The Working Title at Theatre 99 (a review)

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Charleston band The Working Title performed their album release show for the disc Heart last week at Theatre 99. City Paper sent local singer/guitarist Joel Timmons (of Sol Driven Train) to check things out. Here's the report:

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"In the midst of my own personal Blues Bash, I found myself climbing the stairs that lead to Theatre 99, alone again on Valentine’s Day. Taking a seat in the front row, I wouldn’t be alone for long, as a steady stream of Working Title fans, friends, and family filled the 130-seat room nearly to capacity.

The stage was scattered with a host of novel instruments (including a McEnroe-era tennis racquet), with nary an amp in sight. Obviously, TWT were up to something different with Heart. The lights dimmed and the band casually took the stage. Accustomed to The Working Title’s face-peeling guitars and cannon-like drum fills, I was surprised and intrigued to see lead singer Joel Hamilton pick up a cigar box ukulele, while his band mates reached for banjo, mandolin, a toy grand-piano, and a drum set comprised of a kick drum and tambourine. What the folk?

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Hamilton’s distinctively plaintive vocals, clever songcraft, and the band’s disciplined playing were laid bare — and what’s that? I think I can understand the lyrics! Enjoying the hushed atmosphere of the theatre, the band chatted with the audience between songs, and fans sang softly along to the new versions of their favorite TWT songs.

This was the band’s first release since parting ways with Universal Records, and quite a departure indeed!"

(photo by Meredith Cox)

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