With the recent heat wave upon us, it’s exciting to see a local concert on the Pour House schedule celebrating the Southern-style sizzle and embracing the idea of jamming in such humidity and heat.
Set for Sat. June 19 — two days before the actual summer solstice — the Southern Solstice Revival will feature a variety of rock, bluegrass, and bluesy Americana.
“Alex Harris and I came up with the event a few months ago,” says Campbell Brown, singer/guitarist of Gaslight Street. “We wanted to do something different that involved as many of the local musicians that have really helped the music scene thrive. The summer theme seemed to fit and give it a family/communal feel.”
The schedule for the Southern Solstice Revival has singer/guitarist Reid Stone (of Guilt-Ridden Troubadour) on the deck at 4:30 p.m., followed by acoustic combo the Butterbeans at 6 p.m. On the main stage, local act Autumn Attics plays at 9:30 p.m., followed by sets from Justin James & Co. (led by Justin Burke) at 10:15 p.m. and Gaslight Street at 11:30 p.m. Members from every act on the bill will congregate for a late-night finale.
“It’s an event that will prove Charleston’s music scene has incredible local bands,” says Burke.
The theme of the gig overlaps with the regionalism of Burke’s recent album, Southern Son, So Far, released under the band name Justin James & Co. The twangy collection demonstrates some of Burke’s more intimate and soulful lyrical ideas.
Gaslight Street’s latest offering, Blue Skies for Fools, boasts its own Southern-fried grooviness. For Campbell and his bandmates, the bluesy rock sound comes naturally.
I hope each band on the bill brainstorms on a few thematic covers from the rock ‘n’ roll catalog — from poolside jams and beachfront classics to fist-pumpin’, weather-related faves. It’ll be a healthy musical detour from their usual fare. Clever renditions and reworkings could easily provide a bit of comic relief and inspiration to accompany the inevitable jamming and perspiration.
Maybe City Paper could assign a pair of summer-related tunes for each act to learn for the show.
Stone could easily handle Lindsay Buckingham’s “Holiday Road,” the peppy theme from National Lampoon’s Vacation. A strummy version of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” could enhance the experience of feelin’ dirty and gritty on the deck.
The ladies of the Butterbeans could kill with a send-up of Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer” and a cover of Martha Reeves & The Vandellas’ “Heatwave,” with love like a heatwave burning in their hearts.
Autumn Attics should have both joy and fun while attempting “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks. They could color the laziest afternoon vibes with The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon” as well.
With their rock chops, Justin James & Co. might make Blue Cheer and The Who blush if they raised a fuss and a holler with Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues.” A heavyhanded cover of Seals & Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” could make them feel fine, no matter what jasmine junk was on their mind.
Gaslight Street could give the drummer some of the spotlight with an extended version of The Surfaris “Wipe Out” (with timekeeper Brooks DuBose providing the maniacal laughter in the song’s intro). And they could easily bring the house down with Brown crooning Frank Sinatra’s “The Summer Wind.”
These are just a few ideas, issued under balmy conditions. Let’s hope the bands warm up to them, take notice, and add a few to their usual sets.