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Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Ballard Lesemann


Ticker: News Bits from Charleston’s Music Scene, Oct. 29

Sadler Vaden Releases Solo Album

Nashville-based singer/guitarist Sadler Vaden (a Summerville native) made the leap from his frontman duties with Charleston rock trio Leslie to lead guitar duties with Georgia’s Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ last year, and he’s stayed super busy with his new role, on and off the road. Fortunately, he also made time to record and mix a batch of new originals for his latest solo collection. Released online as a seven-song mini-album, Radio Road features a jangly mix of twangy Southern rock, blues, folk-rock, and power-pop.

Vaden started tracking songs for Radio Road at a friend’s studio in Charleston during the summer of 2011. He cites Todd Rundgren’s 1972 album Something/Anything? as a major influence on the project. The song “Wolf” is a cover of The Working Title off of the Bone Island record. There are two acoustic ballads in the bunch, and the rest feature traditional rock band instrumentation. Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent of Shovels & Rope chimed in with backing vocals. Vaden produced, engineered, and performed most of the album himself in Nashville. Radio Road was mixed by Scott Hardin and mastered by Paul Ebersold.

“My dad, who passed away in 2004, always wanted me to make a record where I played all the instruments” Vaden says in a recent press release. “So I played everything, except for pedal steel. In fact, drums were the first instrument I ever played. This record encapsulates where I am as a songwriter/artist right now, and its a perfect glimpse into what’s ahead.”

Radio Road is available on CD, iTunes, and various digital delivery platforms. Check out the music at

Lindsay Holler and Co. Pay Tribute to Gram Parsons and More

The seventh annual Holy City Cold Heart Revival aims to free souls and celebrate the music and spirit of an Americana legend. Organizer Lindsay Holler, a longtime songwriter and vocalist in the local scene, assembled an impressive roster of bands and musicians for the showcase set for 7 pm. on Sun. Nov. 4 at the Pour House.

The Holy City Cold Heart Revival started out in 2005 as a casual get-together/jam session at the old Cumberland’s venue on King Street. It eventually bloomed into a popular Americana showcase at the Pour House every fall.

Holler’s band the Western Polaroids, many of whom previously played with Holler as the Dirty Kids, have been on the bill each year. This week’s bill includes the Western Polaroids, Hickory Wind (featuring members of the Royal Tinfoil, Company, Elim Bolt, Western Polaroids, and more), Rachel Kate, Elim Bolt, the a cappella choir LASSO, the Ryan Bonner Band, and Jordan Igoe & Mackie Boles. The music will start on the deck at 6:30 p.m. and make its way into the main room around 9 p.m.

Hickory Wind will headline the event with a special tribute to Gram Parsons, including nods to his various projects, from the Byrds and the International Submarine Band to the Flying Burrito Brothers and beyond. The band is comprised of Holler on vocals alongside singer/guitarist Brian Hannon, guitarist Mackie Boles, bassist Brad Edwardson, drummer Marshall Hudson, and pedal steel player Josh Kaler.

“I became a fan of Gram Parsons about 15 years ago,” Holler says. “I was listening to the Black Crowes a lot back then, and they would cover his songs fairly regularly. Once I start digging into his music, I was caught. I really appreciated the delicacy of his voice and the earnestness in how he sang. When I was younger, I was never a fan of ‘country’ music. I attribute Gram Parsons to opening my eyes to the variations within a genre, and blurring the edges.

“Also, I feel like I really began to understand a lot more about harmony, through listening to him and Emmylou Harris,” Holler adds. “Especially that style of harmony. Their harmony always seemed so organic and effortless and kind of magical.”

Admission to the show is $10 at the door and $8 in advance. Proceeds will benefit the Gram Parsons Foundation, which supports musicians and artists worldwide with addiction and recovery services. Visit for ticket info and see and for more.

