Start The Car!
By: Scott Bucholtz
Most of you have lived in the Lowcountry longer than I have. So, I certainly don’t feel qualified to be the one giving driving directions or the one explaining the geographical differences between St. George and Georgetown or Johns Island and James Island. However, I do feel that it is necessary to remind some of you how CLOSE the next neighborhood really is. With each blog that I write, I try to highlight just a few of the upcoming week's events that feature members of the Lowcountry Blues Club as well as others that I feel are truly noteworthy. Yet, so often, I hear nothing but excuses that go something like this: “I live downtown and can’t make it out to West Ashley”… Are you freakin’ kidding me?! Seriously, it’s seems like people that live in Mount Pleasant haven’t ever been to Folly Beach and people from Summerville have never been to Awendaw. That ‘s like living in Cleveland and never having been to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. It appears that developers here are trying to build you a house AND a neighborhood and then sell you on the fact your don’t have to leave! There is a whole world of incredible events and opportunities out there - generally, within a 20-30 minute drive. In bigger cities you can barely travel a couple of blocks in 20 minutes!
I have often been accused of being a walking advertisement for why people should move to Charleston. Why? Of course the physical beauty is unbelievable. The architecture, the landscapes, the fantastic shopping… When you also consider that you really don’t have traffic jams, parking is cheap (if not free) and the cost of living is reasonable – that sounds pretty good right? But, what really blows me away is the live music. Now, I’ve actually heard some complain that it’s not what it used to be, but where is it? Where I’m from disc jockeys replaced live music decades ago! Here, many restaurants have some form of live entertainment. On any given night, you can easily find some quality live entertainment. True, I could make as much money at a gig in 1982 as I make now – but that is an entirely different issue.
I worked in Chicago for four years. The suburb that I lived in was a community of nearly 500,000. I knew of ONE nice place that had live bands and it was only on Wednesday nights. They didn’t want to give up the dining room space on weekends! Sure, Chicago had some great Blues clubs. But, consider at least an hour in traffic (longer from the suburbs), $20+ for parking and another $20 cover and you weren’t going to find $2 drinks! Unless you lived nearby (not nice), a night out would be long and expensive. Here, you can hit Folly, WA, Daniel, James or Johns Island, Mt. P, The IOP, Summerville, N. Chuck… anywhere. You can pull up and park next to the building and walk in for a $5 cover (actually most are free). With that, you get World Class musicians providing incredible entertainment and you can be back home on the couch in a short period of time and not notice the weight difference of your wallet. And downtown? That’s even better. You can usually find parking on the street (free after 6) and walk up and down King or Market or East Bay… and get all of the ear candy you can handle!
Some of you cynics may have already called B.S. regarding some of my comments. If so, you obviously don’t know how good you have it! I’ll gladly take the challenge. Venture out tonight. I dare you!
Here you go:
Mondays: Sarah Cole & The Hawkes at the Drop In Gourmet Deli & Bar on Folly Beach
Wednesdays: The Jonathan Robinson Trio (w/ me) at KC Mulligan’s in North Charleston
Sarah Cole & The Hawkes at Art’s Bar & Grill in Mount Pleasant
Of course, you should come see us AFTER you stop by the Blues Jam at Hometeam W.A.
This Thursday night (Aug 4) features the Trident United Way Battle Of The Bands at the Music Farm (Look for the Big Guy!)
Meanwhile, The Louie D Project (with J.R. Getches) will be at Bambu, and Mac Leaphart and John Wesley Satterfield will be at the Windjammer.
Old You (w/ YoungMi) kicks off the weekend on the Vendue Rooftop at 6. Then they’ll be across the street (East Bay) at The Brick
The Louie D Project at Midtown on King Street
The Port City Prophets (w/ Tim Kirkendall) at Shooters in Summerville
Highway 17 Blues Band (Jack, Jojo, Gary & Motor) at Smokey’s Place, North Charleston
Starling (w/Captain Kirk) is at The Summerville Pour House
On a national scale: Scott Holt will be at Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ – West Ashley
The Louie D Project kicks off the evening on the Vendue Rooftop then hits Hometeam BBQ on Sullivan’s Island
Starling is at Fat Boys in Moncks Corner
Old You will be downtown at The Kickin’ Chicken
Get next week off to a good start on Tuesday the 9th with Jackass Flatts at The Pour House or Shovels and Rope (Cary Ann Hearst & Michael Trent) downtown at The Tattooed Moose.
Don’t forget: Hootie & The Blowfish next Friday & Saturday at the Family Circle Cup Stadium or Alison Krauss & The Union Station at the PAC Coliseum on Sunday the 14th!
The Lowcountry Blues Challenge is coming! Every other Sunday, starting Sept 25th, we will be conducting our annual Blues Battle of the Bands - the Challenge. The winner will have the opportunity to go to Memphis (in late January 2012) to represent the Lowcountry at the International Blues Challenge - an amazing event! If your band would like to be considered, please email RobLoweSC@gmail.com for information. We need 3 songs, a bio, a hi-res jpg and an entry fee of $25. Bands will be judged by the same standards as those used at the IBC, and you can find out lots of details about the IBC and judging standards at their website at blues.org.
If you want to see your band's gigs in this newsletter, send all the details to firstname.lastname@example.org. We usually send out the newsletter on Thursday or Friday, so get the info in before Wednesday, please. Or just post to facebook directly!
August's featured artists are John Lee Hooker and Robert Cray (born in August).
Check out some of our recordings from the Wednesday jams at http://www.reverbnation.com/lowcountrybluesclub
It's time to pay your dues for 2011 if you haven't already done so. Just come out to a jam, and give us $10 for an individual, $25 for a band or family, or $100 for a corporate membership. Or you can mail dues to The Lowcountry Blues Club, P.O. Box 814, Isle of Palms, SC 29451.
See you at the jam!
LMW, August 4, 2011