CHRISTMAS SHOW | Charlton Singleton’s Holiday Spectacular
Thurs. Dec. 5
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Charlton Singleton’s Holiday Spectacular at the Music Hall is that it’s happening at all. Singleton, the former music director of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, has spent the last few years becoming an international sensation with his Gullah and jazz project, Ranky Tanky. The band was recently nominated for a Grammy and has been burning up the road since the release of their chart-topping self-titled debut album in 2017. With the follow-up, Good Time, it doesn’t look like 2020 will be any less busy for the trumpeter, vocalist, and bandleader. But somehow, Singleton found time to create a holiday show this year, a tradition he began back in 2016. And the setlist will be full of jazzed up versions of both traditional Christmas songs and more recent favorites. The theme of the show is “Your Perfect Holiday Concert,” and you can expect to hear chestnuts like “Santa Baby,” “Jingle Bells,” “This Christmas,” along with material by Michael Bublé, Eartha Kitt, Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, Donny Hathaway, and many more. The full lineup hasn’t been announced, but the list of performers might just include some of Singleton’s friends from Ranky Tanky, or any number of the distinguished musicians he’s worked with in other Music Hall events over the years. It might also be the last time we see Singleton for a while; after the holidays, he’ll no doubt be back on the road spreading the Gullah music gospel all around the world. —Vincent Harris THURSDAY
TOM WAITS COVERS | Jockey Full of Bourbon
Mon. Dec. 9
Tom Waits’ piano ballads are something to ponder. His distinct, prolific voice connects to the instrument, and the combination has pushed the modest musician to be a true and eclectic songwriting icon in American music. A local tribute to Waits’ music, titled Jockey Full of Bourbon, will give Charleston artists the opportunity to share the singer’s grandiose melodies with listeners. All of Waits’ cornerstone elements — odd and personal lyricism, jazz, guitar blues — will be included in this night of music. Waits’ first album, Closing Time, is regarded as a prolific record for the early ’70s folk scene in California. Since then, his career has been filled with honest lyrics and components of jazz that have made Waits revered among many listeners who come in contact with the musician. Jockey Full of Bourbon will span across Waits’ career and will include unique styles from musicians covering his music. Guest artists such as Bill Carson, Joel Hamilton, Conor Donohue, Lindsay Holler, Sam Sfirri, George Baerreis, and more will be on the stage to help carry Waits’ music forward into another year.
—Matt Keady MONDAY
ROCK & ROLL | Patterson Hood
Thurs. Dec. 5
Drive-By Truckers’ frontman Patterson Hood has been busier than usual in the four years since his cross-country move to Portland, Or. “Anytime you make a huge life change, it’s going to impact the art one makes,” he told the City Paper. “I think I badly needed a change of pace and it certainly has impacted everything, mostly for the better. The first year I was here, I wrote an op-ed for The New York Times, published a short story, delivered a commencement address, spoke at the Clinton Presidential Library, wrote several articles for various publications, and also wrote the lion’s share of Drive-By Truckers’ American Band album, plus kept up my usual touring schedule with the band and as a solo act.” It is the latter endeavor that brings him back to the Lowcountry this week for an intimate performance at the Pour House. “The current solo tour,” Hood says, “will feature songs from my whole catalog. DBT stuff, old and new, as well as stuff from all three of my solo albums, and maybe even some brand new songs that haven’t been recorded yet. There will also be some storytelling and general banter, more than a DBT show provides.” Hood also conveys that this might be the last chance to see him in such a setting for quite a while. “After this run, I will be out a ton next year with Drive-By Truckers as our new album, The Unraveling, is coming out Jan. 31, 2020.” —Kevin Wilson THURSDAY
POWER-POP | Dear Blanca
w/ Stagbriar, Ned Brash Experience
Fri. Dec. 6
The Royal American
Power-pop group Dear Blanca is doing a live recording at the Royal American to mark the end of one era and the beginning of another. “Marc [Coty] has been involved with Dear Blanca since day one and sadly he is moving to Colorado at the beginning of the year,” says Dylan Dickerson about the band’s drummer. “We wanted to take this opportunity to document the Marc-era of Dear Blanca’s live shows before switching gears with someone new behind the kit in 2020.” The “Marc-era” that Dickerson describes has been a celebrated time for the band. They strived to create a musical atmosphere that invites fans to what Dickerson calls a “musical time capsule.” They want people to remember the music they are making. They want them to feel the rhythm and emotion that comes through their sound, and take it with them. “Maybe that’s what we’d like people to get out of our music,” says Dickerson. “A sense that despite the complex differences between people there is usually some sort of common thread that bonds us together.” Just as one door closes, another opens for Dear Blanca. “We’ve got big plans for 2020,” says Dickerson. “We just wrapped up a new Dear Blanca record that we recorded at Rialto Row in Charleston.” The Columbia band is on a steady come-up in the music scene of Charleston and the live recording is bound to increase their esteem. —Abrie Richison FRIDAY
INDIE ROCK | Heyrocco
w/ Invisible Low End Power, Reality Something
Sat. Dec. 7
The Royal American
Some bands have earned a place in the collective hearts of music scene fans and there seems to be a sweeping agreement that Heyrocco is one of these bands. For many, it was evident that there was something different about them. They were a confident, unapologetic, heavy grunge trio with a pure musical intention. The Charleston-native unit relocated to Los Angeles to pursue musical endeavors and it seems that the change of scenery has been artistically fruitful. Their new EP, Mexican Ashtray, is a booze-soaked, chaos-oriented offering with big guitars, big drums, and a raw edge. There is a soft, beautiful side to the record as well and it wouldn’t be Heyrocco without some of that magic, emotional touch. The West Coast influence is also apparent in the lyrical imagery and the sonic layout of the record, taking a bit of a different approach from their previous work. A couple of the songs happily hint at the late David Berman’s project, Silver Jews, with a twist. The band is on tour in December, taking them through 15 cities with welcomed, fresh, new material. —Jeffrey Wilson SATURDAY
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