This past Thursday I joined Michael and Ian from the lifestyle blog, I Love That For You, for an evening to discuss all things Charleston in honor of Lowcountry On The Table. This region-wide event was held on October 4th to encourage small groups to discuss obstacles throughout your community. There were roughly 200 tables that were organized for this event in Charleston. However, I’m biased as I think our table was the best with a guest list packed with local heavy-hitters:
Michael Stettner and Ian Palacios, Lifestyle Bloggers, I Love That For You
Jai Jones, Food Blogger, JaiEats
Jordan Amaker, Director of Marketing Communications, Lowcountry Local First
Adam Helms, Founder, GigDawg
Jude Shiflett, Muralist/Designer
Susannah Runkle, Resident Martha Stewart
Ali Holliday, Jill Of All Trades
The evening was filled with delicious food, great conversation, a warm surrounding, and of course, music. I created a playlist that would pair perfectly with the evening. I feel like standard dinner music can be too sleepy, so I went with tunes that were mellow enough to set the tone but carried a punch. Beach Tiger, Sigrid, Shovels & Rope, Will Hoge to name a few; after all, this a fun event, people.
Make sure you check out the playlist here.
Our conversations weaved between flooding, parking, responsible development, street art, and even more. However, the overarching theme among our discussions was how do we actually make a change. Is it holding our current government officials accountable? Do we need to attend more meetings and voice our concerns? Who should we run to when we need help? How do we push back when shit isn’t working?
As Charlestionias, I think these ongoing discussions can help bring attention to our concerns and can create a stronger community. Every city has its issues, but by bringing our problems “to the table” we can start working together rather than apart and, of course, with some good music.
It’s Charleston Music Confab time again! The fourth annual multi-genre music conference is kicking off this Thursday night. I had a chance to chat with Dave Stewart, Confab founder, yesterday to get a preview of the upcoming events. I asked Dave the following questions, and you can listen to Dave’s answers in the recording below.
There are still tickets available and you can see the full schedule here.
Who doesn’t love a good music festival? And who doesn’t love a music festival in their backyard? This past weekend I attended the Bud Light Getaway music festival at North Charleston’s Riverfront Park. I had the same WTF reaction as most people when I saw the lineup. Up-and-coming folk-pop singer, Harry Hudson, Lil’ Jon, Dashboard Confessional, and country music headliner, Sam Hunt. While this wide-genre festival left people confused, it was really a good thing for Charleston because it will lead to more festivals.
With over 3,000 tickets sold, making this a sold-out festival and a huge reason for large advertisers like Bud Light to keep hosting more large-scale events in Charleston. Charleston is becoming an ideal destination for music festivals like High Water, Be More Tea, and now Bud Light’s Getaway. There are some pros to having larger festivals setup in our Holy City: jobs for local restaurants/vendors, sponsorship deals, and profit for the city as people will be spending money.
As an avid concert attendee, my gal, Ali, and I came prepared to take in all there was at North Charleston’s Riverfront Park. Bud Light made sure to take advantage of the space with pick-up trucks for seating, palettes turned into lounges, and bars conveniently placed throughout.
This would make any concert-goer pleased with the number of areas to relax, drink, and listen to music. While we did try to get an interview with an artist this year, unfortunately, due to scheduling, we weren’t able to make that happen. We did, however, we did get an opportunity to meet Lil Jon. Overall, the festival was run smoothly and efficiently. It was a good time had by all and let’s hope that more show organizers see what makes Charleston an ideal festival town.
Thanks to Bud Light for the fun day and to Ali for being my photographer.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise (RKS)…a memorable name for an unforgettable band. I wasn’t 100% familiar with RKS, but what I did know was their fan base is loyal. The line started way before the doors opened at 7 pm and people were happily waiting to get as close to the stage as possible. The first thing I noticed about this act is their incredibly energetic stage presence; jumps, leaps, and backbends filled between breaths. I would like to know how lead singer, Sam Melo, hits all his notes while continually dancing around the stage. They included fan favorites like, “Cocaine Jesus” and “Devil Like Me”, making sure to cover tunes off the new album like “Fever Pitch”.
