Soundchecks: Gospel Meets Jazz, Easy Honey, Tab Benoit, Jinglebang!, Marshgrass Mamas

Live music to catch this week

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JAZZ | Gospel Meets Jazz
w/ Lowcountry Voices Choir
Sat. Dec. 14
5 p.m.
$25
Mt. Zion AME Church

The Lowcountry Voices Choir and Ranky Tanky trumpeter Charlton Singleton are teaming up for the 4th annual Gospel Meets Jazz concert. The name's pretty on-the-nose; the show combines the excitement and energy of jazz music with the power and soul of gospel for creative takes on Christmas classics. Nathan Nelson, the Lowcountry Voices' founder and director, has attempted to preserve the legacy of African-American music through his vocal group. The choir will perform hymns such as "Behold the Star," "Holy is the Lamb," and "Holy Thou Art God," alongside traditional holiday favorites, according to concert manager Linda Malcolm. Plus, Singleton is a pro at playing Christmas tunes. Just last week, his popular annual Holiday Spectacular hit the Charleston Music Hall. Malcolm believes that there will be lively interplay between the trumpet player and Nelson during the night. —Heath Ellison SATURDAY

PROVIDED
  • Provided

ALT ROCK | Easy Honey
w/ Argot, MammaBear
Fri. Dec. 13
9 p.m.
$10
The Royal American

After a summer and fall full of shows on the road, Easy Honey is back in town to perform and work on their upcoming sophomore LP. Originally from Tennessee, where they recorded their self-titled debut, the band relocated to Charleston shortly after releasing Easy Honey. The album was a mixture of vocal melodies and hard-edged riffs, reviving a decidedly '90s approach to guitar rock. Easy Honey's upcoming single, "Like Glue," marks the beginning of a new era for the band. Starting with a commanding fuzz guitar lick, the band hints at a new blues influence, before moving into something that could be found on their first album. The song's got a lot more confidence and warmth to it than earlier material. Guitarists Shelby Austin and Darby McGlone play the new track with a mixture of poise and hyperactivity, while Charlie Holt hits the drums with more energy than ever before, and bassist Daniel Comen grooves his way into the next phase of Easy Honey. The Lowcountry air has definitely done something for their sound — we just have to wait until 2020 to find out exactly what. —Heath Ellison FRIDAY


PROVIDED
  • Provided

CAJUN BLUES-ROCK | Tab Benoit
w/ Eric Johanson
Fri. Dec. 13
8:30 p.m.
$25
Music Farm

Tab Benoit's current tour is called the Whiskey Bayou Revue, and it's difficult to think of a more apt description of the kind of music that the Baton Rouge singer/guitarist makes. Benoit's sound is simultaneously based on deep electric blues and funky Cajun rhythms, a potent mix of styles that Benoit seasons with soulful vocals. Benoit has spent almost 30 years going down that path, putting out albums chock full of slinky, sinuous funk and bluesy rock. He's somehow managed to pin down a minimal sound, making his best music with a no-frills trio that allows him to soar on the six-string. Benoit has done this on stage more than on his albums lately. He still tours regularly, but he's put a lot of his energy into Whiskey Bayou Records, a label he started with his manager, Rueben Williams. Labelmate Eric Johanson, another Louisiana native with a similarly soulful approach on vocals and guitar, is actually along for the ride on Benoit's current tour, and one can almost feel a "passing of the torch" vibe between the two. Those Louisiana roots do run pretty deep, after all, so it's fitting to see Benoit taking a younger player under his wing. —Vincent Harris FRIDAY


JONATHON STOUT FILE PHOTO
  • Jonathon Stout file photo

HOLIDAY MUSIC | Jinglebang!
w/ Brett Nash, Lily Slay, Jordan Igoe, Lindsay Holler
Sat. Dec. 14
6 p.m.
Tin Roof

The yuletide is rolling into the Tin Roof for this year's Jinglebang! The ninth annual hall-decking tradition brings musicians and comedians to the stage to perform Christmas themed material. According to Tin Roof owner Erin Tyler, the bar promises various holiday themed drinks including "eggnog, spiked hot chocolate, spiked cider, and a mystery blue Christmas drink." This will be the second of three holiday themed nights at Tin Roof this season, though Jinglebang! promises to be the most diverse of the holiday events. Music and comedy will be provided by Lindsay Holler, Brian Hannon, Aisha Kenyatta, Johnny Puke, Brett Nash, Jordan Igoe, Lily Slay, Jared Petteys & the Headliners, and many others. When asked about the show's other activities outside of performances and specials, Tyler says that "everyone will be able to take his/her picture with 'Santia', and we'll have a performance from a 'Druncle' as well. Of course, everyone is encouraged to wear festive attire and the bar will be full of lights and decorations." All money at the door and a percentage of the night's bar sales will go towards animal advocacy groups. Not only is Jinglebang! usually a wild, fun-filled evening, but in true Christmas spirit, it's all for a good cause. —Alex Peeples SATURDAY


RUTA SMITH FILE
  • Ruta Smith File

HOLIDAY MUSIC | Marshgrass Mamas
w/ Shrimp Records Family Band, Cord & Pedal
Sun. Dec. 15
7:30 p.m.
$13/adv, $15/dos
Pour House

Coming straight outta Johns Island, the Marshgrass Mamas have reunited for a little downhome holiday cheer. The band's Yuletide Special shows them at full force, which doesn't happen often due to their conflicting schedules. The Mamas and their cohorts will bang out some holiday-themed favorites in their signature style: A mashup of ragged-but-right vocal harmonies, old-time acoustic pickin', and bluegrass-influenced ensemble work. The Mamas started performing more than 15 years ago as a front-porch band having "chick pick" sessions. But, they took a decade or so off because the members were becoming actual mamas. The first Yuletide Special show, a family-themed get together complete with face painting for the kids, was last year at the Tattooed Moose. We're not sure if the 2019 version will have face-painting, but the Mamas are encouraging attendees to bring food, clothing, and toiletries to donate to Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach. —Vincent Harris SUNDAY

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