Live music and good crowds at BuddyRoe's 

Rik Cribb and his band play to play weekly

We checked out the new BuddyRoe's Shrimp Shack in Mt. Pleasant this week. Things looked pretty spiffy, and the music sounded mighty fine. Located on the marsh-end of Ben Sawyer Blvd. just south of Center St. (in the old Island Grill building, almost directly across from Momma Brown's BBQ), the nicely-renovated building features a small stage and dance floor, two full bars, and a breezy outdoor deck. Proprietor Ronnie Johnson — a longtime songwriter and musician who also performs weekly on the BuddyRoe's stage — has already filled the live entertainment calendar with acoustic acts, solo artists, and local bands.

In recent years, under the spelling "Budiroes," the restaurant and club operated as a laid-back Isle of Palms music venue at 1517 Palm Blvd. (a few blocks from the Pavilion area). It drew an old-school shag dance and oldie crowd, and often featured DJs and local and touring bands. After a slow spell last winter — compounded by what Johnson refers to as negative experiences with town police — the venue announced plans to close down. Their final day in business was on March 7.

The new spot has been open for just a few weeks, but they've been packin' the folks in every weekend. So far, it looks like a heathy mix of older East Cooper music fans, young kids and tourists from Sullivan's and the IOP, and a throng of loyal customers from years before.

We caught two sets from local band Rik Cribb and the Problems, one of the first full rock bands to perform at the club. Normally, Johnson books acoustic acts or drummerless combos with light amplification. Cribb, a Charleston performer who knows how to handle a crowd and please his fans, managed his volume levels quite well, fortunately. Bassist Manny Hagman and drummer Tommy Hamer has to keep it light and tight, but the band managed to rock a low-volume set of classic rock (Dylan, Petty, Springsteen, etc.) and melodic originals with little problem. They'll be back tonight and every Thursday evening through June or so, playing from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. (no cover).

This month's music schedule includes Johnson on Fri. May 22 and Sat. May 23, and the Geechie Boys and Pete Ledbetter on Sat, May 30. Every Sunday evening, a casual "acoustic jam" takes place on the side deck at 5 p.m. — all pickers are welcome. Call BuddyRoe's at (843) 886-8288 for more info.


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