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SOUND CHECKS ‌ Notable Shows in the Next Week


TWANG-ROCK | Southern Culture on the Skids
w/ Cary Ann Hearst & The Gun Street Girls
Fri. Feb. 16
The Map Room

Southern Culture On The Skids, the raucous N.C.-based twang-rock act, returns to Charleston this Friday behind a terrific new studio album of covers and renditions titled Countrypolitan Favorites (Yep Roc) -- their coolest record since Liquored Up And Lacquered Down. Guitarist and hillbilly gentleman Rick Miller, bassist/vocalist Mary Huff (pictured), and wildman drummer Dave Hartman recently welcomed organist/guitarist Chris "Cousin Crispy" Bess to the lineup and toured the South and elsewhere behind their vast catalogue of country, vintage rock 'n' roll, rockabilly, and twang. Their recent live album, Double Wide and Live, was high-kicking stuff, powered by Miller's crisp guitar-pickin' style and Huff's soaring vocals. Holler out for their versions of The Who's "Happy Jack" and Lynn Anderson's A.M. radio hit "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden." Local singer/songwriter Cary Ann Hearst and her current country/rock ensemble open at 10 p.m. See and for more. --T. Ballard Lesemann FRIDAY


ROCK/TRIBUTE | Dark Star Orchestra

Mon. Feb. 19
Music Farm
$20 ($18 adv.)

Perhaps when you cover the group often referred to as "the greatest cover band in history," you come full circle. Outside the Dark Star Orchestra's Asheville gig last weekend, typical lot wares from glass beads and pipes to veggie burritos were up for sale. It's just like a Grateful Dead show ... but not quite. By playing the setlist from a specific Dead show in the past, D.S.O. are committed to "raising the Dead for an entirely new generation of Deadheads." They claim not to be a cover band or a tribute, but a "continuation of the spirit." Parentheticals in the press bio clarify which member of the Dead each person is emulating, a task they take very seriously. Guitarist Rob Eaton "studied at the feet" of Bob Weir and bears an eerie resemblance. John "Jerry Garcia" Kadlecik is known for his dead-on mimicry of JG's heartfelt singing. Is it terrible to mention that D.S.O.'s keyboard player died two years ago (the Dead went through four)? It's not the Dead, it's almost silly, but it's still fun to close your eyes and get down to a dirty "Help on the Way" into "Slipknot." See --Stratton Lawrence MONDAY


JAM/IMPROV | Everyone Orchestra
Tues. Feb. 20
The Pour House

Everyone Orchestra are not really a band. They don't have albums or a regular lineup. Founder/conductor Matt Butler is the one constant, leading musicians and the audience in improvised explorations by writing instructions on a dry erase board. It's a collective experience probably more akin to a late '60s acid test with the Merry Pranksters than a traditional concert. Participants have included several members of the String Cheese Incident and Phish, and each show is a benefit for a non-profit, ranging from the Conscious Alliance to the Sierra Club. The E.O. lineup rolling through Charleston includes drummer Jeff Sipe (of Phil & Friends), saxophonist Jeff Coffin (of The Flecktones), vocalist Tanya Shylock (of Mountain of Venus), and perhaps the lead guitar player with the sweetest licks of anyone living today, Steve Kimock. Audience participation is a key component, so come prepared to get down and be part of the experience. It's Fat Tuesday and things are supposed to get a little crazy. See for more. --Stratton Lawrence TUESDAY


w/ Merit
Tues. Feb. 20

Lions rock. Hard. And heavy. The Austin-based foursome put their act together in 2005 and started banging out fuzzed-out rock riffs in the vein of Sabbath, Deep Purple, Blue Cheer, and ZZ Top. Led by singer/guitarist Matt Drenik (pictured), their current sound lands somewhere between the garage-rock mayhem of Mudhoney and the thick-skulled drone of Fu Manchu and AC/DC. Their new album, Volume One, is a lo-fi trip through stoner metal land, with a few psychedelic detours along the way. Bassist T-Rev heavily resembles his Canadian rock hero Mike Levine of Triumph (or maybe it's drummer Neil Peart, circa 1976?) and wins this week's award for "best rock 'n' roll mustache." Check --TBL TUESDAY

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