Lowcountry Music Scene

Emily:

As some of you know, I grew up in a small town called Bristol, on the border of Virginia and Tennessee. Bristol is known for being the "Birthplace of Country Music" (no, Nashville doesn't get that title) and holds an amazing music festival that we attend every year, called Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. Music has had a strong presence in my life since I was born. My mom was in a band called White Lightnin' in the 70s (bonus if you make it to the bottom) and worked for the community theatre in Bristol for over a decade. Most of my evenings as an adult in Bristol were spent at local spots listening to an array of artists and I served on the Board of Directors for The Birthplace of Country Music Alliance. The market there is so saturated with talent, it's unbelievable. 

When I moved to Charleston, I immediately fell in love with the beaches, weather, and lifestyle. The days here stay packed with RiverDogs baseball games, Charleston Wine + Food Festival, yoga, speakers at the College of Charleston and more. But sometimes, I found myself missing the tunes. Well, I have good news for you. After years of living here, I've compiled the most popular and my favorite spots to catch music around the Lowcountry and spoiler alert- there are a lot!

IMG_0153.JPG

VENUES:

The Music Farm (Downtown)
A late night spot where I've personally seen everyone from Lauryn Hill to Dr. Dog (and will completely deny seeing Nick Carter). One of my favorite bands, Moon Taxi, is playing there on April 7, but Iate nights are different with a newborn, so y'all report back.

The Pour House (James Island)
Live music every night on the Deck Stage and traveling artists on the Main Stage. Free admission and family friendly on the Deck Stage, early, most evenings. I vote this spot most likely to host an artist who has also played my hometown music festival. Appropriate for hippie leg and hip shaking.

Charleston Music Hall (Downtown)
One of my new favorites, as someone who enjoys having a seat to enjoy music these days (it's more about the personal space, less about the dancing). St. Paul and the Broken Bones is coming up, but sold out, so I would advise signing up for their eNewsletter. Dave Chapelle also sold out here, last month.

Surf Bar (Folly Beach)
A smaller spot where you can grab a burger, sit outside, and listen to tunes within blocks of Folly Beach. Live music almost every night of the week.

Prohibition (Downtown)
Surprisingly active music scene for a spot on King Street. Their bluegrass during Sunday brunch is my favorite, but they also host jazz and salsa nights.

Kudu (Downtown)
Sunny, warm days in Charleston are meant to be spent outside and their courtyard is like sitting in your friend's backyard enjoying a coffee or beer with the pleasure of music. 

Awendaw Green Barn Jam (Awendaw)
A favorite spot for locals. Takes place every Wednesday year-round, but they also host multiple events around town.

Palmetto Brewing (Downtown)
Their collaboration with Awendaw Green, the Loading Dock series, is the perfect low-key Friday evening with a pint, food truck, and tunes. In fact, plenty of the local breweries host live music, especially on the weekends. Follow their social media accounts for updates. 

The Sparrow (N. Charleston)
Touted as the only music venue in Park Circle, their upcoming line-up is pretty impressive with a large range in styles.

The Royal American (Downtown)
Hard to believe that they're able to fit a band in this spot, but they make it work and the crowd loves it. Likely to have a cover, so come armed with cash.

Tin Roof (West Ashley)
Karaoke? While not a band, it's still considered music, right? They also host bands a few times a week.

Hometeam BBQ (Multiple Locations)
With 3 locations in Charleston county, you can't go wrong with their food or tunes. Each location offers a different vibe and size for your crowd.

The Windjammer (Isle of Palms)
Many popular bands travel to town to perform in this venue. It has a beach view, but you'll most likely be going to a late night show here, unless the Budweiser bikini competition interests you (not for me).

The Gaillard (Downtown)
Recently renovated and just as stunning on the interior as it is on the exterior, this venue is likely to continue to host big names like Loretta Lynn and plenty of Spoleto performances.

N. Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center (N. Charleston)
From Garth Brooks and Earth, Wind, & Fire at the Coliseum to REO Speedwagon and The Head and the Heart (who I got to see this past Saturday!) at the Performing Arts Center, big names play here and pack the house.

Volvo Car Stadium (Daniel Island)
Outdoor venues in Charleston are a must and this intimate spot doesn't disappoint. The summer concerts are the absolute best (and the cicadas a little loud). The upcoming Jimmy Buffet show sold out in minutes. 

FESTIVALS/ SERIES:
High Water Music Festival
April 22 & 23, 2017
"Where Lowcountry culture meets a vibrant and diverse musical lineup at the waterfront just outside historic Charleston, SC." Lowcountry natives, Shovels and Rope, are hosting this music festival and making it very local friendly for vendors and attendees.

