Thursday, August 16, 2012

Soundchecks: Donavon Frankenreiter, Early Ray, Stereofly Southeast Showcase, The Bad Popes

Posted by Joshua Curry on Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM

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Flip-flop Rock | Donavon Frankenreiter
w/ Luke Cunningham.
Tues. Aug. 21.
The Windjammer
Isle of Palms
$16/advance,
$21/door

Like Jack Johnson, Donavon Frankenreiter has followed a similar path from the surfing world to the land of beachy, feel-good flip-flop rock. And rightfully so. It was Johnson who produced Frankenreiter's first album, invited him along on tour, and convinced him it was possible to make a living in music. "That was the moment when I thought maybe this is something I could actually do," says Frankenreiter. "I learned a lot touring with Jack about being yourself and singing like you want to sing and not trying to be someone you're not." Frankenreiter was able to take advantage of his 20-year surfing career, using those beach-town crowds as a springboard. He's currently touring in support of his fifth studio album, Start Livin', a loose, live album that was recorded in seven days with Matt Grundy, who co-produced and played all the instruments. "[My last album] Glow was the most poppy record I ever made. This one's the most organic record," the former surfer says. Months short of his 40th birthday, Frankenreiter feels confident in himself and his sound. "My songs are pretty simple," he says. "Maybe people who come to my concert can escape for an hour and a half and hear what it is to enjoy the moment with the friends you're with right then and there." For more, visit the-windjammer.com. —Chris Parker

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Country | Early Ray
w/ Hootie and the Blowfish, The Blue Dogs, Collective Soul, and Southwood
Fri. Aug. 17-Sat. Aug. 18
Family Circle Cup Stadium
Daniel Island
$35-$60

Early Ray's Rayen Belcher is a musician with a heart for the guitar and a long-term relationship with country music, except this relationship isn't a smooth and easy one. Early Ray has been roughing and tumbling with the genre as they create the bastard love child of Kiss, Hank Williams Jr., and Johnny Cash. This weekend, the South Carolina native Belcher, along with band members Joanna Perry, Kerry Brooks, and Gary Greene, will take the stage at Hootie and Blowfish's annual Homegrown Concert. Last year, Hootie guitarist and songwriter Mark Bryan produced a song for Early Ray. At the time, Early Ray was looking for a drummer, and Bryan pointed the band to Greene. "It all started with Mark and the relationship grew from there," says Troy Perry, the band's manager. Later, Early Ray was asked to play at the Homegrown show. Not surprisingly, they accepted. And that's not all that's on the band's plate. The band is also working on the video for their new single "Where the Wild Things Are." For more information, visit earlyray.com. —DeAnna Kerley

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Indie Rock Showcase | Stereofly Southeast Showcase
w/ Company, the Local Honeys, Mountains of Earth, Bully Pulpit, and more
Sun. Aug. 19
Pour House
James Island
$10

If Greg Slattery had his druthers, he'd prefer to listen to local music and nothing more. Which is a good thing since he's the man behind the Stereofly Collective, a group aiming to promote music and art throughout the Southeast. "I want bands and the public to think more locally," Slattery says, noting that the buy-local movement talks a good game when it comes to produce and the like, but they don't do jack for local music. "I think music and art gets neglected in that." This week Slattery and the crew are hosting a Stereofly Southeast Showcase in Charleston, one of a handful of mini-fests the collective is sponsoring in the, um, Southeast, featuring bands from the Southeast, duh. For Stereofly's Holy City stop, Charleston's Company will be on the bill, along with Manray (Athens), Shallow Palace (Columbia), Baby Baby (Atlanta), and handful of other bands. Slattery is particularly jazzed about catching Charleston's Bully Pulpit. "I actually haven't seen them," he says. For more information, visit stereoflycollective.com. —Chris Haire

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Americana | The Bad Popes
Fri. Aug. 17
Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ
West Ashley
Free

The Griffon
Sat. Aug. 18
Downtown
Free

The music of the Bad Popes wanders the entire Americana landscape and beyond. From haunting pedal steel-driven spaghetti-western swing to spy-movie surf rock to a little classic Buck Owens, the Popes are all over the Americana map. This Upstate act — featuring Greenville vets singer-guitarist Jef Chandler, singer-guitarist-mandolin player Charles Hedgepath, pedal steel-dobro player Mike Bagwell, and bassist Chris Garrett — is currently touring behind their sophomore disc, Town and Country, an album anchored by two standout tracks, "People With Money" and "Lord Will Giveth." The former is a soulful rootsy rocker that recalls the Band's "The Weight," while "Lord Will Giveth" moves in a slinky '40s pop gait, driven by its jazzy bassline. "It's basically a minor blues tune and a very standard progression that's probably a throwback, but I like things from that time period," Hedgepath says about the dark tune. "The idea is that no matter what you do or what you say, you're going to have good things happen to you and bad things happen — whether you're a good person or a bad person." The ability to play such a wide range of styles is one of the perks of getting older, if you ask Hedgepath."I'm 35 now. I just want to please myself and the people I play with," he says. "That's what's great with this group — we just laugh and have a good time. There's no drama." For more, visit badpopes.com. —Chris Parker


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