If there was ever a Slow Runner show to use as an excuse to visit Charleston, this is it. ” promise not to cry for at least the first half.”
Flynn already has a new solo album in the works for a release sometime in early 2014. Advance tickets for the Sept. 27 show are available for $15. Visit slowrunnermusic.com for more info.
There are plenty more converts and special events on the horizon at the Charleston Music Hall, including performances by David Sedaris, Charleston Jazz Orchestra (doing a bebop show), Robert Earl Keen, Sarah Jarosz, and YALL Fest.
Visit charlestonmusichall.com for full details and ticket info. And pat Charles Carmody on the back if you get the chance.
Top photo by Jon Santiago.
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