Saturday, February 01, 2014

Look Who "Dropped" by.....

The Carolina Chocolate Drops were in town Thursday night, kicking off their 2014 national tour.

We also were introduced to the two newest members of the popular roots and string band.

Founder Rhiannon Giddons, on violin and new cellist Malcolm Parson,  played in close harmony.

Malcolm almost did a strolling cello bit as he hefted it and moved back and forth.

The other original performer was Hubby Jenkins , multiple instrumentalist, who played banjo, guitar, bones and percussion.

The packed Charleston Music Hall
reacted well in almost a "call and response" fashion to the many comments from the stage.

After several in the audience started asking aloud for their favorite songs, Rhiannon smiled and said "we'll get there. This show is long, so you'll hear them all."

New band member Rowan Corbett kept the beat on an amplified "box," using brushes and played some mean bones with Hubby.

Then he stepped forward and brought out a Bodhran, an Irish frame drum,  to dazzle the crowd.

The music was as varied as the instruments although I missed the bass playing of the jug.

Saw the original group in the Cistern area at the College of Charleston, and again at the Music Farm.

The two who departed to do other things were very talented and the newcomers certainly hold their own.

The challenge in photographing  them was trying for shots where faces were not covered by a microphone.

My camera - no flash of course - would snap when they momentarily darted away.

But I was a bit stymied because they moved back in close to the mic when singing. Well, DUH.

The opener act was Barefoot Movement and we were told the "local connection" was the bass player from Myrtle Beach.

The unusual element was they used a single microphone.
This meant being clustered closely together so faces were hard to catch with my camera.

They were the beginning of a Blue Grass kind of evening and an excellent choice to complement the Chocolate Drops.

I had just read about three new bars and clubs in the alley behind 39 Rue De Jean, next to the Music Hall.

Back when I was still working for the Post and Courier, I had visited the 3-story tall former tobacco barn when it was called Club Tango.

ALL of these places, Charleston Music Hall, Rue de Jean, Coast, and Virginia's on King were created by one company.

The new three: Michael's On The Alley, Vincent Chicco's and Victor Social Club, this bar in between with the high, high ceiling, are all owned by Bennett Hospitality.

Two of the three just opened and Michael's is about to have a soft opening, probably this weekend.

The website is still adding the new ones!

(Click on the photos for more details.)

More choices for a place to dine before a show or to meet up after.

Have I mentioned I love live music?

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