RED BEANS ARE COOKIN'
Widespread Panic organist/pianist John "JoJo" Hermann formed the Mardi Gras Band shortly after Panic took a hiatus from their rigorous touring schedule. Made up of Max Abrams (saxophone), Johnny Few (bass), Hunter Williams (percussion), and Kevin Mabin (drums), the band focuses on the sound of New Orleans that was pioneered by artists like Professor Longhair, Dr. John, and The Funky Meters, all of which were a huge part of JoJo's musical background. On Sat. Sept. 27, the Mardi Gras Band brings a night of dancing, boogie, and partying to The Windjammer with support from DJ Logic. Show time is 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $17. Check out www.the-windjammer.com and www.myspace.com/jojo39smardigrasband for more.
Presented by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, the summertime Reggae Nights series concludes this weekend with a special performance from popular combo Mystic Vibrations. Led by singer/guitarist Ric Williams, the band is comprised of a rotation of members from Jamaica and the States. Their smooth, groovy style draws from the more uplifting roots of traditional reggae music. They average over 200 gigs a year and packed 'em in on the Isle of Palms every week this summer at Coconut Joe's. On Sat. Sept. 20, expect a mix of standards from acts like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff, as well as a handful of funky originals. Gates at the James Island County Park (871 Riverland Drive, 843-795-4FUN) open at 7:30 p.m. and the jams kick off at 8:30 p.m. Visit www.ccprc.com and www.mystikmuzik.com for more.
AMERICAN MUSIC CELEBRATION
Last week, we mentioned the 12th annual Carolina Downhome Blues Festival (to be held in Camden, S.C. Oct. 2-4), organized by Gary "Shrimp City Slim" Erwin. He's fixing to present another big roots music event closer to home — the third annual American Music Celebration at the Freshfields Village Green, located at the entrance to Kiawah and Seabrook islands. Music starts at 2 p.m. with a set from vaudevillian N.Y.C. combo The Wiyos, followed by Florida acoustic duo The Nouveaux Honkies, Florida swamp-blues singer/guitarist Joey Gilmore, and Chicago-styled combo Studebaker John & The Hawks. The event runs from 2-7 p.m. Admission is free. See www.bluesbash.com for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann