Interviews Graham Whorley (photo by Ballard Lesemann)

Published on September 11th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


The Punch List with Singer/Guitarist Graham Whorley

Metronome Charleston‘s weekly Punch List puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, singer/songwriter and event organizer Graham Whorley takes a break from his efforts in presenting this weekend’s Band Together for ALS benefit concert at the Brick House Kitchen and has a go.

1. What is your favorite local hang and why?

“The Brick House Kitchen. The people who own it are very cool, community oriented, eco-conscious people that are supporting and backing local, regional, and national music. I can sit back under their ancient oak trees with my dogs, have a drink, eat some awesome organic locally-grown food, and listen to great music all at the same time. It’s a nice vibe over there.”

2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…

“When you are walking about six inches higher than you were before you got on stage and everyone leaves at the end of the night smiling. There’s nothing like it.”

3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?

“Dumpstaphunk’s Labor Day Show [a few weeks ago] at the Brick House Kitchen. I was excited to see this venue bring in a big act that my sound company was able to be a part of. It started raining like crazy and nobody left!”

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Graham Whorley (photo by Chad Roadfelt)

4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.

“Intelligent, soul-stirring, diverse, dirty swamp honest layered cerebral turbulent-free escape.”

5. What’s your theme song?

“‘East Bound and Down’ by Jerry Reed. Why? ‘We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there … We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.’”

6. Gear-wise, what’s your irreplaceable baby?

“My Aria Dreadknot cut-away acoustic six-string. It was given to me by a very close friend, and I can’t find a tone like that on any other guitar. It’s irreplaceable.”

7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?

“Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet. It’s been close to my heart since I was very young. I bought it when I was 14. It had a huge impact on me, musically and socially. Fight the power!”

8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?

“When I played Christmas Jam in Asheville, N.C. this last year, I found myself standing in a circle with Kevn Kenny, Artimus Pyle, Warren Haynes, the Blind Boys for Alabama, and Karl Denson. It blew my mind a little.”

9. What’s your poison?

“My wife and Double-Stuffed Oreos with a glass of milk.”

10. In 10 years, I will be…

“Finished raising children, traveling when I want to and not when I have to.”


Local guitarist, songwriter, and full-on soul man Graham Whorley is based on Folly Beach. He regularly performs around town as a solo act, as well as with duos and full bands.

As he’s done for several years in a row, Whorley organized a full day of live music, Lowcountry fare, comedy, and more for the Band Together to Fight ALS event on Sat. Sept. 14 at the Brick House Kitchen on James Island.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. It’s a fatal disease with no known cure. Whorley’s family has dealt with ALS, so it’s an issue that’s close to his heart.

The musical lineup for Band Together for ALS will feature Whorley and a showcase of local rock, funk, jazz, and Americana acts, Here’s the latest schedule:

The Hibachi Heroes – 12 noon
Plow Ground – 1:15 p.m.
Keith Kenny – 2:30 p.m.
Way Down in Dixie – 3:45 p.m.
Graham Whorley – 4:10 p.m.
Drink Small (a.k.a. “The Blues Doctor”) and the Every Now and Then Band – 5:30 p.m.
Mark Bryan – 6:45 p.m.
Johnny Mac and the BootyRanch – 8 p.m.
The Buddhist Prodigies – 9:15 p.m.
ADANDE African Drum and Dance Company – 10 p.m

Band Together for ALS is cosponsored by the Bright Side of the Road Foundation, 105.5 The Bridge. Holy City Brewing Co., N8 Audio, Roadfelt Photography, Juanita Greenberg’s, and Get Off the Wagon/Get On the Bus. The gates open at noon and the event runs until 11 p.m. Admission is $25 (advance). Call (843) 406-4655 or visit and for more info.

Top photo by Ballard Lesemann.



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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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