Chatting with Jenni Lyn Gardner, salsa-ing to Cuban Garage Band, and having a damn good time at Spoleto SCENE's after-party

Get up, get down

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CAROLINE ENTEN
  • Caroline Enten
I know what you’re thinking: Must be nice to be a SCENE reporter. You think it’s all bopping around town checking out cool venues, rubbing elbows with Chucktown’s young movers and shakers, eating and drinking somewhere new each night. Well, you aren’t wrong. It’s really nice. Heck I’d even say it’s awesome.

There is one small misconception about the gig, however, which is that as a member of the press (I use this term loosely when describing myself) I get to attend all the performances that we're celebrating at each of these little get-togethers. Sadly, my credentials only get me as far as the parties, and when it comes to Spoleto, I’m just like the 99 percent — counting my dollars and painfully using process of elimination to pick out which opera or play or dance performance and so on I just can’t bear to miss.

Jane Stoney and Aaron Sumpter - CAROLINE ENTEN
  • Caroline Enten
  • Jane Stoney and Aaron Sumpter
So when a friend scored two free tickets to see Della Mae at the cistern last night and invited me along, to say I was ecstatic is an understatement. After all, I’d be covering the after party for this very show mere minutes after it ended! And then not only could I share the experience with the scenesters and have a point of reference for their observations, but now I can also recount to you the adorable hilarity that is the fine women of Della Mae.

Guess what? The five musicians on stage last night are adorable and hilarious, and perhaps more noteworthy, talented out the wazoo. It’s not my job to talk about the shows and I’m under qualified to do so anyhow, but just know that this Grammy-nominated Bluegrass troupe, who hail from all over the country and between them have called South Carolina, Tennessee, Maine and Massachusetts “home” (to name a few), brought the house down. Literally the power went out in the last few moments of the concert, and the audience sat in darkness while Kimber Ludiker’s fiddle solo reverberated between the ancient oaks of the yard. So cool, y'all.

Kate Archibald and Eliza Collins - CAROLINE ENTEN
  • Caroline Enten
  • Kate Archibald and Eliza Collins
Moments later, at marketing agency Blue Ion’s swanky headquarters off King Street, the first official SCENE after-party kicked into high gear. Arielle Stratton of Pure Fluff greeted attendees upon entrance, spinning out her unique flavor creations like vanilla-lavender, while dozens of D’Alessandro’s pizza boxes formed a sauce and cheese-lined tunnel towards the bar. Mix Charleston stepped up to the plate with several enticing concoctions like the Peach Huddle: Peach Bourbon from Whiskey Girl mixed with tart, raspberry lemonade. Veteran scenesters recognized a bottle of AIX Rosé from last year’s finale, roughly the size of a healthy toddler, and of which there may or may not be a photo of your’s truly planting a kiss upon somewhere in the CP archives.

Chef Sarah Adams, Charleston it-girl and former Bad Bitch, got the dance party started, and we all attempted to salsa while the Cuban Garage Band jammed out on stage. It was easily the most heavily attended SCENE event to date, verifiable by the amount of sweat collecting at my collar as I pushed my way through the throngs of hot bodies to snap photos and chat with guests.

More Spoleto scenesters than usual hit the party last night. - CAROLINE ENTEN
  • Caroline Enten
  • More Spoleto scenesters than usual hit the party last night.
Finally Della Mae themselves made an appearance. I caught Jenni Lyn Gardner (vocals and mandolin) perched on the edge of the stage, sipping a club soda and reminiscing about her days in Charleston. Hailing from Conway, S.C. Jenni Lyn spent a few years in the Holy City, picking her mandolin in such revered performance spots as Southend Brewery, O’Malley’s, and the Blind Tiger. Now she calls Nashville home, and confirmed the following about living there: UAL is one of the best places to shop (UAL if you’re reading this, please open a store in Charleston); Prince’s has the best hot chicken; and celebrity sightings of Nicole Kidman, wet-haired and make-up free, happen in the humblest of all places: Whole Foods.

Oh, and Gardner also confirmed that the power outage was truly unplanned, but the band enjoyed the experience so much, it just may become a standard operating procedure for future shows. You saw it first here, people.


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