Fri. March 20
Pour House, James Island
It's a balancing act that many growing bands have to decide upon: play the small venue that's a guaranteed sell-out or move on up to the bigger room? After debuting in Charleston three years ago at the Pour House (and returning several times), Toubab Krewe decided last year to shift to the Music Farm. Their subsequent two shows on the peninsula were both impressive, but the crowd seemed small in the cavernous room. Toubab's return to the Pour House last week proved to be a wise move — the room was packed, steamy, and full of energy. The band recognized the excitement and played a full three hours without taking a set break. Members shuffled on and off the stage at one point, presumably to hit the head or grab a beer, but the music continued on. Justin Perkins remained at his kora for most of the evening, providing the signature, haunting Saharan sound that fronts Toubab's infectious rhythms. The band segued their songs together more than in previous shows, creating flow and eliminating pauses. The cohesive sound works well for the instrumental group. By the show's all-percussion finale, the room had cleared just enough for a spirited dance floor to break out.
Sun. March 22
Surf Bar, Folly Beach
Standing beside Lowcountry songwriter Mac Leaphart at Surf Bar last week, he made the comment that the music Dangermuffin was playing seemed to be naturally resonating from the walls. The rustic wooden interior and the tight corner comprising Surf Bar's "stage" are indeed an apt fit for the rasp-tinged vocals and relaxed, intricate guitar work of the Folly trio, who were recently selected by City Paper readers' as the "Best House Band" in town. Even though it was Sunday, it felt like a Saturday night, as a standing room-only crowd packed around tables and overflowed onto the porch. The band invited Justin Burke of Jupiter's Garden to join them for the second set, which included a My Morning Jacket-style cover of Bob Dylan's "Goin' to Acapulco." Backing Burke on several of his originals, Dangermuffin sounded like they'd been playing the tunes for years — not like Burke had taught them to the guys that afternoon, as was the case. "That was the funnest 45 minutes I've ever had playing music," Burke proclaimed after the show. In the third set, DM brought out a guest banjo player, dusting off classics like "What's in a Bottle" to close out a rollicking weekend on the beach.