Friday, March 1st the Charleston Music Hall held its inaugural Grass in the Hall, a night of bluegrass, presented by Awendaw Green. For those of you not living in the low country, Awendaw Green is a music venue that presents a weekly Barn Jam every Wednesday night starting at 6:00pm for just a $5 donation. They usually offer three acts and vary from week to week. Also, graphics design artist Gil Shuler designed their Awendaw Green logo and posters for the Barn Jams. They are beautiful works of art just to check out each week even if you’re not planning on going to a Jam. Go to www.gilshulergraphicdesign.com for more details and to see his work. Gil designed the Grass in the Hall and Shovels and Rope posters for The Music Hall and they were beautiful. Awendaw Green is located on 4879 Highway 17 North in Awendaw, SC their website states, we are “just out of reach from the stress and clutter of the city.” Please check out www.awendawgreen.com for more details. I have the honor of going down for my first Barn Jam March 13th and will write a full report and introduce you to the resident Magic Man, Eddie White. (If I can find a butterfly net to catch him. He has a ton of energy!) Hope to see you there.
Meanwhile back at the Hall…
For those new to The Charleston Music Hall, it is a 928 capacity music hall that was converted from an old train station to a music venue in 1995. Eight months ago the Music Hall underwent some facility renovations and acquired a young new director Charles Carmondy. Under Charles’ direction, the Music Hall has quickly become a magnet for strong musical acts and events. The night after Grass in the Hall, Shovels and Rope played to a sell out crowd and the place was electric. Crowfield will also play their farewell show on March 15th and March 30th “Live at Charleston Music Hall” will have its inaugural event and will feature Edwin McCain and Sam Bush. Over the past month, I’ve gotten to know Charles a little; he has his act together and has a clear vision for the Music Hall and SC music. He is definitely a friend of the SC music community. In the coming weeks, I’ll have an interview with him so you can get to know a little bit more about him.
For those of us lucky enough to make it out to Grass in the Hall, we were treated to a night of awesome bluegrass. Each artist brought their own unique personality to their performances and the sound in the Hall is nothing less that perfect. Each banjo pick, mandolin stroke, bass boom and harmony rendered was like listening to it in your living room. (Video to come soon!)
Before coming down from Columbia, I spent a few days listening to each act and I liked what I heard from all. I was struck by the beautiful voices and harmonies from the opening act, The Barefoot Movement, and they did not disappoint. In fact, I was floored how beautiful their music was. Each song was better than the one before. As in the name, they were all barefoot on stage and gently took command of the entire crowd and ended their set to a standing ovation. The SC tie in to this band is Myrtle Beach’s own Hasee Ciaccio. Very impressive guys!
Next up was Kentucky’s Cumberland River Band. They put on a solid set but going on after The Barefoot Mountain was not an envious spot. They were featured on Justified (Music from the Original TV Series) and it is available on iTunes.
Lastly, Asheville, NC’s Town Mountain performed. They put on a stellar set and everything about them was polished. The musicianship, harmonies and overall stage presence kept the room engaged and focused. Long story short, they were awesome.
At the end of the night it was clear that Awendaw Green and The Charleston Music Hall had found something special. At the end of the show I talked to the guys and they both said this was going to be a regular thing. How Regularly? The logistics are being worked on as we speak. So if you missed it, no worries, there will be more Grass in the Hall in the future.