It’s that time of year again. The third annual March Madness Battle of the Bands has announced the initial dates. The locally-based, four-round series is set to take place on the Village Tavern stage for three straight weekends in March, starting on Fri. March 14. Each event will be judged by local scene characters. “It’s going to be 16 bands and four preliminary rounds with the finals at the end of the month,” says enthusiastic organizer Stuart Johnson (of local band Allnightkungfu). “There’s a $500 cash prize with more prizes to be announced. Last year’s winner, Blindsyght, will help with the judging. Unlike some local band battles, this is an open competition for original artists only … and it is completely run by musicians.” For more info, contact Johnson at (843) 259-4507 or by e-mail at, or visit


Sad news for bluegrass and folk music fans: due to “unforeseen circumstances,” the Dan Tyminski Band had to postpone their gig scheduled for Sun. Feb. 17 at the Charleston Music Hall. For over a decade, acoustic guitarist/mandolinist and vocalist Tyminski has served as a skillful component of Alison Krauss & Union Station. He and his bluegrass/roots music quintet have a new studio album slated for release on Rounder Records this spring. Another Charleston performance date at the Music Hall will be announced soon. All previously purchased tickets will be honored for the new show date. Visit and for more.


Charleston native Darius Rucker, lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, switches musical gears next month when he performs the music of Frank Sinatra at the Charleston Music Hall. Accompanied by a big band, Rucker invokes the spirt of ol’ blue eyes on Fri. Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $100, $150, and $250 through All proceeds from the evening will benefit MUSC’s Charles P. Darby Children’s Research Institute, a large-scale pediatric research facility. Sponsors include BB&T and Blackbaud. “I’m proud to be supporting MUSC Children’s Hospital and excited to be doing this concert again,” says Rucker. “I’ve loved these Sinatra songs for so long, and performing them with a big band is a dream come true.” Check out more at and


Happy birthday to the North Charleston Coliseum and North Charleston Performing Arts Center (5001 Coliseum Dr., (843) 529-5012)! Both venues kick off their 15th year celebration this month. They officially opened their doors on Jan. 28, 1993 and have since hosted hundreds of memorable performances. See for more.


In a “musical tribute to Louisiana,” local deep-groove rock ensemble Sol Driven Train and alt-country/pop songwriter Cary Ann Hearst share the elegant stage at the Sottile Theatre (44 George St., (843) 554-6060) for the Mardi Gras Celebration on Tues. Feb. 5. Presented by Charleston Habitat for Humanity and The Bridge @ 105.5, a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the New Orleans Musician’s Village, a Habitat-related project to provide housing for musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and in advance (contact Julia Mariano at (843) 722-7145) for $12 or $10 for CofC students. Check out,, and for more.


The blues are coming to Charleston once again. Although there was chatter last year about him stepping aside, fans are relieved to hear that local musician, radio host, and fest organizer Gary “Shrimp City Slim” Erwin is still at the helm. Erwin recently announced the lineup and schedule for Charleston’s 18th annual blues festival. The Southern Comfort Lowcountry Blues Bash, running from Fri. Feb. 8 through Sun. Feb. 17, will feature 44 blues, soul, and roots music acts in 18 local venues. Some of the stand-out featured artists include sax man Eddie Shaw and his Wolf Gang, Nashville-based “storybook singer” Clifford Curry, Louisiana’s Creole Zydeco Farmers (featuring 72-year-old drummer Clarence “Jockey” Etienne), Miss.-based gospel/blues singer Sharrie Williams and her band The Wise Guys, Memphis veterans the Daddy Mack Blues Band, Georgia blues-rock veteran and electric guitar wiz Tinsley Ellis, Big Bill Morganfield (the son of the legendary Muddy Waters), and many more. For a free illustrated brochure, send a SASE to Blues Bash, P.O. Box 13525, Charleston, S.C. 29422. For details and ticket information, log on to or call Erwin at (843) 762-9125.