I’ll have to be honest that trying to capture images of this band was difficult. The Music Farm is a great venue to play for any artist, but the stage becomes smaller the bigger the band. As RSK has five members, they continued to dance around each other making their set a rave-like, non-stop dance party.
Being only five years old, RSK has created quite a reputation and following. In that time, they have released three studio albums and one live album. They’ve been on the touring circuit for some time now landing reputable gigs at largest festivals like Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Austin City Limits (ACL) in 2017. This year is no different as they will be making stops at Forecastle, Sloss, Lollapalooza, Voodoo, and Outside Lands this year.
Don’t miss out a band that will make you an instant fan. Just be prepared to dance your fanny off. Check out their tour schedule here.
This past Friday, I attended the Salute to Service Memorial Day Concert at Joe Riley Stadium; the lineup included Logan Mize, Chase Bryant, and Brothers Osborne. As a concert setup, the stage was stationed in the perfect position within the outfield with easy access to the bar and bathrooms (thank you, festival organizers). It was thoughtfully organized by giving general admission and VIP areas a lot of room to navigate through crowds while still allowing families and non-crowd lovers access to stadium seating and lawn space for blanket lounging and playing.
The opener, Logan Mize, started the party with popular songs, “Better Off Gone”, “Ain’t Always Pretty”, and “Somebody to Thank”. Kansas native released his latest album, Come Back Road, in 2017 climbing to #2 on iTunes Country Charts. His calm and confident demeanor made him the perfect start to the evening as the crowd began sipping their Budweisers. Mize’s music complimented the beginning of a rowdy night just how his shirt showed off his perfectly toned arms. 🙂
Next up in the lineup was the Texas-born singer, Chase Bryant. At this point in the evening, beers were flowing down easy which fit Bryant’s no-shit-taking attitude. Over the course of several songs, Bryant cheers service men and women and making it known that if anyone disagreed with his opinion he would happily escort them outside. Bryant was a passionate and active performer showing the crowd his love for his music and of this country. His pride, high jumps, and quick feet would make him my choice as a partner on American Ninja Warrior.
As for the main event, brothers TJ and John Osborne, aka Brothers Osborne, hit the stage around 9:30 and played for a good hour to an hour and thirty. They covered several songs from their latest album, Port Saint Joe. They changed it up with several covers from Dixie Chicks, Alan Jackson, and John Denver. This was my first time seeing Brothers Osborne and enjoyed every minute of their show. The energy on stage and off made for an awesome show. Their fans are loyal and highly spirited; singing every word and super excited to hear the music off their latest album.
This was the perfect start to the Memorial Weekend with great music and appreciation for those that fight for our country.
Get excited for about another installment of Two Blondes Travel! My blonde counterpart, Jenna (J), and I made our way to Jackson, Mississippi two weeks ago. I created an awesome playlist full of artists that hail from Mississippi for our road trip here. Neither one of us had been to Jackson before so we were excited to check out the city; known for their music and food scene we were two happy blondes. I’ve broken the weekend down by daily adventures, and, of course, no travel excursion is complete without a fun highlight video.
We arrived in Jackson around 7 pm and found ourselves at the gorgeous new The Westin Jackson. The layout was warm, welcoming, and just what we needed after the 5.5-hour drive. We had reservations at the hotel restaurant, Estelle, at 8:30 giving us time to check in and unwind. I’m a sucker for anything cozy so naturally, I made myself at home once we got into our room.
The comfortable accommodations made it very difficult to leave; however, Estelle’s pizzas and cocktails were calling my name. As we walked in Estelle’s, I was intimidated by the elegance of the space but those feelings soon vanished as the friendly staff led us to our table. Preston, Estelle’s manager, treated us to some amazing cocktails and a tour of the kitchen. After seeing the wood-fire oven, that made my choice very clear on my entree. J and I decided on the lobster devil eggs, roasted chicken pizza, and duck breast. This was the perfect dining experience to kick off our Jackson weekend. Thanks to Preston, Kenny, and Charity for the amazing hospitality. J and I were greeted by a friendly staff in an elegant setting.
