by Paul Bowers
The second installment of Awendaw Green's Grass in the Hall series is set for June 7 at the Charleston Music Hall and will feature the Black Iron Gathering, the Bushels, and Nu Blu. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
The Black Iron Gathering, based in Columbia, plays a fun-loving blend of folk and "stomp-grass" (their term, not ours) with a touch of punk. Expect shouty vocals, anthemic hooks, and some lightning-fast picking by banjoist Charlie McClinden.
The members of the Bushels are no strangers to the Charleston music scene. Jim Algar, Whitt Algar, Guilds Hollowell, and Mal Jones recently released a self-titled third album, so keep your ears open for new material. "We've added lots of musical color to this record: drums, piano, organ, pedal steel, violin, and some great backing vocals," says Jones, who does double duty on mandolin and vocals. "There are some new tunes and some older tunes reworked for this bigger band. All of those influences are in the mix."
Hailing from Siler City, N.C., Tru Blu started with husband-and-wife duo Carolyn and Daniel Rout but has expanded to include Levi Austin (banjo and vocals) and Austin Koener (mandolin). They get big-time country cred for penning a heartfelt response to the Dolly Parton classic "Jolene," sung from the perspective for Jolene herself by Carolyn Rout.
Some proceeds from the event will go to support the Lowcountry Biodiversity Foundation, whose mission statement is to "promote educational and scientific activities that support the value, awareness and conservation of the S.C. Lowcountry's rich biological and ecological resources." Advance tickets go on sale Tues. April 30 at 10 a.m. for $15, and tickets can also be purchased at the door for $20. For more information, visit the Charleston Music Hall website.
Two more Grass in the Hall concerts have been announced at the Music Hall. A July 12 show will feature Underhill Rose and the Barefoot Movement, and a September 13 show will include the South Carolina Broadcasters, Angel Snow, and Mandolin Orange.