The Ticker StoplightObservations(tbl)901

Published on January 15th, 2013 | by Ballard Lesemann


Ticker: News Bits from Charleston’s Music Scene


Sarah Bandy (right) with the Local Honeys. (provided)

Who Stole Sarah’s Ukes?

Local musician/songwriter Sarah Bandy, a member of ukulele-driven quartet Local Honeys and a co-founder of the local chapter of Girls Rock, was the victim of theft last week. Someone broke into her automobile downtown on Kenilworth Avenue late-night on Jan. 8 and snagged a Lanikai LU-21 ukulele, an Eleuke cutaway jazz solid-body electric tenor ukulele, a Peavey amp, stands, cables, and other gear. An incident report has been filed. Anyone who’d like contact Bandy with info, tips, or assistance can e-mail her at or via the band’s Facebook page.

Stop Light Observations Wins the Battle

Congrats to local pop/rock quintet Stop Light Observations (pictured above) for winning the top spot at the College of Charleston Battle of the Bands at the Music Farm on Jan. 12. The showcase/competition/fundraiser also featured songsmith Tom Mackell, N.C.-based rock band Donnie Dies, bluesy indie-rocker Tyler Boone (of King City Records), and reggae-rock band South Street. A panel of local judges scored each band’s performance at the end of the night. Boone and his band snagged second place, and Donnie Dies came in third. All of the proceeds benefitted the American Cancer Society.

Stop Light Observations are on a roll this year. Lead singer Will Blackburn, pianist John-Keith Culbreth, drummer Luke Withers, bassist Coleman Sawyer, and guitarists Louis Duffie and Wyatt Garey won the fourth annual Last Band Standing, a battle of the bands held at the Mt. Pleasant Wild Wing Café on Sept. 26. They’ve been recording their debut album at Charleston Sound studio in Mt. Pleasant this fall and winter. Visit for more.


Neckprov: one of many local acts on the Charleston Comedy Festival roster this year (photo by Ballard Lesemann)

Charleston Comedy Festival Starts This Week

The annual Charleston Comedy Festival is here. The four-night series runs from Wed. Jan. 16 through Sat. Jan. 19. Presented by Theatre 99 and the Charleston City Paper, the festival includes local and visiting acts handling stand-up, sketch, music, improv, and storytelling at Theatre 99, the American Theatre, the Stars Lounge, Footlight Players Theatre, the Lighthouse at Shem Creek, PURE Theatre, Redux, and the Woolfe Street Playhouse.

Check out Metronome‘s chat with visiting comedic actor/storyteller Kevin Allison (RISK!) here. Visit Metronome’s Calendar section for all of the Charleston Comedy Festival events, and visit for more.

Archnemesis Hits the Road Hard Again


Archnemesis on stage, 2012 (provided)

Charleston-based electronic soul/dance project Archnemesis, comprised of the dynamic duo of musicians/producers Justin Aubuchon and Curt Heiny, successfully completed a massive summer/fall tour across the U.S. behind their newly released, groove-heavy, seven-track collection Every Man For Himself, released digitally on fellow electromen STS9’s 1320 Records. They recuperated over the holidays, and now they’re back on the road this week. They’ll hit clubs and festivals in the Carolinas and throughout the Southeast in January before aiming for the Midwest and Rockies in February. Check out the duo at the Pour House on Fri. Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. See for more.

Wild and Crazy Bluegrass Guys at the PAC

This week, the North Charleston Performing Arts Center announced a new spring concert: Comedian/actor/musician Steve Martin will team up with North Carolina-based folk/bluegrass ensemble Steep Canyon Rangers (featuring special guest Edie Brickell) on the PAC stage on Mon. May 27 at 7:30 p.m. Martin has been pickin’ and grinnin’ with the Rangers since 2009 when they partnered for a broadcast performance on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. They released a collaborative album last year titled Rare Bird Alert.

Martin_2011_1_rgb - provided by North Charleston Performing Arts Center

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers (provided)

Tickets for the show go on sale for $49.50 and $79.50 on Fri. Jan. 18 at 10 p.m. via the PAC box office, Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at (800) 745-3000, and online at Visit for more.

