Published on July 3rd, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


Ticker: News Bits from Charleston’s Music Scene

Local 616 Opens on Upper Meeting

Congrats to veteran Charleston bartender Dwayne Mitchell (of Upper Deck Tavern fame). He and his small team spent the spring successfully renovating the space at 616 Meeting Street (next to Hello My Name is BBQ at Cedar and Meeting streets). They officially opened the new Local 616 on July 3 with as short shift from 4-10 p.m. serving beer and wine.


On the Local 616 Facebook page, Mitchell describes the venue as “a pub that welcomes all people and prides itself on a sense of community.” They plan to serve specialty drinks and good beer (there are seven local ales and lagers on tap), show soccer games on the small screens, and occasionally book live local music and DJs. For now, Local 616 will be open from 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday. Look for updates on their Facebook page.

Southern Femisphere Vid for ‘Don’t Sleep’

A cute Southern Femisphere music video for the song “Don’t Sleep” popped up this week on YouTube, just as the local four-piece celebrated the official release of their new studio collection Houses on the Fork and Spoon label.

Directed by Myles Walsh, the clip features cool animation and footage of singer/bassist Emily Connor, guitarist-drummer Kim Larson, guitarist Caroline de Golian, and drummer/guitarist Brett Nash during their CD release show at the Tattooed Moose on June 11. The band’s next show is Wed. July 17 at the Tin Roof. Visit and click below to see.


Kara Hesse’s ‘Running Late Tour’ Kicks Off

Before settling in the Seattle area two years ago, singer, songwriter, and pianist Kara Hesse (a native of Kansas) spent several years living and performing in the Boulder/Denver area and in the Lowcountry. Her soulful blend of pop, rock, and blues won over more than a few fans on both side of the country.


Kara Hesse (provided)

This week and next, Hesse will return to Charleston to conduct an impressive mini tour of the region, starting on Wed. July 3 at Awendaw Green’s weekly Barn Jam. “The ‘Running Late Tour’ is rolling through, and things are about to get hot,” she states in a recent press release. “I’ll be reuniting with my band back in Charleston for a slew of shows around the Lowcountry, and I can’t wait to share this adventure. We’ll be bringing a bit of the old Kara back, but these past two years have added a few more shades to my life’s palette, so mark your calendars and spread the word.”

Hesse’s tour dates include:

July 3 – Awendaw Green, Awendaw
July 4 — Grill and Island Bar, Folly Beach
July 5 — Brick House Kitchen, James Island
July 6 — Charleston Beer Works, downtown
July 11 — The Royal American, downtown
July 12 — Molly Darcy’s, downtown
July 13 — Irvine House Vineyards, Wadmalaw Island
July 13 — Cha Cha’s, James Island,
July 18 — Rock ‘n’ Roots at Treehouse Studios, James Island

Visit for more info.

The Party at the Point’s Final-Final Show

Big crowds showed up at the harborside courtyard to watch Elise Testone and her group perform during Party at the Point’s grand finale at the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina.

There’s actually one more show to go — a “make-up date” with Charleston-based pop-rock sextet Stoplight Observations and local groove-rockers Fowler’s Mustache for their rained-out June 7 show. Both bands will perform full sets between 6-10 p.m.


Stop Light Observations (provided)

Stop Light Observations — singer Will Blackburn, drummer Luke Withers, bassist Coleman Sawyer, and multi-instrumentalists John-Keith Culbreth, Wyatt Garey, and Louis Duffie — recently issued an impressive studio album titled Radiation. Fowler’s Mustache plans to release a new studio album later this summer.

Admission to the event is $5. Check out and for more for more.

Chris Boone Prepares New Album, Makes Website Snazzy

Charleston-based pop/rock songwriter Chris Boone recently added a ton of info and new media (music, images, and videos) to his refurbished website, thanks in part to webmaster Marcus Amaker (of the Jazz Artists of Charleston). The Ware Shoals native moved from S.C. to New York and back in the early 2000s before relocating to San Fran and Ashland, Oregon in the late 2000s. He’s been back in town for a spell, playing the club circuit and recording new originals.


Chris Boone (photo by Marcus Amaker)

Boone has a string of acoustic solo gigs lined up for this week. He’ll be strumming and singing at Mac’s Place early in the evening on the Fourth of July, at Salty Mike’s on July 5, Wasabi on Daniel Island on July 6, and at the Shelter in Mt. Pleasant on July 7. Look for him every Tuesday night this summer at the Blind Tiger, too.

“I’ll be playing lots of local spots while I finish material for the new album,” he says. “I have six songs finished. and I’m finishing a couple-few more. My wife, son, and I will be traveling to Split, Croatia for the better part of October … this is where I usually finish up any material and flesh out new lyrics.” Visit for more.

Ryan Bonner Readies Next CD Release

Charleston-based songwriter Ryan Bonner is finally putting the finishing touches on a new solo album titled Only When It’s Burning with studio producer Joe Taylor. Bonner and Taylor began laying down tracks last summer at Taylor’s Salt Creek Recording studio in Bennett’s Point, S.C. (located between Edisto and Beaufort). Drummer Steve Holley (Wings, Elton John, Mott the Hoople), bassist Sean O’Bryan Smith (Keith Urban, Kenny Rogers) contributed performances, as did local keyboardist Whitt Algar (of Gaslight Street).


Ryan Bonner (photo ny Ballard Lesemann)

The new collection will be a follow-up to Bonner’s twangy full-length debut, Think of England. The new tracks are at the press and should be ready to go around mid-July, including the lead single “House of Rusted Gold.”

“Our release date has been tentatively set for August 20, but I’ll probably have some CDs for sale when the disc comes back,” Bonner says. “We’re working on a big show in the fall somewhere as a release show, but we’re waiting on word for that so nothing to announce as of now. My band and I will be scaling back on the amount of in-town shows we’ll be doing in preparation for the release.”

Bonner regularly collaborates with members of the Luke Cunningham Band and Guilt Ridden Troubadour. He recently started calling his own ensemble Ryan Bonner’s Wrecking Ball — “Because I’ve decided that the ‘Ryan Bonner Band’ is just damn boring,” he says.

He and his colleagues — Algar, rhythm guitarist Reid Stone, lead guitarist Jeff Davis, and drummer Jack Friel (most of whom are pictured up top) — will head out on a 10-day tour in early August in support of the new album.

Bonner plays solo shows at Loggerhead’s on Folly Beach every Monday night through the summer. Visit and for more.

Top photo by Ballard Lesemann.



Powered by Facebook Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