Soundchecks: Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Dirty Mae, Quiana Parler & Friends, Scotch Bonnets

Live music to catch this week

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ASHTIN PAIGE
  • Ashtin Paige

AMERICANA | Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors
w/ Birdtalker
Wed. Oct. 2
8 p.m.
$25
Charleston Music Hall

Drew Holcomb creates music that demands to be heard and felt. He intertwines beautiful acoustic melodies with lyrics that reflect real life and real emotions, so that the experience of listening to his music has a lasting effect. Holcomb is bringing his Americana sound to the Charleston Music Hall, and it's sure to be a memorable night. "The Charleston Music Hall is one of those classic old theaters where people really dig in and listen," Holcomb told us. "I love that." Listening to Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors is like going back in time, taking influences from Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan. He mixes them together, and tosses them back to modern day— but without all the work. "I think with any good show, people walk away feeling less alone, and with a creative energy towards getting up to fight another day," says Holcomb. "I hope they dance a little, maybe shed a tear, and feel closer to the ones they love." —Abrie Richison WEDNESDAY


SHAUN MADER
  • Shaun Mader

INDIE FOLK | Dirty Mae
Wed. Oct. 2
6 p.m.
Free
Commonhouse Aleworks

We're going to need to get something out of the way first before we get into the music of Dirty Mae. Yes, singer/banjo-player Ben Curtis was once the "Dude, you're getting a Dell" guy in those TV ads. But now he's part of the nucleus of a band (along with vocalist Cassie Fireman and singer/guitarist/piano player Robin Frost) that mixes soulful grooves, vintage old-time sounds, gorgeous folk-style vocal harmonies, and a bit of vaudeville performance stylings. On their just-out full-length album, Holy Mama, the band expands far beyond the potential they showed on their 2018 debut EP. In fact, the band re-recorded the EP's four songs for Holy Mama, changing them up significantly with a full-band sound. "When we first recorded the EP, we were pretty much a brand-new group," Curtis says. "We wanted to capture the sound we had right then and get something out, and those were our hottest songs at the time. After the band matured and we had more time to get in the studio with a producer, we decided to do all of our songs the way we'd always dreamed of doing them, and that included those four songs. We had our dream team of horn players and upright bass on the album and it was a no-brainer to put those songs on, because we finally had the time and space and maturity to do that." Dirty Mae reaches back to a lot of different pre-and-non-rock 'n' roll sounds to inform their approach, and Curtis says that's simply a product of the band members having wide-ranging musical tastes. "I think that's who we are," he says. "We're all eclectic, well-rounded musicians and people, so we listen to all kinds of music and study it, and that informs our sound." —Vincent Harris WEDNESDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

VARIETY | Quiana Parler & Friends
Fri. Oct. 4
9 p.m.
$25
Memminger Auditorium

Quiana Parler began her extensive singing career in "The Carolina Opry" in the early 2000s. Parler soon found herself in the top 48 of the hit show American Idol in 2003. From that window, the Lowcountry native would find herself on-stage with artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, and Miranda Lambert. She would continue this run by sharing the studio with producer Walter Afanasieff, who has collaborated with artists Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and Grammy-winning producer David Foster. The syncretic and genre-bending performer has seen the national spotlight on programs such as Saturday Night Live, The View, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Good Morning America. Parler is the lead singer of the internationally known jazz band Ranky Tanky which released their new album, Good Time, this year. This Friday, she will be taking the Memminger stage to perform for the MOJA Festival, which is a 10-day event that celebrates African-American and Caribbean Arts. The Charleston culture celebration will have various events stemming from dance, literature, music, heritage and community, theater, and visual arts. The exquisite singer is ready to bring the musical heritage of the Lowcountry to you this fall. —Matthew Keady FRIDAY

SKA | Scotch Bonnets
w/ The Toasters, Well Charged
Mon. Oct. 7
8 p.m.
$10/adv, $12/dos
Tin Roof

The Scotch Bonnets are a Baltimore-based, ska-inspired ensemble led by singer/guitarist Kristin Forbes, who has some interesting thoughts on the band's style. "There's this common theme of artists trying to recreate a sound they like and, in getting it all wrong, creating something unique," Forbes says. "That's pretty much what happened to us. We all love that classic Jamaican groove, but we also recognize that we live in 2019, not 1968. We will never be able to deliver that kind of music as well as the originators, so why keep trying? We also love so many other types of music including rock, pop, soul, Latin, jazz, punk, and hip-hop. Those influences are always gonna find their way into our output." In some ways the Scotch Bonnets are a happy accident. As Forbes recalls, "The group really evolved out of my musical partnership with our keyboard player, Pablo Fiasco. We first connected while he was running a weekly 'reggae sweatshop' in D.C., which were nights where a bunch of us heads would get together and just jam." In the 10 years since then, the core members have covered a lot of creative ground with a rotating cast of supporting characters. "We've definitely grown and locked-in musically and, more than that, we've grown as people, and have become better versions of ourselves. I kind of see us as a squad of misfits who found each other and, within the band, found a family, albeit a slightly dysfunctional one." —Kevin Wilson MONDAY

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