Spoleto Festival USA
May 26- June 11, 2017
"For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA fills Charleston, South Carolina’s historic theaters, churches and outdoor spaces with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers in opera, theater, dance, and chamber, symphonic, choral and jazz music. Now approaching its 41st season, Spoleto Festival USA is internationally recognized as America’s premier performing arts festival."

Reggae Nights
Summer 2017
"The Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series at James Island County Park features traditional old school roots reggae with a new school attitude in a beautiful outdoor setting. Bring your chairs or blanket."


Looking to find out more about artists coming to town? Sign up for the eNews of some or all of the venues/festivals listed above to get notifications or search the hashtag #chsmusic. What's your favorite spot for tunes in the Lowcountry?

BONUS:

My mom singing to me in 1984. 

Neighborhood Spotlight: North Central

Emily:

Downtown Charleston is divided up into over a dozen neighborhoods. North of the Crosstown hosts Hampton Park Terrace, Wagener Terrace, West Side, and North Central, to name a few. Last week, I listed a newly renovated home in the North Central neighborhood and thought it would be helpful to highlight what makes this area so desirable:

History
Developed mostly in the early 1900s, from farmland, many of the homes in this neighborhood are two story with front porches made for catching a breeze and enjoying an evening cocktail. Seen on the map below, it is bounded by Mt. Pleasant Street to the North, Interstate 26 to the East, and Rutledge Avenue to the West.

Eat & Drink
North Central Delicatessen
Charleston deli with bagels, Taylor pork roll, hot dogs, sandwiches, and salads. This place gets packed around lunch time with area employees.

Huriyali
Nourish your mind, body and soul with the freshest organic ingredients combined with the best of what the world has to offer; juices, raw bars, sandwiches, Acai bowls, and more. Their back courtyard is a refreshing open space for meeting with friends or enjoying a few moments of solitude. 

The Park Cafe
Neighborhood cafe for breakfast, lunch, dinner, Saturday/Sunday brunch, and daily specials. Their interior is filled with clean design and a greenery wall that will make you want to go home and water your plants.

Moe’s Crosstown Tavern
Popular watering hole for locals that serves a large menu with great food. Voted City Paper's 'Best Pub Food' for 8 years in a row. Brunch is a must here on Sundays, but arrive early with your whole party to get a table.

Rodney Scott BBQ (coming soon)
Whole hog smoking barbecue by acclaimed pit-master, Rodney Scott. A lot of press will accompany this opening before the end of the year.

On the cusp, but still walkable/bikeable:
Rutledge Cab Company | Lewis Barbecue | Home Team BBQ | Edmund's Oast | Butcher & Bee | Tattooed Moose | Santi's | Leon's Oyster Shop | Taco Boy | The Royal American | Palmetto Brewing | Revelry Brewing | Cooper River Brewing

Get Involved
North Central Group
This Facebook group stays active with updates from local businesses and groups that culminate in the area. On a larger scale, the Upper Peninsula Initiative also keeps you up to date with happenings and community planning efforts.

Romney Urban Garden
Community garden that hosts garden bed rentals, volunteer workdays, back to school bashes, movies, composting tutorials, and so much more.

Dart Library
Originally Dart Hall, this library, now part of the Charleston County Public Library system, was started as an African American Reading Room in 1927. This active library branch hosts story times, career fairs, book discussions, movies, and other community events.

Enough Pie (Vat Shack)
A catalyst for inclusive and inspiring community engagement in the Upper Peninsula through dynamic partnerships, artistic collaborations and creative placemaking. The Vat Shack, located in Joseph Floyd Manor Park, explores the history, culture, science and art of indigo with 'Community Dye Days'.

The Vinyl Countdown
Independent record store, specializing in new and used, vinyl, and turn tables.

The Faculty Lounge
Blink and you'll miss it. This neighborhood late night spot is good for meeting up with friends, making new friends, and getting sweaty on their compact dance floor.

On the cusp, but still walkable/bikeable:
Hampton Park | Kickball League | Riverdogs Games (you can most likely see the Friday night fireworks from your front porch) 

IMG_0147.JPG

Up and Coming
Not much is known on the new-builds coming up on what used to occupy 373-379 Huger Street, other than they're working on the sites daily that will likely feature eight, 2 and 3 bedroom homes around 1,400 square feet, all with drive under garages. Stay tuned!

Do you live or work in the area? What's your favorite spot?