Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Soundchecks: Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, The Old School Gospel Singer, Built to Spill, John King Band

Posted by Joshua Curry on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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Roadhouse Rock | Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires
Thurs. Sept. 6
6 p.m.
Earshot Records
w/Josh Roberts and The Hinges
9 p.m.
The Pour House
$8/adv., $10/door

Listening to the debut record from Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, There is a Bomb in Gilead, you may be shocked to learn that Bains himself was a choir boy. And we're not talking about a figurative choir boy, here. We're talking a guy who regularly sang "Amazing Grace," "Holy Holy Holy," and the rest. For the Alabama native Bains, church and music were inseparable. And rightfully so. His grandmother was a choir director for 70 years, while his grandfather taught him that singing in church was just as much about putting on a performance as it was about singing the praises of the Almighty. "My granddaddy talked a lot about connecting to other people. You weren't singing for yourself. You were trying to give something to someone else," Bains says. And give he does. Lee Bains III and the Glory Fire's There is a Bomb in Gilead is a scorcher that mixes outlaw country, booze-soaked blues rock, and ample doses of Americana. A word of warning: Bains and company like to play loud. They want people to feel the music in their bones, much in the same way that the singer used to feel the choir music years and years ago. "Sometimes we'll play and we'll see people covering their ears," Bains says. "I know that for me I like that feeling." —Chris Haire THURSDAY

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Gospel | The Old School Gospel Singer
Sat. Sept. 8
1 p.m.
What-Cha-Like Gospel CDs and Boutique
Free

For the majority of his life, Lawrence Gordon was a mechanic who ran a shop in Ravenel. He'd never played a musical instrument and had never sang publicly, not even in a church choir. But all of that changed with the passing of his sister. "I asked the Lord to give me a song that had never been sung," Gordon says. The Good Lord provided and Gordon began singing the tune just as the Almighty had taught him. The only problem: He was stopped in traffic at a red light. "People were looking at me," he says. And it didn't stop with just one song. More soon followed. Today, Gordon, a.k.a. the Old School Gospel Singer, has an eight-song collection of all original gospel tunes, One Lane Highway. "Never in my mind did I think that I would be a gospel singer or any kind of singer," Gordon says. "He found me. I didn't find Him." This Saturday, Gordon will be signing copies of One Lane Highway at What-Cha-Like Gospel CDs and Boutique, 3910 Rivers Ave #B, North Charleston, (843) 744-0332. —Chris Haire SATURDAY

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INDIE ROCK | Built to Spill
w/ Helvetica
Sat. Sept. 8
8 p.m.
The Music Farm
$20/adv., $23/door

Indie rock's never produced many guitar heroes, which is probably a legacy of its roots in punk. Its most notable shredder is Built to Spill singer/guitarist Doug Martsch. The best thing about Martsch is that his incendiary talents are secondary to his quirky songcraft. Judging from his albums, he's happier crafting a pretty melody than a searing lead. This recalls Richard Thompson's understated manner, but the distinction disappears live, where Martsch sheds any sense of restraint. While based in Boise, Built to Spill evokes the cloudy Northwestern pop sway of acts like Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse, which dovetails with the often wistful tone of Martsch's lyrics. Unlike those acts, Martsch is drawn to art rock and demonstrates a gift for knotty textures and baroque structures that in lesser hands might seem convoluted or windy. But they're so tuneful and tastefully staged that you reach the climax before you know it. Though the band is a collection of awe-inspiring performers, their release pace has slowed considerably. Over the last 20 years, they've made seven LPs, but only two the last decade, the most recent being 2009's There Is No Enemy. For more information, visit musicfarm.com. —Chris Parker SATURDAY

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Modern Country | John King Band
w/Adalya
Fri. Sept. 7
9 p.m.
The Windjammer
$5

The John King Band has found their voice, and they're ready to be heard. The five young men (including the King brothers) hail from Athens, Ga., but love performing at the Windjammer so much that they endearingly refer to it as "home." John King, lead vocalist and primary songwriter, says that they began playing for College of Charleston sorority/fraternity functions, and eventually developed a local following. They identify with both Southern rock and country roots, citing the twin-lead guitar attack of bandmates Parker Smith and Joe Higginse. Their first EP, Up North, is a solid reflection of their style, both lyrically and musically. Since his departure from the University of Georgia last year, King has been in Nashville working with songwriters and producers such as Doug Johnson and Ira Dean, and perfecting his craft as a writer. An upcoming album is in the works. For King, part of the fun in writing, he says, is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes rather than drawing solely from personal experience. Although they enjoy the process of making an album, the John King Band revels in the performance aspect of making music and draws much of their energy from crowd participation. For more information, visit thejohnkingband.com and the-windjammer.com. —Katie Kimsey FRIDAY


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