Saturday morning started with a photoshoot in front of the infamous “Welcome to Jackson” mural off of Pearl Street downtown.
But even my fierce leather jacket couldn’t keep the cold away, so we quickly headed to back to The Westin for a warm up of coffee in our robes. The Westin’s fluffy beds, cozy robes, and hot coffee was just what I needed after freezing my fanny off. It also would have been helpful if I had researched the weather and brought warmer clothes.
We did a change, touch up, and headed over to the Fondren area of Jackson for lunch at Saltine. The bright decor was almost as vibrant its patrons, but the food spoke for itself. As we settled in for brunch, which is served Saturdays and Sundays, we had trouble picking from their diverse menu. We opted for the chicken biscuits, gumbo, goat cheese grits, and Lowcountry boil; being from Charleston, we were both intrigued to see how their Lowcountry boil would compare. It was perfectly seasoned (slightly spicy) and just dang tasty. A definite must when paired with a bloody.
No trip to Jackson is complete without experiencing the local music scene. When we asked the locals and they all claimed that Underground 119 was the place to check out. This historic blues club hosts live music Thursday – Saturday, and this definitely ain’t amateur hour, numerous local and regional acts have graced the piano-shaped stage. Jackson is known as the birthplace of America’s music and I see and hear why that’s the case. There are several music venues in town that are booked with local acts every Thursday through Saturday. Stay tuned for another post just on the music 🙂
After a full day of eating, wandering, drinking we needed to be in bed with pizza and steak. The restaurant was so accommodating to bring our meal to our room. 🙂
After indulging on Saturday, it was time to hit the gym! The Westin’s gym had everything anyone could ever need to get their fitness on, including a lap pool. I had the whole gym to myself, because like most people on vacation working out is probably the last thing on your list. The main reason was last night’s splurge and also anticipation for Sunday’s brunch at Brent’s Drugs.
Brent’s Drugs is a soda fountain diner back over in the Fondren area. J went with the classic eggs and bacon where I splurged on chicken and waffles. The restaurant is just plain adorable with vintage booths and the original bar stools from 1946. It’s a blast from the past but with brunch staples of breakfast tacos, huge biscuits, and endless coffee.
J and I had a blast exploring Jackson, but the real gem was the welcoming people. At every location, people would stop and inquire about our numerous picture-taking and video. When they found out we were creating a travel guide for The Westin, they wanted to tell us about why they live and love Jackson. Every story was different but the feeling was the same. They are excited about Jackson’s growth and cannot wait to see what the future holds for their capital city. Huge thanks to The Westin Jackson, their AMAZING staff, the Jackson locals for their hometown hospitality, and the band, Glass Mansions, for allowing us to use their song in our video.
Until next time,
Two Blondes Travel
9 to 5 Magazine Launch Party, The Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl
Happy Hour with Shelby McDaniel and James Rubush, Fuel
Things around town:
Oysters On The Dock, Tavern & Table
Hip Hop Sessions 1, Cory’s Grilled Cheese
Black Power Mixtape featuring Grüzer, Halfway Down And Jupiter Down, Tin Roof
Things around town:
Eddie Rumfelt, Sure Shots Bar & Billiards
8th Annual Follywood Oyster Roast, The Barrel
Becca Smith, Elliotborough Mini Bar
Things around town:
Typhons Fall, The White Walls, Go Jenny Go & State Of Illusion Rock Shakers, Southern Shakers Bar And Grill
Firetag’s Birthday Bash, Pour House
The Black Light Bash Kingdom Bar & Grill
Things around town:
Redleg Husky + Dallas Baker, Tin Roof
Charleston Jazz Festival Presents Gullah Contemporary Jazz, Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel
DJ D!Z, Royal American
Things around town:
Sam Stringfield, Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl
Oyster Roast featuring Me & Mr. Jones, Bay Street Biergarten
Lowcountry Dylan Open Mic, The Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl
Things around town:
Larry Keel Experience with The Marshgrass Mamas, Pour House