Finnegan Bell, Charleston-based duo, will be playing alongside John Paul White, former The Civil Wars musician, tomorrow night. White, a Grammy award winner, is best known for his years in the Civil Wars Americana Folk band. He released his first solo album, The Long Goodbye, in 2008 and Beulah in 2016. The event will be held at the Historic Old Brick Church of St. Thomas & St. Denis and tickets are available for purchase here.
Local musicians, Finnegan Bell, will be kicking off the evening with their Americana Pop music. They recently released their latest single, “Better Off Dead”, directed and edited by Dries Vandenberg from the local bands, Susto and Human Resources. Give it a listen below and see you all tomorrow night!
On day two, I got the chance to sit down with country, rock, soul duo, Muddy Magnolias. I’ve been a huge fan of these ladies for quite some time, and getting the treat to chat them up was thrilling.
This time around the interview was shorter, but we managed to cover some of their tunes from their upcoming album, their strong hat game, and how single, “American Woman”, makes a great entrance song.
Kallie and Jessy are the two fierce forces that make up Muddy Magnolias. I caught their show prior to chatting, and was excited to hear a new tune, “Brother, What Happened”. This tune is their way to express some socially conscious issues. They wanted to experiment with some hip hop aspects, incorporating drum loops. They’ve written socially conscious songs in the past, but wanted to keep this one light. This was their third time playing the song live, and they love the reaction and energy from the crowd.
“Brother, What Happened” will be on their upcoming debut album due out late August early September. This independently-released album will have songs that are “easy to digest and enjoyable but has an ebb and flow” throughout the entire album.
After talking business, I had to know about their hat game. If you follow the gals on Instagram, you will see an array of big hats, small hats, fabulous hats and more. They mentioned Nashville boutique, Kitty, was one of their favorite places to find their hats. After perusing their Instagram, I think I might need to start working on my hat collection as well.
I always like to end interviews with a fun question, and I asked the girls what would be their entrance song. Let me set the stage…. You’re attending a party, and it’s time for you to make your grand entrance what song would play for your badass walk-in? It’s like our baseball walk out song, but more glitter and less dirt.
Jessy and Kallie both agreed on Beyonce’s “Formation”, and who wouldn’t agree? But that also segued into a discussion on their single, “American Woman”. If you haven’t listened, please drop everything and go do it now. It’s an anthem that expresses the Magnolias’ strength, lady-power, and all-around badassery.
Thanks again to the Muddy Magnolia gals for chatting. Everyone go do yourself a favor and get familiar with these gals because they’re about to take over.
While roaming the Southern Grounds, I also got the privilege to interview Cam. It is always a treat to get a preview behind the velvet ropes, but you never know what you’ll get. However, Cam was genuine, humble, sweet and all-around lovely.
The interview was roughly 19 minutes, and we touched on a range of things from her debut album, Untamed, our mutual love of Bonnie Raitt, today’s dating scene, and how all Taco Bell menu items circle back to the Cheesy Gordita Crunch.
Cam’s fame has taken off like wildfire. Her debut album, Untamed, was released last December and has brought her Grammy, Academy of Country Music (ACM), and American Countdown Award nominations. When I asked her about the influences of this album, she references Eric Church’s Chief. She mentioned that there’s a song for every occasion on that record, and she wanted to make sure that Untamed ran the same gambit of tunes.
After releasing this album, she’s had her share of “wow” moments. One in particular was her “Burning House” performance at the ACM awards. Her standing ovation was the moment she knew how popular her song had become and the validation from her musical peers was a “wow-filled” experience. Give her performance a watch below.
Not to mention, meeting the Holy Gypsy Guitar Queen, Bonnie Raitt. She ran into Raitt at the ACMs, and Cam mentions that ‘all compliments vomited out of my mouth, “you’re the most amazing singer ever”. Later in the night, Raitt thanked her for the sweet compliments. Who wouldn’t fall over from an encounter this iconic artist?
My favorite song on Untamed is “Half Broke Heart”, and I had to pick her brain about the backstory. The song is her take on dating, and how even if it’s casual it can still be painful when it ends. The opening lyrics, “I wasn’t looking for a ring it doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting. When you cut and run so soon”, make it known but the upbeat guitar and vocals make a painful situation more bearable.
But this is also true to Cam’s disposition, as I asked for her worst dating story and she couldn’t even recall one. Her take on life is to always remember the better moments, so she shared her “comedy of errors” date. A broken down car, quick-thinking Taco Bell dinner, and a random Rodin garden made an awkward date into a memorable evening. I inquired about her go-to Taco Bell choice, and we both shared a love of cheesy gordita crunch or whatever they’re called now.
One the coolest things about being a woman in present day country music, is the camaraderie that exists among female artists. CMT’s Next Women of Country Music showcases rising female country artists. I asked Cam her thoughts on being asked to join and the impact it could have on future lady musicians. The biggest take away was that it provides visibility and exposure to really freakin’ talented musicians. I loved her example of, “if there were no women astronauts it’s hard to think you could be that.” So by having very visible female representation in the industry, it helps those aspiring to keep moving forward in their dreams.
I also asked her for advice for future musicians and aspiring artists; the biggest ones were know every facet of the business and write your own music. Never expect that someone else is going to help you. Everyone starts from the same place, so you have to go through the steps of learning, making mistakes, and gaining that experience that’s necessary within this business.
I have to say that I was incredibly nervous and excited to meet Cam. Her sunny spirit is contagious and it’s hard to not be 100% yourself with her. Her grace and humility are reasons why her fan base is growing exponentially and I must say that it was a wow moment for me to have this opportunity.
Once day two arrived, I felt like a pro. My routine was down, even to the timing of the shortest drink lines 😉 Perhaps it was that everyone attended the Saturday show and needed Sunday to recover. Who knows, but this was a music-filled Sunday Funday for the ears.
The Archetypes opened day two with a rockin’ bang. It’s tough playing the early spot on festival days, where the hungover patrons meander in later, but the crowd was loud and proud for these Charleston music veterans.
What can I say about these amazing ladies? Strong pipes, strong hat game, and strong messages of love will bring all the music-lovers to their yard.
Packway Handle Band, bluegrass quintet, brought a jovial sound to the afternoon. There’s something about the sounds of a banjo, fiddle, and mandolin that really get a party started.
It was a warm homecoming for South Carolina boys, A Thousand Horses. They’ve come a long way since playing local spots Windjammer and Pour House. Everyone should start learning their songs now because they are going to have a long residency in country music.
My last show of the day was Tedeschi Trucks Band, and probably one of my favorites. Derek and Susan are freaking talented musicians, so putting them together creates a musical nirvana. I actually stood several feet away from them in the artists compound waiting for my interview, and that was the first time I truly got emotional being in their presence. It’s always a pleasure to hear and see them live.
This was an amazing weekend of music and a huge thanks to Fox 24 and Shore Fire Media for giving me this opportunity.
Let’s first start off by saying that I’m so happy that Charleston has welcomed Zac Brown and his Southern Ground Festival into its holy city arms. Day one was completely sold out and the eager concert-goers were chomping at the bit to get into Zac’s Southern Ground. The lines were on average 45 minutes just to get to the bag check, but the line company was enthusiast and rowdy all at 12:30 pm.
The opening band, Jamestown Revival, did not disappoint. They kicked off the weekend with their Southern rock sound, including the popular tune, “California (Cast Iron Soul)”.
Cam brought her sunny and sassy disposition with popular tunes from her first album, Untamed. Her energetic spirit and stage presence was perfect to follow Jamestown Revival. I got the privilege to interview Cam, so more on that later.
This was my first time seeing Drake White and what great a performer! You all may be familiar with his tune, “It Feels Good“, that has been on the radio. He even included his most recent single, “Livin’ the Dream” in his setlist.
Michael Franti is always a treat live. He brought several kids on stage to help him sing some of his more popular songs, like “Sound of Sunshine”. Franti is a great performer and strives to engage the crowd.
Marshall Tucker Band is a classic that never goes out of style. “Can’t You See”, famous 1973 single brought the crowd to a mini rambunctious riot. Hands in the air, phones recording, loud singing and dancing made it for a memorable moment.
Zac Brown Band likes to push the envelope with on stage props and graphics. He opened the night with “Homegrown”, very fitting for a Charlestonian, such as myself. Brown brought out special guest, Michael Franti, for Bob Marley cover, “No Woman, No Cry”.
All in all, solid first day at the ol’ Southern Ground.
A week ago was an epic day of music, friends and thankfully, great weather. Spring Jam was an amazing display of hard work and an overwhelming support for music. I hope you all were able to catch my three part series on all of the artists, if not you can read those posts here, here and here. Unfortunately, I had to leave before Leftover Salmon, but from the looks of it they brought down The Grove.
Music is such a huge part of my life and being able to write about it is a dream. My longevity and survival as well as the musician’s are contingent upon other’s support. If you find a band you believe in and love please buy their albums, attend their concerts and generate a buzz. Let’s create a harmonious relationship of equal love and support so our favorite bands will be around for years to come.
Shout out to Gusto Group for allowing me to capture these moments and putting up with my constant harassment. 🙂
Ladies and gents, hipsters and prepsters, lovers and friends, are we ready for this weekend? We are closing in on the weekend, where hopefully the hijinks and happenstance will be on overload and the libations will be in excess. The sun will be smiling and the earth will be warm from concertgoers’ dancing. Huge shout out to Spring Jam Music Fest for the mentions, retweets and support of this ongoing piece. It is refreshing to find others that share your passion for live music and supporting local bands. If you see me shaking my fanny or knocking back some local brews, please come by and say hello. Let’s celebrate the hard work of the organizers, bands, sponsors and supporters of music, merriment and most of all, the Holy City.
See Y’all There,
Ed Roland & The Sweet Tea Project
Collective Soul‘s Ed Roland returned to his southern roots with the formation of his band, The Sweet Tea Project, in 2011. The Sweet Tea Project brings an Americana sound to Spring Jam including some banjo pickin’. Make sure to check them out at 5:30 pm.
Disco Teepee Song Pick: “Going To Birmingham”
This year’s headliners, Leftover Salmon, blends jam band, bluegrass, Americana and a hint of rock ‘n’ roll into one jammin’ good time. They have a loyal following and sure to bring out the good times for tomorrow’s show.
Columbia’s Lefty at the Washout is bringing the reggae spirit to The Grove. This band started jamming for fun and it later turned into something bigger and better than they expected. Don’t miss these cuties at 1:55pm.
Disco Teepee Song Pick: “Grey”
This LA based band refers to their music as cinematic pop; the type of music that can be placed in television and movies. This quintet creates soothing sounds intertwining with toe-tapping beats. Most known for their hit song, “1957”, but the hits don’t stop there. They have my vote for best time band.
Disco Teepee Song Pick: “Lie To Me”
Delta Spirit may be the ones to watch at this year’s Spring Jam. They are known for their intense live performances and making sure people remember their name. Their indie rock sound is like no other band at Spring Jam and will surely not disappoint.