The Cold Heart Revival seeks to save your soul 

Indie Jamboree

The Third Annual Holy City Cold Heart Revival
w/ Justin Townes Earle, Lindsay Holler's Western Polaroids, American Aquarium, Shovels & Rope, Kentucky Shoes, Mac Leaphart, Harrison Ray, Quasiphonics
Sat. Nov. 15
6 p.m.
Pour House
1977 Maybank Hwy.
(843) 571-4343

Justin Townes Earle
"What Do You Do When You're Lonesome" from the album The Good Life
Audio File

Lindsay Holler & The Western Polaroids
"Junk Gospel #1" recorded raw at REDUX
Audio File

Even the hardest-slamming ministers of spirit would have to agree: the annual Holy City Cold Heart Revival cannot be seen as a panacea, but as a mighty and merciful outpouring of the country music that will surely breathe new life and power into the musical fabric of Charleston.

"It's that time of year again — another chance to save your soul," declares organizer Lindsey Holler. "We've got a great, great line-up this year."

Amen, sister. This annual gathering shines a light on a throng of local and visiting songwriters, musicians, and roots music enthusiasts. Assembled by Holler and two other local songwriters — Jamie Resch (of the band Kentucky Shoes) and Dave Parnell (of Runaway Dorothy) — the Cold Heart Revival highlights some of the finest regional alt-country, folk-pop, and Americana acts. What began as a small roster of friends sharing the stage at the much-missed Cumberland's in 2005 has blossomed into a fully-realized Americana showcase at the Pour House.

"Jamie and Dave and I would hang out at Cumberland's all the time," remembers Holler. "The evening we came up with the idea for the festival, we sat there for four or five hours trying to come up with a name. I wanted it to have a proper name, rather than just 'Country Festival' or something. I wanted it to have personality."

Holler stepped up as the main organizer this year. She's been working on this year's lineup and details since last spring. "I want to promote this type of music, and I want people to be aware of what's going on," she says.

Alex Harris, Pour House owner and manager, knew that Holler and the crew always wanted to get some bigger names on a Revival lineup. He got in touch with Justin Townes Earle's agency and helped facilitate a solid booking.

Justin Townes Earle is the talented son of pioneering alt-country veteran Steve Earle (he named him after his musical hero Townes Van Zandt). A few years back, Justin began playing and writing with a bluegrass/ragtime combo called The Swindlers and a louder rock band called The Distributors. Bloodshot Records released his debut full-length The Good Life just a year ago. Seasoned with pedal steel and fiddle, the collection was recorded at the renowned House of David Studios.

Earle garnered very positive reviews from critics across the country. He recently co-headlined several big shows, including the Chicago Country Music Festival, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest in San Francisco, and the Americana Music Awards Show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. He was nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year.

"I checked out some of his music recently, and I'm excited to see and hear what it is and what he's all about," says Holler. "I was talking to Alex [Harris] and he said that some of his staffers at the Pour House caught [Earle] live recently and were blown away."

Also on the bill is Holler's latest band, the Western Polaroids — most of whom were with her previously as the Dirty Kids. With Nick Jenkins on the drums, Ben Wells on the bass, Sam Sfirri on keyboards and percussion, and Bill Carson on guitar, they made their official debut last month when they performed an intimate, last-minute show at Redux Contemporary Arts Center.

Kentucky Shoes' music is equal parts old-time country, southern blues, and soul — with a twist from the unusual instrumentation of musical saw, lap steel, mandolin, cello, and accordion. Shovels & Rope digs deeply into the heart of early 20th Century Americana, too, with singer/guitarists Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst trading harmonies and chords through old gospel, rockabilly, blues, and soul standards and a heap of new original tunes.

The tall, mellow Mac Leaphart, a devoted musical colleague of Holler's and Resch's, switched paths from a modern rock 'n' roll band setting to a twangier, acoustic-based country/folk style — a Don Williams meets Willie Nelson kind of thing. Singer-songwriter Harrison Ray recently performed with alt-country/rock band The Wagoneers and garage-rock act April Invention. His new folk-rock act, Harrison Ray's Magic Ghost, includes Wally Reddington, Katy Hovis, Parker Smith, and Buddy McDonald in the roster. Quasiphonics started out last year as an "original dub/reggae band" as a collaboration between Aaron Firetag and John Durham. Since then they have played with a multitude of lineups at a variety of venues. They released an LP entitled Dubbish in the spring.

"Looking at the lineup, what you have there is eight bands who regularly headline shows," says Holler. "I'm hoping that people will be jumping up and joining in from set to set throughout the evening. Last year, everyone was doing some familiar songs here and there. Many ended up on stage, singing with a cappella choir LASSO and carrying on," remembers Holler. "I hope that vibe happens again this time. A lot of these Charleston bands play with each other so often, it will be great to be able to share the stage and the music with some visiting acts."


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