Bluegrass and More at Harvest Fest on Johns Island

The annual Harvest Festival on Johns Island features some of the Lowcountry’s best bluegrass and folk combos. The early-afternoon gathering is set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Mullet Hall Equestrian Center (2662 Mullet Hall Rd. at Johns Island County Park) with hayrides, carrels, pumpkin decorating, lasso demonstrations, barbecue, kettle corn, and country fare. Virtuosic string player Roger Bellow and his band the Drifting Troubadours kick things off at noon, followed by traditional bluegrass quartets Yeehaw Junction and Blue Plantation. The versatile Southern Flavor perform at 3 p.m., and the Bluestone Ramblers combos close things with a set at 4 p.m. Admission is $5. Kids and Gold Pass members are free. Visit for more info.

Clay Ross Leads Matuto Back to Town

New York-based guitarist Clay Ross (pictured abouve) heads back to the Lowcountry this week for a string of special concerts with his Brazilian-based/bluegrass-tinged combo Matuto. The full-sized version of the project features Ross on guitar alongside accordionist and cofounder Rob Curto with additional accompaniment from colleagues handling violin, guitar, accordion, bass, drums, and various Brazilian percussion instruments. Matuto’s forthcoming release is a full-length due in February titled The Devil and The Diamond.

This week, Matuto embarks on a two-week East Coast tour that winds through Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Look for Ross and guests at the Mezz on King Street (above Sermet’s) on Tues. Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Ross will host an educational workshop for College of Charleston music students on Wed. Nov. 7 before heading up to Awendaw for the venue’s weekly Barn Jam (they’ll play around 8 p.m.). Ross and the band close out their Lowcountry visit with a performance on Kiawah Island. Presented by the Kiawah Island Arts Council, Matuto will play on Thurs. Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Seabrook Island House. Check out for more.

Coastal Carolina Fair Shows

The concert series at the Coast Carolina Fair’s Lakefront Stage continues this week at the Exchange Park in Ladson with a variety of visiting acts. Country singer Jo Dee Messina (pictured) performs on Mon. Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Gospel/country quartet the Oak Ridge Boys on Tues. Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m., and disco/pop legends the Village People headline on Halloween at 7:30 p.m.

Georgia-based Americana songwriter Corey Smith plays at 7:30 p.m. on Thurs. Nov. 1. Country/pop vocalist and American Idol contestant Lauren Alaina hits the stage on Fri. Nov. 2 at 8 p.m., and country trio Edens Edge performs on Sat. Nov. 3 at 8 p.m. The closing concert features R&B/beach music bands the Tams (“What Kind of Fool” and “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy”) and the Embers (“I Love Beach Music”) at 4:30 p.m. on Sun. Nov. 4. Visit for more artist and ticket info.

Footage and Notes from Fall for Greenville

Charleston music fan, librarian, and avid concert videographer Lua Wells and her husband Scott attended the annual Fall for Greenville music festival earlier this month, and they caught several bands during the three-day event.

“On Friday, there were seven stages in all — five that were focused on music — all situated along Main Street,” Wells reported. “The first band we saw was James Justin & Co., an acoustic combo based in Charleston and rural Virginia. On Saturday, we started with some country/rock from the Weathers of Greenwood, S.C. Next up for us was a Charleston band, Old You. It was fun to talk to a Greenville native in the crowd who was quite impressed by the band, and rightly so. Then it was off to see the Tarlatans. These guys are my new favorite band. They originally formed in Clemson, but they now live in Charleston. They had a strong supply of well-written and infectious original songs, and a debut CD that came out just recently. They can sing some great covers, too.”

Wells caught Charleston-based band Crowfield during the Saturday events. “They’ve had some lineup changes recently, but that didn’t slow them down,” she said. “Again, it was fun to see a Charleston band with a large crowd full of both old and new fans. Frontman Tyler Mechem had the crowd paying close attention, and singing along at points.  Whitt Algar rocked on keys, Parker Gins was on drums, and the new guys did fine, too.”

The Tarlatans perform “Don’t Lie” at Fall for Greenville:


Crowfield performs “Young Until We Die” t Fall for Greenville:

For more info, visit

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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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