Bonnie Bishop at Awendaw Green
In addition to the Wednesday evening "barn jams" — a weekly series featuring sets from a variety of local rock, folk, blues, and indie acts — the folks at Awendaw Green (4879 Hwy. 17) occasionally get to host special concerts on the main stage. On Sun. April 5, Texas-born, Nashville-based Americana singer/guitarist Bonnie Bishop will share the barn stage with local singer/songwriter Danielle Howle (Awendaw Green's "Artist in Residence") at 6 p.m. This spring, Bishop plans to release a new album (she's been working with Will Kimbrough in Nashville all winter). The gig is presented by Suncoast Promotions. Visit www.myspace.com/bonniebishopband and www.awendawgreen.com for more.
Live at Coconut Joe's on the IOP
It's that time of year again — when the bar scene on the IOP gets even livelier. Coconut Joe's Beach Grill & Bar (1120 Ocean Blvd.) celebrated their seasonal kick-off last week. This week, the club's roster includes the 40-Plus Pirates, Mark Shuler, Jeff Houts, Xtreme Level, G. Malin Wagnon, David Hope, and reggae act Mystic Vibrations on their upstairs deck. Look and listen for a rotation of live acoustic rock, folk, soul, and country all spring and summer. Call (843) 886-0046 for info.
Smoky on the water
Local blues/rock singer and harmonica player Andy "Smoky" Weiner, some of his Hot Links bandmates, and special guests will host a weekly jam at Bowens Island (1870 Bowens Island Road) starting on Wed. April 1 at 8 p.m. A longtime blues-rock staple in Charleston, the Hot Links specialize in an upbeat mix of blues-rock, surf, rockabilly, swing, and twang. "The restaurant and bar will be open for this," says Smoky. "There will be a P.A., drums, bass, and amps to use, but you must bring your own instrument, drum sticks, or whatever else you may want to bring. Blues, jazz, rock, bluegrass, folk ... we are open to anything, as long as you have some way to pull it off." Admission is $3. Call Smoky at (843) 330-4066 or Bowens Island at (843) 795-2757 for the lowdown.
NMC on the level
The New Music Collective has more up its sleeve this month. The local enthusiasts host a mighty fine fund-raiser with music, food, drinks, and a silent auction with "tons of rockin' stuff from local businesses and artists" on Thurs. April 9 at Eye Level Art Warehouse Gallery (2143 Heriot St., Suite F). Live music will be provided from 7-11 p.m. by an impressive mix of local acts, including the re-assembled Morimoto, pop-rock combo Slow Runner, The Opposite of a Train (guitarist Bill Carson, drummer Ron Wiltrout, and multi-instrumentalist Nathan Koci), drummer Quentin Baxter, and members of the NMC Ensemble. Check out www.newmusiccollective.org and www.eyelevelart.com for more.
First Flush concert booked
The First Flush Festival — scheduled for Sat. May 16 — is a "celebration of the commencement of the 2009 harvest" at the Charleston Tea Plantation (6617 Maybank Hwy. on Wadmalaw Island). Presented by the Plantation and The Bridge at 105.5, the third annual event at the 120-acre tea farm, features games for children, free iced tea, dance troupes, comedy events, and the First Flush Festival Concert with alt-rock veteran Shawn Mullins, the Alternate Routes, singer/guitarist Jay Clifford (formerly of Jump), and Sons of Bill. Tickets are available for $10 in advance. Visit www.charlestonteaplantation.com and www.1055thebridge.com for more.
Indecision at Gold Bug
Shoreline Productions presents Charlottesville jam band veterans Indecision as part of the fifth annual Suzy McGrane Memorial — nicknamed "S.O.S.: Share Our Suzy" — on Sat. May 23 on Gold Bug Island (1560 Ben Sawyer Blvd.). Share Our Suzy is a nonprofit organization with a mission to "honor the spirit of Suzy McGrane by raising money and resources to assist and support breast cancer patients from diagnosis to remission." Considered one of the "originators of the jam band movement," Indecision made its way back to Charleston last summer after a six-year absence for an amped-up set at the Pour House. Tickets for the event are available at www.etix.com and Charleston area Cat's Music and Monster Music locations for $30 in advance. Check out www.indecision.com and www.shareoursuzy.org for more.
March Madness ...in April
After four weekends' worth of performances, this year's March Madness Battle of the Bands — an "open competition for original artists only, completely run by musicians" — concludes next weekend with a grand finale. At the semi-finals last week, judges voted for TenFifty, Cole Train, and the Izm as the top winners. All four will proceed to the final round on Sat. April 11 at the Village Tavern (1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.). See the concert review on p. 71 and go online to www.thevillagetavern.info for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann