Thursday, November 12, 2015

Live Music: Lil B.B. King; Vagabond Union; Tin Roof Birthday; ET Anderson

Great live music to check out this week

Posted by Kelly Rae Smith, Kalyn Oyer and Vincent Harris on Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 4:23 PM

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ALT-AMERICANA ROCK | The Vagabond Union
w/ Guilt Ridden Troubadour and Finnegan Bell
Sat. Nov. 14
9 p.m.
$5
The Royal American

John Kenney isn’t just the brains behind the Royal American’s consistently great lineup of live acts — he’s a musician, too. “Basically, I’ve been in a band since I was 14,” he says. “I played lead guitar in a band called Rotoglow out of Washington, D.C. for seven years [2000 - 2007], and we made a few records, toured relentlessly, and had major management. We did lots of fun things, like open for Outkast on the Stankonia tour in Buffalo, did a stint on the Vans Warped Tour in 2001, played with Everclear, Lit, Joan Jett, Cracker — you name it.” Now 41, songwriter and guitarist Kenney — along with Dave “Gomer” Hedeman — is also a vocalist in the Vagabond Union, a rockin’ alt-country act who’ll be celebrating their new record Blood Runs Through on Saturday. “It’s just an amazing feeling for me to be 41 years old and still making records,” he says. The follow-up to 2011’s The Motel Sessions, Blood Runs Through is a heavier sound for the band and their proudest effort yet. “That is a result of having a band to work with during the songwriting process,” Kenney says. Since the guys spent most of last year writing songs, there’s still plenty to record, and they plan to release three more five-song EPs over the next two years. “We’ve actually cut five more tracks already but will probably go ahead and record the last five before releasing the second EP,” Kenney says. “We’ll just see what goes together well and release accordingly.” —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY

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SONIC INDIE | ET Anderson
Triple Album Release w/ Zack Mexico and Triathalon
Mon. Nov. 16
9 p.m.
$7
The Royal American

ET Anderson’s latest effort ET2 offers morality, perception, dysfunction, and entertainment, according to a pre-order advertisement from label Hearts & Plugs. After listening to the nine-track disc written in three weeks, those punchy nouns aren’t far off from what Tyler Morris and the gang are trying to convey in this new collection. “I always try to find that mesmerizing drone that can somehow — and I speak for myself — emerge the mind in a stream of consciousness,” says Morris. This record was rooted in a darker place than last year’s Et tu ____?, resulting in the furious “Going Deaf” and surrendering “Love is Not.” Morris says, “I was definitely inspired by the negativity of social media and how our identity is rearranged by our social media personalities. In the end, are we even ourselves anymore? Are we what we post? Are we what people say about us? After all is said and done, what have we become?” Some of ET Anderson’s songs are inspired by allegations made against Morris on social media, which he denies and expands on in this week’s edition of Columbia’s Free-Times. “It’s a fucked-up mess that some terrible folks have spun out of control,” Morris explains. “All I can do is the next right thing and know who I am as a person.” As for ET2, Morris is most excited about his collaborations with Perrin Skinner of the Prairie Willows on the first two tracks and Alexandria Jones on “Never Be Alone.” Morris will soon hit the road for a short tour with Zack Mexico, and in the meantime, he’s simply going forward. “I never want any of my writing to come from any experiences like this one did,” he says. “It’s a deeply personal record. It’s hard listening to it. I’m just glad it’s over and I can finally move on.” —Kalyn Oyer MONDAY

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BLUES | Lil B.B. King
Sat. Nov. 14
9 p.m.
Free
Loggerhead’s Beach Grill

Charleston resident Alexis Ray was on a paddle-boarding vacation down the Mississippi River earlier this year when her guide made a suggestion. “It was the final night of the trip, and he said he wanted to take us to a real juke joint,” she says. “And this guy took the stage and starting playing, and I never stopped dancing; he was incredible. The guy next to me said, ‘That’s B.B. King’s son,’ and I knew I had to meet this man. So I hung out outside and waited ’til all the fans had departed and made myself known. And we’ve been friends ever since.” That man is 72-year-old James Gardner, a.k.a. Lil B.B. King. He’s the first-born son of Riley B. King, who died earlier this year. “He’s just played weekends in obscurity all this time,” Ray says. “And it wasn’t until he went to B.B.’s funeral in May that he realized that he needed to pick up where his dad left off.” But Lil B.B. does play a wide range of the blues. “I’ve been playing guitar for 60 years,” Gardner says. “I played with Sam and Dave for four years, and played with my own band for a long time, and then I played with my father for a while. I do a lot of his songs, but I do a lot of other blues, too. Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, stuff like that.” —Vincent Harris SATURDAY

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  • Secret Guest

ANNIVERSARY SHOW | Eight Great Years
Matadero, Drunk Couples, FALINE, Secret Guest, Dante’s Camaro, Hearts on Fire, Beattie Porter, Jason Groce, Doc Circles, and Lanatron
Sat. Nov. 14
6 p.m.
Free
Tin Roof

Eight years ago, West Ashley’s Tin Roof opened its doors for the first time and has since ushered in hundreds of local artists, up-and-coming bands from all over the globe, and many big-name acts, too, including Future Islands, Mac McCaughan, and Roddy Radiation. Not only that, but Charleston’s burgeoning comedy scene has found a home here, too, with nights like TROM (Tin Roof Open Mic) happening once a month for the past five years. To celebrate their eight-year anniversary, the venue is having a free party complete with a jam-packed night of music from several genres, plus comedy from Jason Groce. Here’s a taste of what else is in the cards: Lindsay Holler’s Americana troupe Matadero, local punk trio Drunk Couples, dark-folk-rocker FALINE, hair-rock favorites and fellow smartasses Dante’s Camaro, thrilling new garage-rockers Secret Guest, and middle-school dance disc jockey Lanatron — think Salt N Pepa and Spice Girls. As for whether or not there will be birthday cake, you’ll have to show up to find out. —Kelly Rae Smith SATURDAY

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