Songs of Equality at the Library Society

The Charleston Library Society (164 King St.) will host a special event on Thurs. Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. titled Unedited: Songs of Freedom as a continuation of their AMER!CANA 2012-2013 series. Local songwriters and vocalists Lindsay Holler, Ann Calwell, Hazel Ketchum, and Laura Ball (the emcee for the evening) will headline the showcase to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Local poet/musician Marcus Amaker and students from Charleston Collegiate, Mason Prep, and Nativity will make special guest appearances as well.

“These lovely ladies give strong voice to their music, each with such a distinctive and incredible story to tell you through her songs, words, and sounds,” Ball says. “I am proud to have the privilege of sharing a stage with them in January. For a show commemorating the struggle for equality in America, how poetic to have a female powerhouse to give voice to such evocative and historically weighty material.” Tickets are available for $20 through Check out for more.


The orginal ‘We Are the World’ gang, 1985.

They Are the World

Speaking of Lindsay Holler (as we often do), she’s been busy with a number of musical projects over the fall and winter months, including the annual Holy City Cold Hearts Revival at the Pour House, the Jinglebang holiday showcase blowout at the Tin Roof, exotic performances with the vibraphone-heavy trio Oh Ginger, and various high-volume gigs with the bass ‘n’ organ-driven quartet Matadero. On Sun. Jan. 20, Holler returns to the Tin Roof with another impressive lineup of local singers and musicians as she presents We Are the World, a program based on the hit charity song from 1985. The lineup will feature 21 vocalists and a solid house band comprised of Josh Kaler on guitar, Sam Sfirri on keys, Jonathan Gray on bass, and Stuart White on drums — all of whom have played with Holler in studios and on stages over the years.

“We’ve asked each singer to choose a song from the catalog of the artist they’re covering to sing with the house band,” Holler says. “It will culminate with a big finale rendition of ‘We Are the World.'”

Some of the main singers on the single include Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Daryl Hall, Cyndi Lauper, Bob Dylan, and Ray Charles, among many, many others. The music starts at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 at the door. Visit for more.


Doug Walters and James Hall plot their next move (photo by Ballard Lesemann)

James Hall Returns to the Walters House

Metronome‘s friend and colleague Doug “Street D” Walters (of Torture Town and the Fairy God Muthas) rarely hosts parties or jam sessions at his home in West Ashley. The occasional rehearsal and coffee tasting in the small band room is about as rambunctious as things get at the pad. In November of 2010, Walters invited Atlanta-based singer/songwriter/bandleader James Hall to headline an intimate living room show that wowed a small audience of old-school and new fans alike. Hall is a skillful guitarist and soulful vocalist, best known for fronting such rock/pop projects as the Futura Bold, the Pleasure Club, and Mary My Hope. He returns to the Walters residence for a special solo performance on Sat. Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. with support from L.A.-based songsmith Kevin Sandbloom.

“I’ve actually been dreaming of this show for years,” Walters says in a recent event post. “I’ve been trying to pair these two together for a very long time. and finally it will happen — and on my birthday, no less! How cool is that?

“This event is somewhat private, but feel free to bring anyone you think could appreciate and respect this kind of thing,” he adds. “Since it’s such an intimate type of show, we ask, with love, that you refrain from talking during the performances — or maybe step outside if you would like to chat or catch a smoke.”

The semi-private show is BYOB. Donations to the artists will be appreciated. Contact Walters through his Facebook page for more info.


Brewvival at COAST Brewing (photo by Ballard Lesemann)

Brewvival 2013 Presents Live Music

Presented by craft beer retailer Charleston Beer Exchange and North Charleston-based microbrewery COAST Brewing Co., this year’s Brewvival is shaping into a mighty fine event for ale and lager enthusiasts. Scheduled for Sat. Feb. 23 from noon to 6 p.m. at the field across the street from COAST (1250 2nd Street N. in Noisette), the beer festival will feature a wide variety of rare beers from regional, national, and international breweries, including barrel-aged, high-gravity, spiced, and soured specialties. A limited supply of advance tickets are available for $65.

Admission included all beer samples, meet-and-greets with brewers and brewery execs, and a full day of live music from Charleston/Virginia-based roots band James Justin and Co., local singer/guitarist Graham Whorley and his band, Tennessee-based blues-rock/indie band The Kingston Springs, and other special guests. Food from local vendors and food trucks will be available for purchase. Visit for more. Cheers!

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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