COUNTRY ZYDECO | Henry’s Attic
Sun. Dec. 22
Not every band is looking to conquer the world, write its name in the sky, or be worshipped as snake gods. Henry’s Attic is one of those. Henry’s Attic guitarist and vocalist Rob Williams says, “We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We aren’t trying to find a record label or tour the nation. We have jobs and families as our first obligations ... [we] make and play music we love whenever possible.” The band plays a variety of genres — from outlaw country and bluegrass to zydeco and rock. The band might have you dancing along to Americana songs like “Don’t Turn Your Back On Me” one minute and jamming to some bits of bayou boogie the next. “Most of our themes revolve around America and growing up and living in the South — everything from railroads and hurricanes to the Old West and relationships,” says Williams. The band — Heather Norton (vocals, guitar, accordion, rub board), Bobby Hogg (guitar and vocal), John Auwaerter (bass), and Dan Logan (drums) — has been around since 2007, and while they might not be trying to dominate your mp3 player, we’d be surprised if you didn’t find them popping up in your playlists after you’ve listened to them. —Stephen Pappas SUNDAY
ONE-MAN JAM | Zach Deputy
Sat. Dec. 21
With his feel-good island vibes, hypnotic rhythms, and soulful baritone, Zach Deputy has a lot in common with Jack Johnson. But his live approach is more Keller Williams. Like Williams, he loops a variety of instruments into a throbbing one-man groove machine. Deputy grew up in the South and listened to everything from Tito Puente and Harry Belafonte to James Brown and Creedence Clearwater Revival as a child. By second grade, he’d fallen for hip-hop, an influence that lives in the beatbox rhythm tracks he creates live. Reggae’s another touchstone for Deputy. These disparate influences coalesce in jammy, roots-inflected rock fueled by the singer’s R&B croon. After two albums exploring greasy groove-laden soul, the 30-something singer stretched further for 2011’s Another Day, going from the hard funk of “Make It Right” to the jazzy “Tagalong” and the reggafied “Thoughts of Yesterday” and “Into the Morning.” While one would hardly suggest that a talented singer and multifaceted songwriter like Deputy should limit himself, a narrower focus might certainly make it easier for the masses to jump on the Zach Deputy bandwagon. —Chris Parker SATURDAY
NÜ-SOUTH ROCK | Atlas Road Crew
w/ Alex Culbreth, Gracious Day, HoneySmoke
Wed. Dec. 18
The guys in up-and-coming Southern rock band Atlas Road Crew are living the rock ‘n’ roll dream, which as we all know, can really be something of a nightmare. “We’ve had run-ins with the police in almost every state between here and New York, gotten hit by a bus in Athens, Ga., partied until the sunrise, played for four people, and played for 4,000 people, and we’re just getting started,” says drummer Patrick Drohan. The Columbia-based Atlas Road Crew has spent most of December working on a follow-up to their recent — and rockin’ — self-titled EP, produced by Hootie’s Mark Bryan. In February, Atlas Road Crew will be heading out to the AAA Sunset Sessions in Carlsbad, Calif., a trip they’re hoping will score them some major-label love. “Essentially, we are playing in front of a big group of people whose ears and opinions can get your music in front of a much, much larger audience,” says Drohan enthusiastically. —Kalyn Oyer WEDNESDAY
ADULT ALTERNATIVE | The Fray
w/ Avril Lavigne, Jesse McCartney, Daughtry, and ZZ Ward
Wed. Dec. 18
North Charleston Coliseum
It’s been eight years since the Fray first hit the pop charts with “Over My Head (Cable Car)” and while many may have wondered at the time if the band would be forever forsaken to the hell of one-hit wonders, three albums and several hit singles later (“How to Say a Life” and “You Found Me”), the Fray has staked out what appears to be a long-term career in the music biz. Their latest LP, Helios, won’t be released until Feb. 25. Lead singer Isaac Slade says the recording process was a little bit different this go round. “We very purposefully chose to work with a producer who would push us, lyrically, artistically, especially process wise,” Slade says. “We’re used to doing 30 takes on the lead vocal, and we picked a guy named Stuart Price, who would stop me after the third take and say, ‘We got it. Keep singing if you want, but that last one gave me chills. I say call it a day.’ Sometimes I’d insist and sing 27 more takes, then I’d go back to that third take and toss the rest in the digi-trash can.” At this week’s Jingle Bell Ball (see story on page 66), the Fray will join Avril Lavigne, Jesse McCartney, Daughtry, and ZZ Ward on stage. Slade has nothing but praise for his tourmates. “It’s pretty incredible. We got to watch [Chris] Daughtry go from trying out for the damn TV show with the other 250,000 contestants to becoming the incredible successful artist he is today, and all without losing sight of being a dad to his kids.” Slade also says that he’s a secret fan of Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi.” Uh oh, guess that secret’s out. —Kalyn Oyer WEDNESDAY
PHOTOS: John Mayer
We have to admit that we feel just a little bit of pride whenever Band of Horses gets a feature in a major entertainment magazine or plays a high-profile show — like this fall's Southern Ground Fest. As one of Charleston biggest bands, their success is our success — or at least it feels that way to us.
Which is why we're excited that Ben Bridwell and company have just announced a new 10-song live album to be released on Feb. 11. Titled Acoustic at the Ryman, the new collection was recorded last April at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Fans can currently listen to a live version of "Neighbor" on the band's website and below.
In honor of their new release, Band of Horses will play 13 acoustic shows beginning on Feb. 11 in L.A. and ending appropriately enough at the Ryman on March 13. For more information, go to bandofhorses.com/tour.
Well, we're 9 days away from Christmas, so it's probably about this time that the elves are putting the final coats of wax on the sleigh, the reindeer are tapering their workouts in preparation for their annual jaunt around the planet and the big man is chomping at the bit to drop into strangers' houses and eat their cookies.
In that spirit, we've put together a playlist of all the traditional, weird, annoying, and sentimental holiday tunes that you'll ever need. We're talking everything. From Weird Al to Harry Belafonte, it's all here. So sit back, relax (maybe get the skip button ready for "Christmas Shoes"), because here goes.
Does the sound of cheery Christmas music permeating every radio station make you hate life? Do the obligatory fruit cakes you get from your in-laws get worse and worse every year? If so, you need to hit the Holiday Ball at the Music Hall on Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.
The event includes a who's-who of Charleston's best: Cary Ann Hearst, Michael Trent, Dan McCurry, Rachel Kate, the Specs, Scott Dence, Mackie Boles, Antoine Dukes, Nick Jenkins, Brave Baby, Elim Bolt, and plenty of surprise guests.
Charles Carmody, the director of the Charleston Music Hall, says, "The Charleston music scene really does feel like one big family a lot of the time. This is not only a Christmas celebration, it is a celebration of and for this family. Not only will people get to see performances by the likes of Carry Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, but they also will see many new Charleston artists who are making the Charleston music scene so great, Scott Dence being one of my personal favorites."