Veteran inspirational act the Gaither Vocal Band — featuring Grammy Award-winning vocalist and producer Bill Gaither — present The Lovin' Live Tour 2009 at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Sat. Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. "Our audiences over the years have been so gracious and supportive that now, more than 40 years after quitting our day jobs as teachers to pursue music full-time, we are still shaking our heads at how far beyond our imagination this path has taken us," Gaither says. Tickets are available for $38.50 and $28.50 (plus applicable fees). Visit www.gaither.com or www.coliseumpac.com for more info.
UPSTAIRS JAZZ AT THE MUSHROOM
On the heels of Voodoo doing a similar gig, the downtown Mellow Mushroom and the Jazz Artists of Charleston announced plans to launch an all-local Winter Jazz Series last week. The JAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the jazz community. They helped produce many of the events in the 2008 Piccolo Jazz Series. Things kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Mon. Feb. 2 with a set from the Leah Suárez Trio, featuring Suárez on vocals, Nick Jenkins on drums, and Gerald Gregory on keys. Acclaimed local trumpeter Charlton Singleton and his quartet (with Gregory on keys, Ben Wells on bass, and Ronald Wiltrout on drums) are booked for Mon. Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds from the gigs (there's a $5 cover charge) benefit the JAC's annual activities. Table reservations are available. See City Pick on p. 27 and check out www.jazzartistsofcharleston.org and www.mellowcharleston.com for more.
BACON DOUBLE SHOT
Just a few months ago, Hollywood heartthrob Kevin Costner fronted his own country-rock band at a big show at the Music Farm. Next week, another veteran leading man hits the Farm stage as local station The Bridge at 105.5 presents the Bacon Brothers on Fri. Feb. 6. Known for his dramatic and comedic roles on the big screen over the last 25 years, Kevin Bacon actually started out as a musician, playing rock, soul, and blues with his brother in their Philadelphia home. Michael Bacon currently stays busy as a go-to composer for film and television. Kevin sings lead, and plays harmonica and acoustic guitar. Michael sings and plays guitar, cello, and percussion. The Bacon Brothers are on tour in support of a new full-length titled New Year's Day (Forosoco). The single "Go My Way" is in rotation on The Bridge this week. Listen for a pre-show interview with music director Joel Frank on Fri. Jan. 30 and an in-studio "station takeover" acoustic performance and interview the evening of the show. Advance tickets for the gig are available for $22.50. Check out www.musicfarm.com and www.baconbros.com for more.
BEN FOLDS AT PAC
Slightly nerdy, musically brilliant singer/pianist Ben Folds (of N.C. pop/rock band Ben Folds Five fame) is on his way back to the Lowcountry. He and his current band will play at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center on Thurs. Feb. 26 in support of his latest album Way To Normal, and Stems and Seeds (Epic), due out Feb. 10. The 41-year-old father of eight-year-old twins has stayed busy since the release of his 2001 debut solo album Rockin' the Suburbs — mostly recording studio and live albums, hobnobbing with William Shatner, and contributing original songs to cinematic soundtracks. Tickets for the show are on sale for $30.50 at Livenation.com, the Coliseum box office, Ticketmaster, and by phone at 800-745-3000. Visit www.benfolds.com and www.coliseumpac.com for more.
AUDITION on the CREEK
Morgan Creek Grill, located on the waterway side of the Isle of Palms at 80 41st Ave. (near the Wild Dunes entrance), recently announced a weekly Thursday night "audition" series in the Marina Room. Longtime acoustic house act and music agent Rene Russell will host the open mic-style gigs at 7 p.m., "for solo players, duos, or trios who have not played at the Creek before." Musical acts are urged to contact Russell by phone at (843) 327-3483 to get on the list ahead of time. Russell and bassist Gary Hewitt perform a variety of originals and covers in the Marina Room every Friday from 6-9 p.m. Call (843) 886-8980 or check www.morgancreekgrill.com for more.
RYAN ADAMS TO STEP ASIDE?
Writing in a lengthy blog on his band's website, acclaimed and often controversial singer/songwriter Ryan Adams — due in town on Wed. March 11 for a show with his band The Cardinals at the Performing Arts Center — stated that he will quit the band at the end of their current tour, which ends in Atlanta on March 20. "Atlanta will be my last venture with the band," he wrote. "I am grateful for the time we have had, and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together. I am, however, ready for quieter times." The band recently released a new album titled Cardinology. Tickets are available for $31 plus applicable fees via the box office, and Ticketmaster outlets. Check out www.cardinology.com and www.coliseumpac.com for more.