Presented by the nicely-established Palmetto Acoustic group, the monthly Open Mic Challenge series continues at Muddy Waters Coffee Bar (1331 Ashley River Road, 843-225-3683) on Wed. Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.

Over the last year, Palmetto Acoustic has presented free acoustic showcases every other week at this venue, highlighting a mix of local and visiting singer/songwriters performing original music.

Modeled after open mic events held at some of the top listening rooms in Atlanta and Boston, each performer in the Acoustic Challenge gets a 10-minute slot, and the top three will get an encore set at the end of the night to determine the winner. The winner of the kick-off gig (held in May) was local songwriter Kevin Church.

With local songwriter and guitarist Aaron Levy (of local band White Rhino, pictured) as the main host, guest judges evaluate the sets with five criteria in mind: songwriting, vocal performance, playing ability, stage presence, and audience response. Monthly winners receive a cash prize and a spot in the bi-annual winners circle event to be held in November. This week, City Paper‘s music department will be there to judge alongside local musician and freelance writer Stan Gray (of Grayman and Charleston Magazine). There’s no cover. Music starts at 7 p.m.

The next Palmetto Acoustic event features sets from Levy Rupert Wates at 7:30 p.m. on Thurs. Sept. 24. The next big installment of the Acoustic Challenge is set for Wed. Oct. 14.

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