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Published on December 18th, 2012 | by Ballard Lesemann


Ticker: News Bits from Charleston’s Music Scene

Local Bands Rock for Girls Rock Charleston

Girls Rock Charleston is attempting to raise $5,000 for a new after-school program. The local nonprofit organization is aimed at educating and nurturing girls and transgender youth through music. They’ve hosted a number of summer camps, classes, programs, and concert events over the last few years as part of the international Girls Rock Camp Alliance.

Several local and visiting musicians and bands will perform a benefit show at the Tin Roof on Thurs. Dec. 20 to assist the cause. Singer/guitarist Johnnie Matthews (of Elim Bolt), Rachel Kate (of the Local Honeys), the Outdoor Protestant Blues Band, and one-man band Scott Dence (of M-Tank, The Boring Portals) are on the bill. Admission is $5 (donations are welcome). Visit for more.

Several Last Days on Earth

For those Mayanist believers who’d like to imbibe mood-altering substances and bounce around to rock ‘n’ roll and dance music during the supposed doomsday scenario that’s set for this weekend, there are plenty of cheesy parties and shows booked a local clubs (from Folly Beach to downtown to North Charleston) on Thurs. Dec. 20 and Fri. Dec. 21. Some gigs look more promising that others.

The “End of the World Party” at the Tattooed Moose on Thursday at 9 p.m. will feature DJ Rocky Horror and special tarot card readings. The “Last Day on Earth” show at the Pour House on Friday night features riffy local rock bands the Dead 27′s, Stereo Reform, Jordan Igoe & Mackie Boles, and guests (music starts at 8 p.m.). The Sand Shack in North Charleston and Heart Beats Entertainment host a showcase of hip-hop, rock, reggae, and metal at the club with Just Darwin, Projekt Zero, Rule #9, Badmotor Uzi, Apnea, Affectation, DJ George, Go Jenny Go, Primo Noctis, Antidrive, 5 Silent Miles, Forty Fl. Oz, and A Better Understanding of Nothing on the bill. On upper King Street, Torch Lounge presents DJ Travis Myers spinning while a satellite view of the Earth will be displayed on the large screen (provided by Slooh). Check Metronome‘s Calendar listings for more.

Duda Lucena (photo by Tony Bell)

Duda Lucena (photo by Tony Bell)

Duda Lucena Celebrates 50 at the Mezz

Singer/guitarist Duda Lucena, a staple in Charleston jazz/blues circuit, will celebrate his 50th birthday with two shows at the Mezz above Sermet’s (276 King Street) on Thurs. Dec. 20.

Lucena started playing the acoustic guitar as a young teen in Recife, Brazil, in the 1970s. He studied at the Music Conservatory of Pernambuco in the ’80s before relocating to Rio de Janeiro in 1987. Since going pro in the ’90s, he’s toured around the world, performing with jazz, folk, and blues, musicians from the Americas and Europe. Lucena landed in Charleston five years ago. and he quickly became a fixture at the Charleston Grill and other venues, playing bossa nova, samba, choro, baião, and other styles with various cats from the Jazz Artists of Charleston gallery.

The birthday show will feature backing from Lucena’s core combo — drummer Quentin Baxter, bassist Kevin Hamilton, and pianist Gerald Gregory. “Duda is a man that I’m proud to call ‘brother,'” says Baxter. “He consistently exudes such a beautiful and humble spirit both on and off of the bandstand. My life is definitely enriched through the music we make and the brotherhood we share.”

Showtimes at the Mezz are 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Reservations are available by phone at 843-853-4515. Admission is $10 per person. Visit and for more.

Jamisun Hodge Gets ‘Raw and Naked’

Charleston singer/songwriter Jamisun Hodge (a.k.a. JamiSun, pictured up top) will celebrate the official release of his latest solo studio album Naked Versions of Overdressed Songs at the West Ashley Kickin’ Chicken on Fri. Dec. 21. Hodge recorded the new collection with engineer Jeff Hodges at Charleston Sound in Mt. Pleasant.

“It’s raw and vulnerable,” Hodge says. “There’s no flashy guitar work, overdubs, or auto-tune on my voice. In fact, there are parts where my voice breaks up and I sound weak and out of key. It’s total image suicide. I’m not trying to be somebody I’m not, and I’m trying to encourage other artists to stop over critiquing themselves and just allow themselves to do something imperfect without trying to impress everyone.”

The new disc follows his last album, All I’ve Got For Now, which was a full-band, well-polished affair. “That album was my first attempt at being a songwriter, lead guitarist, bassist, lead vocalist, and producer at the same time, Hodges says. “It was all over the place, and I just threw it all out on the table. I do like some of what came out of it, but I knew I could do better. This time, I quit trying to be a producer and just played the role of a songwriter with hopes that a good producer may be able to put their ear to it and make it something better than what it is now.”

Hodge also recently landed in the top 100 of Guitar Center’s econd annual singer/songwriters competition (out of more than 3000 submissions). He’s posted some of his studio sessions online here. Hodge will have new CDs as well and T-shirts on hand at the Kickin’ Chicken this weekend. Visit for more.

‘Holy City Pop’ and Local Shows at the Charleston Music Hall

Over the summer, musician and Charleston native Charles Carmody (of local duo Introducing Fish Taco) stepped in as the new director of the Charleston Music Hall (37 John St.). Under his guidance, the Music Hall has booked and presented a variety of impressive concerts and events, including the Unchained Tour, Gungor, Victor Wooten and Jimmy Herring, local act Steven Fiore with guests, and Keb’ Mo’. They recently announced two big shows: Wyatt Cenac as part of the annual Charleston Comedy Festival on Wed. Jan. 16 and Jeff Mangum (formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel) on Tues. Jan. 29.

This week, the Charleston Music Hall announced two more local shows at the venue — the Holy City Pop show on Sat. Feb. 2 with the Explorer’s Club, Slow Runner, and Luke Cunningham Band sharing the bill and Sol Driven Train’s CD release show on Fri. Feb. 22 for their latest collection Underdog. Carmody says these winter shows will kick off the venue’s new local series for 2013, which will include several label showcases and CD release shows.

Early Bird tickets for the Holy City Pop show are on sale for $10 (until Dec. 31). They’ll be available in January for $13 in advance and for $15 at the door on the day of the show. Visit for updates and ticket info.

Luke Cunningham Releases Mini Rocumentary

Speaking of Cunningham, the Charleston-based songwriter spent most of the fall commuting between the Lowcountry and Los Angeles where he participated in ASCAP’s 2012 Lester Sill Songwriters Workshop. This week, Cunningham will post a self-produced short rockumentary titled Between a Rock and a Heartache covering the making of his 2011 solo debut album Heart Pressure. Cunningham shot most of the footage himself and handled the editing. Local videographer Brooks Quinn, who shot Cunningham and numerous local musicians last year for the documentary Mac’n at the Drome, contributed interview footage.

Cunningham and his bandmates — guitarist Micah Nichols, bassist Christian Wood, and drummer Ben Scott — are currently working on their next album at a home studio in Summerville with Needtobreathe bassist Seth Bolt and engineer Neil B. Young. Visit for updates, tunes, and show info.





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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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