A small crowd loosened up during the Cool Yule Christmas Party at the Music Farm on Sunday. Organized by members of Charleston-based band The Cool, the gig was designed to showcase some of the area’s best acts, with proceeds benefitting Toys for Tots. Deejay Professor Ping (pictured) acted as emcee, spinning an eclectic mix between performances. After a lovely acoustic opening set from singer/guitarist Rachel Pardieck (of The Sirens, a Cool side project), I ended up on stage with John Crain, my Stiff Joints/Roosevelt bandmate, for a run-through under the name The Pits. We did alright, but the band of teenagers that followed us blew everyone away with a soulful set of blues and rock. Cole Train, a quartet with an average age of 15, opened with a spot-on rendition of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Axis Bold as Love.” Sarah Cole and Nate Merli swapped lead vocal duties and fiery guitar solos throughout the set, but the youngest bandmember, 14-year-old Tanner Cooper, almost stole the show on the drum kit with his high-caliber technique. I wanted to go straight home and practice my rudiments on the kit.

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