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FEATURE ‌ Reeling 'em In

West Ashley Bait & Tackle celebrate their first year

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West Ashley Bait & Tackle, the funky little bluegrass venue and burger joint in West Ashley, conduct their "first anniversary celebration" on Fri. Dec. 1 with bluegrass, gospel, and acoustic ditties from local combos Good News and Three Legged Pig. Considering the camaraderie among the local pickers, a few special guests will probably end up jamming on stage as well.

Bait & Tackle has been in operation since 1963. The tackle store reopened last November as a restaurant, bar, and "bluegrass tavern." Owners Yates Dew and Andrew Hollowell kept the outside of the building intact, bur refurbished the inside with a full kitchen and a non-smoking dining room, and big-screen televisions. The side porch features a small corner stage.

Through the year, such bluegrass and acoustic acts as Flatt City, the Biscuit Burners, Blue Plantation, the Moonshiners, Bobby Houck (of The Blue Dogs), and Folkgrass have performed.

"Our focus is traditional Appalachian gospel bluegrass with a very heavy dose of Dr. Ralph Stanley," says Good News mandolinist James McKinney, known best in the local music community as a rock guitarist with various bar bands, including Velveeta and Honey Wagon.

McKinney recently assembled Good News to play clubs and private events with Will Mayer on banjo, Avery Smith on vocals, Ben Smith on guitar and vocals, and the Rev. Peet Dickinson on bass.

"There is no cover charge at the door, but bring cash if you plan to eat dinner there," says McKinney. "They will be slow cooking a pig all day long in the parking lot and serving it up buffet style with all the trimmings. This should be a very exciting night." –T. Ballard Lesemann

Good News and Three Legged Pig perform in the evening at the West Ashley Bait & Tackle (1117 Magnolia Rd., 556-1828) on Fri. Dec. 1. No cover. See www.westashleybaitandtackle.com for more.

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