Songcraft on display at the Singer/Songwriter Series 

Gregory Scott believes in Charleston's songwriter scene

Local singer/guitarist Gregory Scott is fairly new in town, but he already has plenty of wordy praise for Charleston's music scene — especially the core songwriting talent within it.

"I believe there are many musicians in the Charleston area sitting in their rooms every night, writing songs of their own," he says. "They're maybe afraid to take that leap and go hit some open mics to get their voices heard. Songwriters use music as an outlet to express their soul and their feelings, to share stories and evoke thoughts. It's always fun to hear a tight band, but also great to get a chance to hear what songwriters are trying to say."

Impressed by the camaraderie, and inspired and encouraged by the local pool of songwriting talent, he put his feelings into action this summer, organizing a new monthly series called The Singer/Songwriter Series. It's aimed at showcasing the most creative and diligent songsmiths in town.

Scott even sent a hefty press release our way (written as a 1,800-word essay titled "A Singer-Songwriter Scenario"). It expressed his ideas and opinions in colorful detail. The opening line read: "We have something special here in Charleston. Not only do we have awesome culture and awesome people, but we have an awesome local live music scene that sometimes doesn't get the credit or notoriety it deserves."

Scott grew up in Jackson, Miss. He earned his college degree at Mississippi State University in Starkville before relocating to Charleston in 2006. Attracted as much by the coastal scenery and beaches as the band community, he settled into the local scene. Residing on James Island, Scott tries to catch as many shows as he plays each week.

On Mon. Aug. 2, the Pour House kicks off the Singer/Songwriter Series with a strong roster of local songwriters, along with a few spoken-word and visual artists as well. The first gig features eight acoustic sets, one from each performer at 20 minutes in length. It's a convenient and welcoming venue for Scott to work.

"The Pour House is the venue in town that consistently brings the best music," he says. "I'm pretty much a music freak, and I live very close to the Pour House. It's pretty much my home away from home."

This week's Singer/Songwriter Series lineup features Mac Leaphart, Danielle Howle, Graham Whorley, Lindsay Holler, James Justin Burke, Skye Paige, and Steven Hurst. Scott will play a short set as well. Most of the songwriters are already well established in town. Many are painted with a similarly Southern-styled brush.

"To have a group of this many diverse songwriters perform on one stage on one night might be uncharted territory for Charleston," says Scott.

According to Scott's plan, each showcase will take place on the first or second Monday of every month. He hopes it will evolve and develop over time, pulling in a mix of local and visiting songwriters. A collaborative songwriters-in-the-round might be in the works as a closing set for each gig as well.

"It's been tough bringing this many people together at the same time and on the same page, but it's been a pleasure putting this together," Scott says. "Hopefully, this will continue through the next few months and the next few years to come. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to do this."

Admission to the Singer/Songwriter Series is $5. Music on the main stage starts at 8 p.m. See charlestonpourhouse.com for more.


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