After 29 years of business in West Ashley at 1114 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., the Miami-inspired cantina Cisco’s Cafe announced its plans to close last week. “It’s sad, but it’s 100 percent a business decision,” co-owner Hans Van Heek told The Post and Courier. He blamed the recent downturn in the economy and increasing competition from a slew of newly-opened Mexican restaurants in the area for recent hardships. For years, Cisco’s featured live acoustic music and weekly karaoke. Local bluegrass ensemble Common Ground played there every Thursday for as long as we can remember. —T. Ballard Lesemann
WHAT A GAS
Charleston rock quartet Gaslight Street — comprised of singer/guitarist Campbell Brown, drummer Brooks DuBose, bassist Frank Nelson, and keyboardist Jason Stokes — celebrate the official release of their debut album this month with a big gig at the Music Farm on Sat. Jan. 31. The band recorded Blue Skies for Fools — a groove-heavy, soulful, nine-song collection — at Ocean Industries Studios in Charleston with engineers Jeff Leonard and Eric Rickert at the mixing boards. It sounds cool and steady, demonstrating the band’s flexible blend of roots/blues and vintage guitar-rock stylings. Special guests on the disc include keyboardist Jon Hager (of Modern Day Monks) and vocalist Cary Ann Hearst. Visit www.myspace.com/gaslightstreet for more. —TBL
MUSIC UNLIMITED CONCERT AT THE WINDJAMMER
Founded in 2006 as “the Lowcountry’s first school of rock,” local organization Music Unlimited regularly offers private instruction by some of Charleston’s finest musicians and instructors (guitars, drums, keys, vocals, etc.). The organization hosts the MU ROCKS Summer Camp for teenage students who want to learn more about playing in bands, writing songs, stage performance, and other aspects of the biz. The organization hosts a two-night, student/teacher gig titled “Rock the Nation: Music Unlimited’s Rock Nation Concert” on Fri. Jan. 30 and Sat. Jan. 31 at the Windjammer (1008 Ocean Blvd.). The fund-raising event features veteran guitarist Chris Holly and many special guests. Their last big event at the Jammer was a “We Save the Music” concert in August. Check out www.myspace.com/musicunlimitedrocks and www.the-windjammer.com for more. —TBL
CROW AT THE PAC
The fine folks at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center announced that eclectic folk/roots act Old Crow Medicine Show is set to perform a concert at the venue on Sun. Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. The band recently released a new studio album titled Tennessee Pusher (their third album for Nettwerk Music Group). The 13-song collection was produced by Don Was (Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt). “People ask me what The Old Crow Medicine Show are all about,” Was says in a press release. “If I’m in a hurry, I just say that they’re The Clash of bluegrass music, but that doesn’t really do anyone any justice. I could tell ’em that they’re a rock ‘n’ roll band who use fiddles and acoustic guitars instead of Les Pauls and Marshall stacks, but that’s only one small part of the story.” With the exception of “Always Lift Him Up” by Blind Alfred Reed, all of the tracks on the new album are originals. Tickets are on sale for $26 and $20 via the box office, Ticketmaster outlets, or by phone at (843) 554-6060. Visit www.crowmedicine.com and www.coliseumpac.com for more. —TBL
ROYALTY ON THE ISLAND
Hilton Head’s Shoreline Ballroom (40 Folly Field Road, 843-842-0358) is booking the greats these days, with Loretta Lynn herself rolling in next week. The Queen of Country Music shows her coal minin’ roots on Fri. Jan. 16. And in February, the theater will host the king himself, as B.B. King and his blues singing Gibson “Lucille” grace the stage alongside the legendary Buddy Guy. For a couple of days at least, the road to Hilton Head is paved with gold. Get tickets and info at www.ShorelineBallroom.com. —Stratton Lawrence
BLUES BASH #19 ON THE WAY
Local musician, blues enthusiast, and festival organizer Gary “Shrimp City Slim” Erwin recently announced the lineup and schedule for this year’s Southern Comfort Lowcountry Blues Bash. Already in its 19th year, the festival is set to run from Fri. Feb. 6 through Mon. Feb. 16. Co-sponored by The Bridge at 105.5 and 98X, the bash will feature over 40 blues, soul, and roots acts in over 19 local venues. Some of the stand-out featured artists include Big Bill Morganfield, Beverly Guitar Watkins, Georgia blues-rock veteran Tinsley Ellis, Savannah guitarist Hitman, Memphis soul-rock bandleader Daddy Mack, Philly soul/blues vocalist Deb Callahan, and a slew of local and Upstate talent. For a free illustrated brochure, send a SASE to Blues Bash, P.O. Box 13525, Charleston, S.C. 29422. For details and ticket information, log on to www.bluesbash.com or call (843) 762-9125. —TBL
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