The South Carolina Music Guide
Show Reviews

Girl Power! – Archer Avenue Studio Showcase at New Brookland Tavern

Youth is an acceptable reason to venture into almost any endeavor. As we age, we become known commodities. We lean towards safe. But youth answers the question “Should I try this?” with a resounding “YES!” It is that spirit that brought three young girls into Archer Avenue studio to individually create three superb and well-crafted EPs with producer/engineer Kenny McWilliams. Bri Benedict, Lauren Huse, and Laurel MacCallum have each written and recorded a handful of beautiful songs with a talent and sophistication that belie their teenage years. On Saturday December 7, you will have the opportunity to see all three artists showcase their talent on stage at New Brookland Tavern beginning at 5pm.

While all three artists may appeal to similar audiences, each of them approach their craft a little differently and as a result, develop distinctly different styles. Lauren Huse has a sophisticated pop sound that has an airy quality that is most apparent on “Your Way.” Perhaps the strongest song on her EP is “See The City” which has a great sing-a-long chorus and is clearly in the same vein as Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. It plays to Lauren’s strengths as a vocalist with some nice keyboard work to boot. The fact that Lauren stepped into a studio for the first time this past summer is a testament to not only her natural talent but also to her commitment to music.

Bri Benedict is strong vocalist with a great ear for pop music. Of the three she is perhaps the most experienced, which again underscores the advantages of writing and performing music while still a teenager. She is building a catalogue of musical experiences that she can call on in the future to help her grow and develop as an artist. Bri’s biggest moment to date was last year at her first CD release party when all the hard work and practice paid off on the stage. The thrill of seeing others moving and singing to something that she created was special and only fueled her desire to delve deeper into her music. With her latest release, Bri picks up this momentum and gives us six songs highlighted by the energetic, pulse pounding rhythm of “Speed of Light.” Bri sounds confident and comfortable with a strong sense of who she is as an artist and who is listening to her music. It’s a skill that will pay dividends in the years ahead as she grows into her music career.

Laurel MacCallum is the country artist in this trio. Laurel has a beautiful voice that seems to effortlessly float from note to note and is polished from years of careful listening to such artists as Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift, but pleasantly recalls some of the country styling and raw vocal talent of Dolly Parton. She sounds equally good whether she’s hanging out in the lower register or reaching for the high show stoppers. The songs are well written with sophisticated lyrics and really seem to have decades of experience behind them instead of just a few years. Laurel is a gem of an artist that should not be missed. Fortunately you have the opportunity to catch all three of these girls this Saturday at New Brookland Tavern. They will have full bands supporting on stage and a large crowd of well-wishers supporting them off it. Be sure to get there early as the show starts at 5pm and you can be among the first to say “Oh, I knew them way back when…”

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