Live Music: Great Yankee; Drivin' N Cryin'; Hooded Eagle; Sideshow Americans

Great live music to check out this week

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ROOTS-AMERICANA | Sideshow Americans
Fri. Dec. 11
9 p.m.
$10
The Royal American

Roots-Americana band the Sideshow Americans will release their brand new five-song EP Streetlights this week. The album was recorded at Fairweather Studio on Johns Island with owner/engineer Omar Colon before it was sent off for mixing in Nashville by former Charlestonian and Slow Runner guitarist Josh Kaler. Streetlights was mastered by award-winning mastering engineer Pete Lyman out in Los Angles. During the making of the record, the band decided to focus a lot on vocals and even had rehearsals that were completely void of instruments. "We really like bands like Lone Bellow and Lake Street Dive," says guitarist Daniel Wright. "When we put our band together and started sharing song ideas, we all agreed that the No. 1 focus would be vocals, because we felt like that's the thing that really connects with people." The acoustic guitar, Southern twang, and old-time piano on Streetlights give the EP an authentic country flavor reminiscent of the time before pop invaded the scene. The CD-release show will open with this year's only full-band performance from the Royal Tinfoil. —Kaleb Eisele FRIDAY

JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek

INDIE | Great Yankee
w/ Faline and Hermit's Victory
Fri. Dec. 11
7 p.m.
$5/adv., $7/door
Redux Contemporary Art Center

This Friday, local rockers Great Yankee (guitarists/vocalists Joe Fusco and John Brooker, bassist/vocalist Ryan Alexander, and drummer Stuart Gilreath) will drop their first EP Loud Neighbors, a fine blend of grunge and alt rock with a polished, indie presentation. The four-track EP was recorded and produced by Wolfgang Ryan Zimmerman and is inspired by the young band's own experiences and encounters in the Holy City. "It's an album about growing up, trying to be responsible, dealing with disappointment, having fun, and basically being in your 20s — more or less," says Fusco. "A slight indulgence into melodrama, the lyrics are dark at times but are often brightened with lighthearted, almost funny lines like, 'My smile's in your purse ... and some chapstick, too.'" The track "Pre-American" partly explores life after graduation from CofC. "The song is about a couple things but centers around the idea that a part of Charleston is a potter's field, and so there are people buried underneath downtown and we don't even realize it," says Fusco. "The song contrasts that idea with the revelry of modern day Charleston." The EP-release show at Redux this weekend will also feature seductive rock from FALINE and ambient indie pop by Hermit's Victory. —Kelly Rae Smith FRIDAY

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DOOM METAL | Hooded Eagle
w/ High on Fire, Crowbar
Sun. Dec. 13
7:30 p.m.
$17/adv., $20/door
Music Farm

Charleston doom metal band Hooded Eagle sounds like something ancient that crawled up out of the sea — a lurching, grinding beast, heavy and undeniable. Formed in 2009, the band's current lineup releases its first full-length album Nightscapes from the Abyssal Plane on Sun. Dec. 13 on Swamp Metal Records. It was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Marshall Wieczorek and produced along with the band, and, if the album's first track, "There is No Goodness Left in This World," is any indication, it's the perfect holiday gift for anyone expecting coal in their stocking. According to vocalist and lead guitarist Bobby Blackheart, the album is the chronicle of a man's journey into madness after an ominous and horrifying force he calls "The Sleeper" inhabits his dreams. Inspired by the writing of H.P. Lovecraft, "The record's overarching theme focuses on the frailty of human experience and existence," says Blackheart. "We wanted our character to devolve from an antagonist into a victim to highlight his overall insignificance as the plot unfolds." With vocals delivered in a formidable death metal growl over an agile rhythm section, what truly elevates Hooded Eagle are the stark melodies that rise up from each track, melancholic and genuine, the sign of a metal band who understands that even the heaviest tracks need a moment of clarity. "Our writing process is pretty unhinged in the respect that we don't conform to standard song writing," says Blackheart. "The key components in our songs are harmony, crescendo, dynamics, and tempo changes, building into frenzy then kicking the chair out from beneath you — so to speak — into slower, heavier passages has always been a part of our sound." —Dustin Waters SUNDAY

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SOUTHERN ROCK | Drivin' N' Cryin'
w/ The Travelin' Kine
Sat. Dec. 12
9:30 p.m.
$17/adv., $20/door
Pour House
featuring Warner Hodges

Atlanta's Drivin' N' Cryin' has been a reliable live act for decades. Their live show is how they conquered the college and bar circuits in the late '80s, cemented their headliner status in the early '90s, and ultimately survived after fading from the mainstream rock scene. Part of that surefire crowd-pleasing show comes from the catalog of songs that DnC singer/guitarist Kevn Kinney has created, including classics like "Fly Me Courageous," "Build a Fire," and the immortal "Straight to Hell." But they're also a tough, raucous, unpredictable unit onstage, just as likely to deliver a hits-heavy set as they are to take off in unexpected directions. The band's lead guitar slot has been a revolving door for the last few years, but at the beginning of 2015, they made one of their best-ever moves, adding guitarist and showman extraordinaire Warner Hodges, who's best known for his work with the seminal cowpunk outfit Jason and the Scorchers. "The Scorchers were kind of like our heroes when we first started, even though they're not that much older than us," says bassist Tim Nielsen. "I'd been talking to him over the last couple of years about getting together and doing something, and so he did a handful of shows with us last year. So, this year, we just said we wanted him to be our No.1 guy and that whenever he was available, we wanted him to be our guitar player. And it's great; it's a perfect fit." —Vincent Harris SATURDAY


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