The weekly Tuesday night session at Morgan Creek Grill on the Isle of Palms is picking up steam each month. Playing all year under the event moniker “Vintage Country and Bluegrass Night,” guitarist/vocalist Carroll Brown, mandolinist/fiddler Bob Sachs, fiddler/vocalist Roger Bellow, and upright bass player Gary Hewitt recently changed the name.
“The group is now ‘Bob Sachs & The Maniacs,’ for lack of a name we like better,” laughs Brown. “And so-named because Bob has been a side man all these years, and Roger wanted to give him top billing, which was okay with me and Gary.”
Brown, a longtime singer, acoustic guitarist, and songwriter, plays weekly solo gigs across the Lowcountry and Georgia. His song list is folk-based, often along Celtic/Irish styles.
“As Bob Sachs & The Maniacs, we play vintage country and swing tunes from the 1940s to the ’60s, and some token bluegrass, though most everyone thinks that anything with a fiddle and mando is bluegrass,” Brown says. “We do try to mix it up and take a large number of requests from the zealous faithful who come each week and those who happen to drop in. There are always several musicians sitting in, which adds interest, especially from the pool of extraordinary musicians Roger knows.”
Brown and Bellow trade duties “calling the tunes.” Their repertoire is a wide-reaching mix of early-century folk and roots music, swing, bluegrass, old-time country, and blues. A regular rotation of guest players includes “Big Frank” Waddell, Allison Tysinger, Tommy Hanson, Josh Brown, and Sharon Cumbee, among other local singers and musicians.
“The evening always ends with an extended medley of ‘anything goes’ and whatever is least expected, ending with our trademark version of ‘Orange Blossom Special,'” says Brown. “It signals the last song of the evening.”
Bob Sachs & The Maniacs pick and grin every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Morgan Creek Grill (80 41st Ave., 886-8980). No cover. Reservations available. See www.morgancreekgrill.com and www.carrollbrownmusic.com for more.