Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Music, Music and more Music. Whew!

What a musical weekend!

It started Saturday night in my neighborhood, around the corner, at The Mill in the ever-growing Park Circle nightlife area.

Headliner was Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats.

This divey bar is a prime example of the North Charleston decision to let individual businesses allow smoking or not.

The Mill - I think - encourages smoking.

Maybe even requires it. Get the idea?

It's a very smoky club where some funky music can be heard.

Have enjoyed this Asheville, N.C.-based band before and they are showing up locally more often now.

Really talented, they do The Blues and basic Rock 'N Roll as well as many of Andrew's own compositions. He started with a solo acoustic Blues set before plugging in the rest of the band.

Saturday meant a pleasant drive down to Freshfields Village, situated off the traffic circle between Kiawah and Seabrook Islands.

Gary Erwin (aka Shrimp City Slim) was presenting his 11th annual Blues By The Sea.

Two acts would perform from 3 pm to 7 pm and Gary even managed to hold off the rain.

The 3pm opener was a very talented singer and Sax player, the Vanessa Collier Blues Band.

Her musical background is as stellar as her voice and playing.

A graduate of the famed Berklee School of Music in Boston, she and her band are well-versed in jazz, soul, and dig deep into the roots of the Blues.

She set the tone for the day as a capacity crowd sat in lawn chairs beneath a huge white tent purchased years ago with Kiawah Island visitor tax money.

After her first song, the crowd rose to its feet and gave a warm welcoming ovation on her very first visit to South Carolina.

Gary said she will be appearing in some of his other Upstate Blues shows in the next few months.

I would go see here again!

Midway through her set, she hopped down from the stage and walked through the crowd, playing her mighty sax.

A similar walkabout was done during this Sea Island Saxophone Summit when Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang took the stage at 5 pm.

His son Vaan carried his famed 3-necked guitar into the appreciative crowd.

(Did you notice the top neck is a 12-string? The middle is 7-string and the bottom the traditional 6-string.)

I have seen him perform in Columbia and here at the late, great Blues place Mad River, but had not observed that the three were different. LOL.

While his son Vaan was moving about in the crowd, playing and posing for phone cam shots and "selfies," his dad Eddie Shaw, stayed up on the stage.

I noticed the stool but he stated he had just celebrated his 78th birthday - applause - and tended to sit down more these days.

He then quipped he still likes to keep an eye on the women... "I may be old, but I'm not blind."

The man had traveled with Howlin' Wolf for many years and when Wolf died, he vowed to keep the band together.

He did and tours extensively.

It was a great afternoon for Blues fans in general and especially for those who enjoy a wailing sax .

Gary announced that the visitor tax dollars were already pledged to support the 12 annual Blues By The Sea 2016.

Gary said that meant producing the art of the Blues instead of a string quartet.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

That evening, it was a quick drive back to Charleston and the destination was The Pour House.

Let's rest a minute, catch our breathe and take that up later.

From downhome Blues to a double bill of Miss Tess as well as the Dustbowl Revival.

Maybe I need a stool too?

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