[image-1]ART | Popping bottles on Gallery Row
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, what better way to get into the mood than to take a walk down historic Broad Street and sample some of Charleston’s fine art while sipping champagne and nibbling on chocolate? The Broad Street Merchants Association hosts its First Fridays on Broad art walk starting on Feb. 1. The event focuses on Broad Street’s stylish mix of fine art galleries, studios, boutiques, and bodegas. In contrast to the French Quarter Gallery Association’s quarterly art walk, First Fridays aims to be a little more laid back, offering more individual attention, a welcoming atmosphere, and a personalized experience. Patrons can meet and greet the artists while enjoying refreshments. The galleries and boutiques of Broad Street will receive equal attention, allowing participants to view the full array of paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and pottery. “This is sure to become one of Charleston’s favorite monthly happenings,” says Stephanie Hamlet of the Hamlet Fine Art Gallery. Participating merchants include Ellis-Nicholson Gallery, Hamlet Fine Art, Edward Dare Gallery, Coco Vivo, Rivendell Woodworks and Gallery, UTOPIA, and many more. —Tim Hoyt FRIDAY Feb. 1, 5 p.m. Broad St.
[image-2]MUSIC | Drinking again with Corey Smith
In 2007, Corey Smith sold 471,827 songs on iTunes (at 99 cents a pop, that’s a lot!) Puzzlingly, the top three songs sold were those that could (and still can) be downloaded for free on MySpace. Smith’s recently acquired agent (he was truly independent until October) views the unnecessary purchases by fans as an example of “the truest from of support there is.” This alternative analysis contends that this really reveals more about the types of fans Smith attracts — party-hardy frat boys with un-policed access to mom’s credit card number. That being said, Smith should not be dismissed as just another frat fad (think mullets and croakies). He currently sells out everywhere he goes and has managed, despite his hectic Southern touring schedule, to put out another album this year: Hard Headed Fool. Although his new album offers “a more professional sound,” it’s older tunes like “Carolina” which give listeners a musical tour of the Carolina collegiate experience (including “stumbling across the cobblestone” in Charleston), keeping Smith’s fans coming out for more. Smith, a Georgia-born good ole boy, grossed over a million dollars last year, so he’s probably no longer living in that double-wide he sings about. Fortunately, his music and performance still maintain the down-to-earth vibe that made it so appealing initially. If one-man acoustic doesn’t quite satisfy your musical cravings, Joal Rush and his full band will open. Rush’s edgier sound will prove a perfect appetizer for main dish Smith. —Meaghan Strickland FRIDAY Feb. 1, 8 p.m. $15. Music Farm, 32 Ann St. (843) 853-3276. www.musicfarm.com
MUSIC | Fat jazzy jams on Fat Tuesday
In 1958, the first Monterey Jazz Festival brought together up-and-coming jazz musicians like Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie. These legends set the standard for the festival, and for the past 50 years, it’s been considered a premiere event for jazz lovers and musicians alike. Now, celebrating 50 years of success, a group of three generations of jazz masters has gathered to form the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Band, and they’re hitting up Charleston just in time for Black History Month. The band, which features the leaders of the past, present, and future of jazz music, consists of six members — each with their own special relationship to MJF. Trumpeter Terence Blanchard has been nominated for several Grammys, and he won for “Best Jazz Album” in 2005. He’s also written over 40 film scores, including Malcolm X and When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Six-time Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelong’s has won critical acclaim for her singing; her most recent album explored the music of Billie Holiday. Pianist Benny Green started his association with MJF in the ’70s as part of the MJF High School All Star Big Band. Bassist Derrick Hodge has worked with artists including Freddy Cole and Kanye West; he’s also composed works for artists like Terence Blanchard and Q-Tip. Jazz legend James Moody played with Dizzy Gillespie in the ’40s, hit the charts with “Moody’s Mood for Love” in the ’50s, and has been performing at MJF since the ’60s. Lastly, drummer Kendrick Scott has performed with the Berklee/Monterey Quartet, along with various jazz greats. But enough name dropping. You should know by now that this is going to be a performance of legendary proportions. —Erica Jackson TUESDAY Feb. 5, 8 p.m. $15-$55. Gaillard Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. (843) 554-6060
[image-3]MUSIC | Laissez les bons temps rouler!
With genuine enthusiasm as festive as the old-school krewes parading around the French Quarter this week, local musical acts Sol Driven Train (www.soldriventrain.com) and Cary Ann Hearst (www.caryannhearst.com) have a few groovy Fat Tuesday tricks up their sleeves. With a roster of special guests, both plan to perform a “musical tribute to Louisiana.” Presented by Charleston Habitat for Humanity and The Bridge @ 105.5, all proceeds will go to the New Orleans Musician’s Village, a Habitat-led project aimed at housing for musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and the 2008 Blitz Build with the College of Charleston, a two-week house-building project on North Nassau Street. The Sol Driven Train guys — sax player Russell Clarke, guitarist/trombonist Ward Buckheister, singer/guitarist Joel Timmons, bassist Rusty Cole, and drummer Phill Eason — are scheduled to perform a warm-up set on ABC News 4’s Lowcountry Live at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Hearst has stayed busy this year with her band The Gun Street Girls, as well as with a new side project with guitarist Michael Trent (from The Films) called Shovels & Dirt. —T. Ballard Lesemann TUESDAY Feb. 5, 8 p.m. $12, $10 for CofC students. Sottile Theatre, 44 George St. (843) 953-5623
PARTY | Bead it up
It’s that time of year again, so break out your love beads and yellow, green, and purple because Fat Tuesday is exploding all over the bar scene in Charleston. This year, Muse’s event features music from the Jordan Gravel Jazz Trio, as well as an art exhibit featuring Tim Hussey and Townsend Davidson. They’re serving beer and wine, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and Italian and Brazilian cocktails. If you lost all your beads last year to the notorious flashing festival, fear not, because Muse is providing masks and beads to all their patrons. Proceeds benefit Charleston Stage Company. Get entertained at Voodoo by jugglers, fire blowers, Quentin Baxter and Friends, and the Dixeland Jazz Band. The music starts at 10 p.m., but the party starts at happy hour and goes on until close. Voodoo also has food and drink specials, including crawfish boil, Marie Laveau’s famous etoufee, hurricanes, Abita beer, and more. They’ll also be selling photography from the 9th Ward, silk screened T-shirts by John Pundt, and posters. Part of the proceeds benefit the St. Bernard Project in the 9th Ward. —Melissa Xenakis TUESDAY Carnevale at Muse. 6-9 p.m. $35. 82 Society St. (843) 577-1102. Fat Tuesday at Voodoo. $5 15 Magnolia Road. (843) 769-0228