The Pour House
w/ Sol Driven Train, Josh Phillips Folk Festival,
Hit or Miss
Sun. Aug. 31
1977 Maybank Hwy.
Alex and Vanessa Harris are a cool team. Confidently independent, the young couple are unafraid of the multiple, daunting tasks required to run music venue and Cuban bistro, the Pour House and El Bohio. They spent three years in West Ashley before relocating from a cramped space on Savannah Highway to the much more spacious digs on Maybank Highway in August 2005.
“Surviving the old location at the strip mall place in West Ashley was the biggest hurdle,” says Harris, looking back on their earliest days. “We felt like we were doomed there. We never made any money — in fact, we were constantly losing money there every month. We learned what to do and what not to do, though. Doing the booking can be a challenge, especially as we book more acts per week and bigger shows every month. But that’s a lot easier than dealing with taxes and ordinances.”
Within their first year on James Island, they established the Pour House as one of Charleston’s major live music venues, hosting a wide array of artists of varied musical genres. This Sunday, they raise their pint glasses in celebration of their third full year in business with a full afternoon and night of groovy music.
“We feel that what we offer is different from anything there is in Charleston because we’re like a family, a local’s place, and a neighborhood live music venue,” says Harris. “People come here because they trust us with the booking and they know they’ll have a good time with a good band, whether it’s the genre they’re into or not.”
Sol Driven Train headline the party on Sunday. The quintet recently released a world-funk styled 10-song collection titled Lighthouse.
Also on the bill are Hit or Miss, the flexible rock/groove duo featuring Sol Driven Train’s Joel Timmons and Ward Buckheister. They cover plenty of music ground — from their own reworkings of SDT songs to deep cuts by Zep, Bowie, Marley, and Zevon.
Based in Asheville, opening band Josh Phillips Folk Festival is a new act on the scene led by singer/guitarist Josh Phillips, formerly of the funky Yo Mamma’s Big Fat Booty Band. Their debut album, Wicker, is due in early September. The lineup features members of Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, STRUT, Trainwreks, and Laura Reed and Deep Pocket.
While the Pour House currently stands as one of Charleston’s major live music venues, it’s not merely a destination for touring jam bands; it’s a hip gig for many up-and-coming local bands and a wide variety of regional and big-name touring acts handling authentic blues, bebop, modern jazz, reggae, bluegrass, soul, and hard-rock.
“We have our core of we do, which is what we know — roots music and jam bands and all that,” says Harris. “We’ve definitely opened up to booking more stuff. There’s a lot of good stuff out there.
“Our main goal is to make a special place where we care about what we’re doing while supporting our family,” he adds. “We want to give something to the community, do benefits, and provide a place where people can bring their kids to early music on the deck. We want to be an important part of this city.”