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Skip Sullins

I Can’t Get There

from Here

(independent)

“Liberty Bar” from the album I Can’t Get There From Here
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A farmer drowning in taxes accidentally shoots the bureaucrat who comes to take his land. A man stares at the woman in his bed and misses the true love he foolishly left behind years ago. A lonely drive across the desert, and a romp with a married woman in a bar called “Liberty.” Local bard Skip Sullins spins many a forlorn singer/songwriter tale on his latest offering, all the while keeping the mood light and spirited. I Can’t Get There from Here is a compilation of favorite songs written by friends, along with a few of his own. Complemented by banjos, flutes, and cello, the acoustic tales that Sullins weaves harken back to the songwriting heydays of Austin and Nashville, but are as authentic in 2007 Charleston as ever. It’s a refreshing return to the idea that every song should tell a story, and Sullins knows how to hold your interest to the final lingering line. —Stratton Lawrence

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Dangermuffin

Beermuda

(independent)

“Masquerade” from the album Beermuda
Audio File

Back in the day, rock ‘n’ roll hippies wore headbands. It was part of the uniform. Anyone who’s seen the Woodstock movie or an old Blue Cheer, Grateful Dead, or Steppenwolf clip knows that. Local trio Dangermuffin’s Mike Sivilli wears a head band (he claims it’s to help his bandmates pick him out in a crowded room). But he’s no loose-limbed, free-floatin’ hippie guitar dude; he’s the secret weapon behind the rock trio’s versatile groove-heavy style. On the band’s debut, Beermuda, “Masquerade” leads off with a casual, two-chord progression on singer/guitarist Dan Lotti’s acoustic and the tip-tappin’ of drummer Jim Donnelly’s brushy snare work, gradually building from Sivilli’s tasteful and echo-laden slide guitar embellishments. The tune contains all of the band’s strongest components: vocal harmonies, fuzzy blues guitar licks, splashy cymbal accents, and Lotti’s raspy, flat accent. The more anthemic honky-tonk knee-slapper “Free Man” swings in traditional country style while “What’s in a Bottle?” sounds a little more earthy, like a snappy, beer-fueled jam session. After a waltzy intro, “Martyr Song” grooves with a reggae beat and Lotti’s slightly more emphasized Caribbean/Jack Johnson drawl. A more melancholic highlight is “Lost Again,” which shuffles with some more brushes on the snare, guitar amp oscillation and tremolo, and Sivilli’s expressive guitar licks. Cool stuff for hippies and rockers. (www.myspace.com/dangermuffin) —T. Ballard Lesemann