As two weeks of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival come to an end, three South Carolina musical acts will close out the festival with one last tradition: the Piccolo Spoleto Finale.
Manny Houston, Sam Burchfield and Southbound 17 will gather in Hampton Park on June 11 to end the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Houston will headline the mainstage, with Burchfield opening the show, and Southbound 17 bringing what it calls its “Ameri-kinda” sound to the Rose Pavilion.
Inspired by Childish Gambino and Kanye West, Manny Houston is a hip-hop artist and College of Charleston graduate from the Greenville area currently based in Los Angeles, where he has been working on his music under the mentorship of the producer duo Stargate.
Before pursuing hip-hop full time, Houston (who has a degree in classical piano from the College of Charleston) was a musician in Off-Broadway musicals, most recently Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation.
Piccolo Spoleto will spotlight his musical training and range in “The Get Down,” which is a set that includes hits from Prince, Rick James and James Brown.
Reconnecting with nature and living like an outlaw: These are the concepts behind Sam Burchfield’s records. He said he loves being a songwriter and is hoping to bring that love to the Piccolo Spoleto Finale stage.
Burchfield’s record Graveyard Flower came out in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. He said the awful timing ended up being good in a way because the album is about reconnection and addresses lots of problems the world was and is facing, like a disconnect from nature.
He has already released several singles from his upcoming album, Scoundrel, which he said plays with the idea of his alter ego, an outlaw living in the Wild West. He used that lens as the base for his storytelling on the album.
Burchfield said his Piccolo show will “play with the duality of those two records and give it the live twist.”
Southbound 17 describes its sound as East Coast Western. Katie Bailey, the lead singer and mandolin player, described the band as country, bluegrass-adjacent, “Ameri-kinda” music. In other words, it loves to put its own spin on songs like “Gypsy” by Fleetwood Mac or “Clocks” by Coldplay by replacing the original instruments with banjo and mandolin.
Bailey, Jack Austen and Jacob Simmons started making music together in 2014 and have played all over the region ever since, with Charleston, Columbia and Myrtle Beach being their main stops. Piccolo Spoleto was a natural fit for them. Bailey said Spoleto has always been a part of their lives, and bringing their music to Piccolo Spoleto is an exciting opportunity.
“We’ll probably [play]a lot of originals, our favorite originals that we do, and sprinkle in some covers that inspire us along the way,” Austen said about the upcoming set. “It’s pretty much going to be a sampling of some of our favorite stuff that we do in our longer shows.”
Burchfield and Bailey both said they are excited to be part of an event as big as this festival because it’s been two years since they’ve been able to really gather with fans and play music without a lot of restrictions.
“To be able to do something like this – that’s something to celebrate,” Bailey said.
Riley Utley a graduate student in the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications Program at Syracuse University.
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