Live Music: Very Hypnotic Soul Band; Livingroom Legends; Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics; Tin Pan Tuesday

Great live music to check out this week


  • Jonathan Boncek

ATMOSPHERIC GROOVES | The Very Hypnotic Soul Band
w/ Zandrina Dunning, Jordan Igoe, Khari Lucas, Alicia Modoor, and The Blackolive
Thurs. April 21
9 p.m.
The Royal American

The Very Hypnotic Soul Band — vocalist McKenzie Eddy, keyboardist/vocalist Elliott Smith, hip-hop artist Benjamin Starr, drummer Quentin Ravenel, and guitarist Jimmie Choate — first formed last summer in response to the Emanuel AME tragedy, performing their first show at Charleston Music Hall’s Hi Harmony community concert. Musically, the band drew on everyone’s individual strengths and a few covers to create dynamic, mash-up grooves with hip-hop, soul, and R&B. Last year also saw the band’s Eddy, formerly of King Dusko, and Smith become political leaders in the community by forming the BACE League of Charleston, spearheading a voter drive in conjunction with a local concert, and organizing a mayoral forum — all of which earned the couple recent recognition in Charlie magazine’s 50 Most Progressive. So it was no surprise to catch the five-piece raising their voices at January’s Bernie Sanders debate watch party and concert at the Charleston Music Hall, their second gig. The real indicator that the vibe they created together was too good to ignore came when the band began to prep for the Bernie show. Before, the quintet had creatively mashed up various cover songs but this time decided to also rework songs from Starr’s Free Lunch album for a live band. “In doing so, it became clear that Benjamin Starr was sampling and drawing from the same type of soul music that we were interested in, so it became a really natural, organic collaboration,” says Eddy. “And now we’re writing original music together.” Not only that, but there’s an EP in the cards, due out this summer, as well as a full-length in the works for later this year. The Very Hypnotic Soul Band will debut their new, original songs at the Royal American, weaving into the set local artists Zandrina Dunning, Jordan Igoe, Khari Lucas (Contour), and Alicia Modoor. The Blackolive will kick things off on the porch, spinning old-school hip-hop and soul grooves on vinyl. —Kelly Rae Smith THURSDAY

  • Provided

ROOTS-ROCK | Livingroom Legends
w/ Shonuff
Fri. April 22
10 p.m.
Home Team BBQ Sullivan’s Island

Grovetown, Ga.’s Livingroom Legends formed in 2001 out of a bit of last-minute desperation. Singer/guitarist Ken Stephens’ band had just broken up, and he had a gig booked that he didn’t want to cancel. So he turned to the missus, Mindy Stephens, to help him out. “He asked me if I thought I could play bass, and I said, ‘I’ll try,’ and he taught me how to play bass,” Mindy says. “It worked out perfectly.” In fact, it worked out so well that the two have spent the last 15 years playing a rough, no-frills blend of roots-rock, noisy alt-country, and folk, fueled by Ken’s revved-up guitar and the duo’s tight-but-loose vocal harmonies. It seems like it might be a tricky balance to be both a married couple and the nucleus of a band, but Mindy says the music has given the two of them an outlet. “It gives us something to do other than being Mom and Dad,” she says. “And that might be the only time we get to go out! That’s why I want us to play more shows as a duo along with playing as a full band — we could double or triple the gigs we have, which means we’d get to go out more!” —Vincent Harris FRIDAY

  • Provided

SOUL | Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics
DIG South’s Upload Shindig
Tues. April 26
$50 (other DIG South packages available)
Charleston Museum

This year at DIG South, if you don’t feel like attending the various meetings on startups, communication, investment, and development, you could always take advantage of another facet of the festival: the music. Five genre-bending bands will perform across the three-day event, kicking off with the deep, raw funk of Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics on Tues. April 26 at the Charleston Museum. With their Stax-style Southern soul and uplifting Motown-channeling anthems, Atlanta’s Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics are the heirs to the old-school masters. Powerhouse singer Velle and her band will settle for nothing less than bringing these classic sounds glimmering into the now with a fresh modern sheen. They’re a world-class modern soul revue topped off with the cherry of Velle’s sultry voice, as she deftly toggles between sweetly crooned R&B tunes and expertly belted barn-burning get-downs that can instantly jolt a roomful of wallflowers into a wild dance party. Other DIG South acts you should definitely check out include the acoustic-electric jazz-guitar stylings of Caravan; the dance-centric soul man known as Nick Neptune; the retro ’60s rock ‘n’ roll, psychedelic twang, soaring three-part harmonies, and horn laden grit of Southern soul-rockers Major & the Monbacks; and the new-wave dance rock of Human Resources, the flagship act of Charleston’s Coast Records. —Vincent Harris TUESDAY

  • Provided

w/ Brad Edwardson, Jessica Pennell, and Maya Morrill
Tues. April 26
7 p.m.
GALA Desserts

Many Charleston businesses are eager to support the burgeoning singer-songwriter community looking to make its start in the Holy City. GALA Desserts is hoping to provide a space for those musicians through their Tin Pan Tuesday Songwriter Sessions. The series derives its name from a section of West 28th street in New York City where music publishers and songwriters gathered in the late 19th and early 20th century. For event orchestrator Lindsay Holler, “Tin Pan Alley signifies a time when people took great care in what they did, spending endless hours crafting songs and grinding it out.” Tuesday’s show marks only GALA’s third session, but already there is hope to make this a lasting tradition and a way to support the Avondale/West Ashley arts and music scene. The upcoming show will feature Red Cedar Review’s Brad Edwardson, songwriter Maya Morrill, whose lyrics border on spoken word, and fresh face Jessica Pennell, who is only beginning to dip her toes into the Charleston music scene. —Madi Kois TUESDAY

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