Art Mag writer Matt Dobie and artist/educator Chambers Austelle have teamed up with Redux Contemporary Art Center to present a jazz residency called Charleston Trading Eights.
Artists-in-residence — which include Ron Wiltrout, Gerald Gregory, Jeremy Wolf, Dan Voss, and Tyler Ross — will direct each open session, where jazz musicians from the community will be welcomed on stage.
You’re probably aware of the outpour of roots-revival singer-songwriters coming from the musical mecca that is Nashville. Although singer-songwriter Natalie Royal hails from the very same Nashville, she’s not one to blend in with the crowd. Her 2016 album Harbinger showcases her talents as a heartfelt lyricist and a musician not afraid to pull elements of funk, jazz, and soul into her warm yet forlorn backdrop of folk.
“One of the biggest compliments I can receive is when a listener has a bit of difficulty fully defining my genre,” says Royal, citing influences for the new record as far apart as Feist and D’Angelo.
A constant throughout her music is the stripped-down honesty of her voice, sweet but solemn, like if the boot-tapping side to bluegrass was switched out with staring at the moon, trying to decipher what it means to feel loss.
Harbinger, while in part about the passing of Royal’s father, still fulfills the album name’s definition in positing that there is something hopeful beginning to show on the horizon. “I didn’t want the entire album to be about losing my dad,” says Royal. “I wrote about life after loss… I wrote about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because that’s life, you know?”
Royal will perform with The Very Hypnotic Soul Band at Redux Contemporary Art Center tonight at 8 p.m.
This year’s Piccolo Spoleto fest will feature Jay White and Jim Algar’s multi-performance play Why is Rock and Roll?, a show that’s as much a musical experience as it is a theatrical production. “It’s a fun combination of a two-man play, rock concert, and TED talk,” says White.
He and Algar go from being onstage educators informing the audience of rock’s chronological history to slipping into the characters of rock musicians themselves, complete with costumes and (of course) wigs.
Not only is rock history played out visually (for example, White and Algar as Bob Dylan and John Lennon discuss music at the Delmonico Hotel), but the two performers use a cocktail drum kit, keyboard, and time-period guitars to cover legends like Chuck Berry and Jim Morrison.
White says, “One learns, in a fun fashion, about the songs you will hear and tales about not only famous performers but back-scene people as well, such as Sam Phillips of Sun Records and Leo Fender, inventor of the electric guitar.”
You can catch Why is Rock and Roll? at Pure Theatre (477 King Street) on Fri. May 27 at 8 p.m.
Heyrocco's Tanner Cooper and Nathan Merli wait on Cool to leave the convenience store already
After dropping tons of hints and hashtags on social media of late, Charleston's Heyrocco finally released their new album Waiting on Cool today with Vital Music Group (U.K. and Europe) Dine Alone Records (U.S.).
The six-song EP is less Disney grunge than Teenage Movie Soundtrack, replacing pop hooks and lyrics about teenage affairs (premature ejaculation, virginity, being a loser) with songs that better reflect the post-teen life of one very rock 'n' roll band.
Anyone who's followed the trio's travels to the U.K. and back and all over the States for the past two years can't help but sense those experiences seep into Waiting on Cool. From the lead track "Yeah!," which sounds like late-70s punk made out with British indie rock circa 2004, to the ’90s American radio rock of "Build it Up," the record sees Heyrocco driving naturally toward an equally confident but grittier sound than ever before — a sound that has matured and seen a thing or two but is still so very Heyrocco.
Titled in reference to bassist Chris Cool, Waiting on Cool should whet the appetite of Heyrocco fans until the release of the band's second LP next year.
You can stream the EP now on Spotify or listen below.