RAGGED COUNTRY | Sin City
w/ Sweatlands and Secret Guest
Fri. April 8
The origins of the Sin City band run all the way back to the early 1990s, when Spartanburg singer-songwriter/guitarist David Ezell relocated to the Holy City. “There was a little club called Cumberland’s,” Ezell says, “and they had a band in there every Tuesday night. I happened to say to the owner if that band ever quit and he needed something a little different, would he give me a chance? And about a month later, he called and said the band told him they were going to wrap up the Tuesday night, and what I came up with was that I wanted a band to play old country music.” So along with singer Johnny Puke (a punker, if you couldn’t figure that out, and Tin Roof bartender), guitarist Bill Kendall, bassist Ben Edwards, drummer John Etheridge, and pedal-steel player Charlie Thompson, Ezell put together Sin City, a band that specialized in the rough-and-ragged country of the late 1960s. “The name Sin City comes from a Gram Parsons song about Las Vegas, but we really didn’t do Gram Parsons,” Ezell says. “The idea was to go back and do songs by the people who influenced Gram Parsons.” In fact, there was a specific song that served as Ezell’s stopping point. “We drew the line at Charlie Rich’s ‘Behind Closed Doors,'” he says. “And I hated doing it, because I’m a big Charlie Rich fan, but that was kind of the beginning of the Billy Sherrill-produced country songs with strings. So I just had to say no.” But perhaps time has mellowed Ezell and company somewhat. “We’re thinking about working in ‘Behind Closed Doors’ for these upcoming shows, and maybe we’ll even
do some Gram Parsons songs,” Ezell says with a laugh.
—Vincent Harris FRIDAY
PROGRESSIVE BLUEGRASS | Fireside Collective
Fri. April 8
Home Team BBQ, Sullivan’s Island
Asheville’s Fireside Collective plays a hybrid style of acoustic music that leans just as heavily on folk melodies and progressive experimentation as it does on traditional bluegrass. So it’s natural to assume that the band has gotten some flak from the infamously cranky old-school wing of bluegrass players, but you’d be wrong. “I was expecting to run into a bit more of backlash,” says Fireside singer/guitarist Jesse Iaquinto. “Maybe it’s just the venues that we’re choosing. We tend to play a lot of breweries and bars that have more eclectic music instead of just strictly bluegrass. Every once in a while, you’ll hear a little comment like ‘Where’s the banjo’, but not much.” Besides, the band looks to artists from all over the acoustic spectrum for inspiration, and Iaquinto says that even some “traditional” players liked pushing the boundaries back in the day. “People like Sam Bush and Bela Fleck were kind of like the bridge between the original traditional end and the more progressive stuff,” he says. “But now they play everything across the board. Even Earl Scruggs of Flatt and Scruggs, one of the original bluegrass bands, started to branch off in the late ’50s and add drums and do a little more out-of-the-box bluegrass stuff while still maintaining that traditional foundation.” Folks like that have been a huge influence on Fireside Collective. Iaquinto says, “We’ve styled ourselves as a group that keeps bluegrass and roots music at the center of what we do, but it can sway from one direction to another.” —Vincent Harris FRIDAY
BENEFIT | Joy Moja Jam Fest
w/ Bootless, Missy and the Meerkats, Primo Noctis, Trust in Traitors, Copacetic, Bass Ghost, Right Turn Clyde, Pinkerton and the Brinks, Randy Pender, and Root of All
Sat. April 9
The Pub on 61
Joy Moja Jam Fest is one of the first local festivals to crank up the amps this season, and it’s all happening to benefit the Joy Moja charity group, which sells handmade goods to support the education and well-being of underprivileged children in Tanzania. “The point is to bring joy to the kids in Tanzania — to bring them hope, to bring them an opportunity to get past some of the community issues that they have been dealing with, hopefully within the next generation, and to be able to do something about their surroundings,” explains Christina Joy, founder of the charity. Merchandise will be raffled off and door prizes awarded, with all funds going straight to the organization. Root of All, a St. Augustine, Fla.-based, reggae-influenced band will headline the afternoon affair. Other acts to look forward to include local country band Bootless, blues rockers Missy and the Meerkats, Southern heavy metal group Primo Noctis, August rockers Trust in Traitors, reggae rockers Copacetic, local hip-hop artist Bass Ghost, North Carolina classic rockers Right Turn Clyde, local bluegrass troupe Pinkerton and the Brinks, and local guitarist/singer-songwriter Randy Pender. —Isaac Weeks SATURDAY
GOSPEL, SOUL, & FUNK | Kanika Moore & the Motown Throwdown
Sun. April 10
The Pour House
The calendar, the groundhog, and the weather all agree that spring has sprung, and to herald in this season the Pour House has brought back the Sunday Brunch Farmers Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Being a farmers market, you can expect all of the usual food, art, goods, and wares. And being Charleston, you can count on a Bloody Mary and mimosa bar. Best of all, this is the Pour House, so you know they will come through with some of the very best artists in the local music scene. One PoHo farmers market staple is Kanika Moore and the Motown Throwdown, led by bandleader Mike Quinn. Moore belts out the kind of soulful vocals that are perfect for a Sunday morning gospel brunch, and she’s backed by a powerhouse soul-funk band: Manny Houston, David Grimm, Corey Stephens, and Stuart White. Their covers of old classics like “Superstitious” by Stevie Wonder or “I Want You Back” by the Jackson Five are impossible not to dance to, and no one at this lively community gathering is stopping you. —Madi Kois SUNDAY
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