SOUND CHECKS ‌ Notable Shows in the Next Week 

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"Downtown Sundown"
Thurs. June 8
The Charleston Maritime Center

According to the lyrics on their new album Home Grown, Ga.-based Americana-rock songwriter Zac Brown and his twangy country-rock band are all about "fried chicken and a cold beer on a Friday night" under the shade of a Georgia pine. The quintet hit the Lowcountry behind a new LP this Thursday with a free show from 5-9 p.m. at the Maritime Center during "Downtown Sundown." Born and bred in Ga., Brown started out as an acoustic-based singer/songwriter, specializing in a dynamic finger-pickin', hand-thumpin' style on a nylon-stringed guitar. Those who miss this week's free set might consider a road trip up to Lake Oconee where Brown runs his own restaurant, Zac's Place. "Basically, I wanted a cool, relaxed place where I could play music in front of a crowd whenever I wanted when I was home and not on tour," he says. "We record every show and give out CDs to all in attendance!" —T. Ballard Lesemann THURSDAY

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AMERICANA | John Brannen
Fri. June 9
Oceansong Café

Singer-songwriter John Brannen, 54, is a true Carolina musical veteran. The guitar-playing vocalist grew up in Charleston, lived in Nashville, and recently landed in Asheville, N.C., where he feels right at home among the rock, bluegrass, and folk musicians in the scene. He's recently written and recorded two Southern-tinged collections for Sly Dog Records, including last year's The Good Thief and a new, 12-song collection of ballads, pop tunes, and anthems titled Twilight Tattoo. "My work is based on the South," Brannen told City Paper during last year's Piccolo Spoleto at the Charleston Music Hall. "My experience is based on the South. To me, the South is the synthesis of where we've come in western civilization. I know I'll never leave that as a basis for the canvas that I paint from." Fans should expect a mix of older and newer tunes and a variety of classic and progressive "Americana" this evening at 8:30 p.m. —TBL THURSDAY

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PUNK/HEAVY ROCK | Johnny Fever & The Frantics
w/ Moonless Moth
Thurs. June 8
The Map Room

Some might remember that great rock 'n' roll television character Johnny "Dr. Johnny Fever" Caravella on WKRP in Cincinnati — the terminally hung-over, rumpled, divorced, hilarious morning disk jockey. Johnny Fever was a hero ... an underdog. Never a lover of disco, the new music fad of the era, he was a lover of rock 'n' roll. Despite all the troubles and obstacles, he mustered the energy and hipness necessary to get the rock vibe out there. In the underground Carolina band scene, the mention of "Johnny Fever" might bring to mind someone else — visions of skinny young punkers with chops — Columbia kids armed with a pile of aggressive and complex songs inspired by the earliest U.S. hardcore and Bowery punk scenes. Johnny Fever & The Frantics (Johnny Fever, Spencer Carl Frantic, Jason Tommy Frantic, and Ryan Johnny Bone Frantic) make the trip down from the capital for a show at the Map Room this week in support of a seven-song, self-titled EP. Local metal/rock quartet Moonless Moth share the stage. Don't expect any disco in the set lists. —TBL THURSDAY

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GROOVE-ROCK | The Soul Mites
Thurs. June 8 / Sat. June 10
The Windjammer / The Village Tavern

With time comes refinement. The Soul Mites — one of Columbia's staple rock bands — are using that to their advantage. Together since spending their college days messing around on broken instruments, the rock quartet has been on the S.C. music scene for 13 years. Tim Davis, the lead singer with a deep, raspy voice and entertaining sense of humor, defines their sound as "rock 'n' roll with a funky rhythm." Influences are like ingredients, he explains, and the band mixes up sounds from Ben Harper, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Beastie Boys. For The Soul Mites, it is all about the honesty of the music. Their songs are written about events the band has experienced themselves, and, as Davis says, "if it's honest, people will relate to it." Since their 2000 release, Lustre, the band has been working on a new album, set to release in August. Despite their age, they can still rock out. They recently teamed up with Hootie and The Blowfish bassist Dean Felber, as well as other producers, in the studio to refine their soulful rock sound. Davis recently moved to Charleston, so The Soul Mites are rockin' the local scene more often. They headline at the Windjammer on Thurs. June 8 and at the Village Tavern (with supporting band Indeed) on Sat. June 10. —Anna Miller THURSDAY/SATURDAY


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