REVIVAL FOLK | Carolina Chocolate Drops
Thurs. Jan. 30
8 p.m.
Charleston Music Hall

The North Carolina-based Carolina Chocolate Drops have a good ol’, foot stompin’ beat boxin’, Southern sound that is bound to make your tea sweeter and accent thicker. Armed with a wide array of instruments — banjo, fiddle, cello, kazoo, spoon, jug, and even bones — these back-roads folk charmers hum a harmony straight out of a 1920s string band. Frequent visitors to the Holy City — they even played Spoleto Festival USA — the Carolina Chocolate Drops are touring in support of their latest disc, 2012’s Leaving Eden, the follow-up to their 2010 hit Genuine Negro Jig. The new disc is filled with tales of ramblin’ men and prison cells, broken bottles and broken hearts, and as always, it’s filled with old-time flair, vaudeville energy, and Rhiannon Giddens’ killer pipes. The Drops next record is set to drop in 2015, and we’re hoping that their frequent lineup changes won’t affect that. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are always a hot ticket here in town, and if you haven’t seen them yet, you need to go ahead and take care of that. —Kalyn Oyer THURSDAY

UKULELE | Jake Shimabukuro
Tues. Feb. 4
7:30 p.m.
Charleston Music Hall

Since the 1950s, the guitar has reigned supreme as the instrument of choice for pop music musicians while some of the star strings of yesteryear were left behind. But today some of these under-appreciated instruments are once again taking their place center stage. Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers have brought the banjo back into the Top 40 spotlight while the ukulele is making a comeback thanks to Eddie Vedder, Jack Johnson, Train, Jason Mraz, and uke wunderkind Jake Shimabukuro. The Hawaii-born Shimabukuro may not be topping the charts like his fellow ukulele lovers, but he’s done more to bring the beloved Aloha State instrument into the 21st century than anybody else. Whether he’s covering Pink Floyd and the Beatles, playing a Hawaiian traditional, or writing one of his own elaborate pieces, Shimabukuro has gained the respect of musicians and fans around the globe. He recently kicked off his 2014 World Tour, and Chucktown is one of his first stops. And it’s no surprise either — Shimabukuro rocked Spoleto not once, but twice. —Kalyn Oyer TUESDAY

w/ Skye Paige
Wed. Jan 29
10 p.m.
The Sparrow

Matt “The Knife” Goldpaugh and Lara Hope — a.k.a. the Gold Hope Duo — are a funny pair. In fact, thanks to their ability to pen one gut-busting old-timey tune after another — including odes to booger-picking, meth-smoking, good-head-giving lovers (“Bad Habits”) and the trials and tribulations of broke-ass touring (“We Need a Place to Stay”) — they’ve recently been hitting the comedy circuit, including a gig at the Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival featuring Dave Chapelle and Flight of the Conchords. Impressive. Goldpaugh, for one, believes in the almighty power of a good laugh, especially when it comes to performing. “Music is fun. That’s why people crowd around it. It can be a powerful tool for conveying and coping with intense feelings. The best thing it can be is honest,” says Goldpaugh, who plays the stand-up bass (Hope handles the guitar while the two share vocals). “Honestly, we love to laugh and make others laugh around us,” Goldpaugh adds, “Beware of folks who take themselves too seriously.” True that. Last year, the New York-based duo released a five-song EP Ghost Town Trail, and they hope to have a video for the title track out soon. —Chris Haire WEDNESDAY

LOCAL SHOWCASE | Groundhog Day concert
Sat. Feb. 1
7 p.m.
Charleston Music Hall

The fine folks behind Saturday’s Groundhog Day concert can be forgiven for holding their show on Feb. 1, which is, you know, not Groundhog Day. See, the Super Bowl is on Sun. Feb. 2, the one-true Groundhog Day. Now, we’re of a mind to forgive Charles Carmody and the rest of the Charleston Music Hall crew because the not-quite Groundhog Day is not only raising money for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, it’s going to feature a groundhog hole full of the Holy City’s best musicians. We’re talking about Shovels and Rope’s Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, Ron Wiltrout, Rachel Kate, Slow Runner’s Michael Flynn, Mechanical Rivers’ Joel Hamilton, Charlton Singleton, Nathan Koci, Lindsay Holler, and more, including Stephanie Underhill, of North Carolina’s soul-grass act Underhill Rose (they’re great if you haven’t heard them yet). The whole thing is being organized by local music man Bill Carson. “This concert is a way for the local music community to show its support for the fantastic contemporary arts programming that the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art provides year-round, and year after year,” Carson says in a press release. “The Halsey often collaborates with musicians, actors, filmmakers, architects, designers, and others to create its unique multi-disciplinary offerings. The participating musicians all want to shine the spotlight on the Halsey Institute in gratitude for their dynamic and inspirational role in this community.” —Chris Haire SATURDAY

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