Tom Mackell - Home Roads
Charleston-to-Nashville transplant Tom Mackell recently released a new single and music video combo called "Home Roads". He's got that country sound locked down, with a song that looks back with nostalgia on an old relationship, an old home, with a hint of hope for the future. To me, "Home Roads" is Tom's way of working out some self-doubt and remembering days past, while trying to keep focused on his goals. The video was filmed at Welcome To 1979 Studios in Nashville, and features Mackell and some of his friends playing, recording, and listening to what's got to be "Home Roads". We even get a glimpse of Mr. Chris Wilcox himself. Check it out.
Yesterday, SUSTO released the first single, "Waves", off their upcoming album & I'm Fine Today, which comes out on January 13th. SUSTO has played "Waves" live a few times, but this is the first time we're hearing the studio version, and it kicks ass. It's got a little bit less of a country sound than many of the songs on the first record, and a little bit more of a rock n' roll vibe. That isn't necessarily good or bad; just different, and it shows that the band is evolving as time goes on, which is definitely a good thing.
They premiered the song through Baeble Music, which also included an interview with Justin Osborne. In that interview, Justin had this to say about & I'm Fine Today:
& I'm Fine Today is thematically a lot like "Waves" - it deals with some of the same themes. The approach is different for every song though; some songs are stories and memories, some are thoughts and questions, some are anthems or mantras. The soundscapes are unique for each song too. We tried to marry and juxtapose a few genres and influences; I think we succeeded.
I've got my eyes set on hearing that record in full on January 13th. I'm sure we'll get to taste another single or two before then, but the first time I get to listen to SUSTO's & I'm Fine Today in its entirety, I'm gonna make sure I have an ice cold beer or two or three and plenty of free time on my hands. SUSTO is just one of those beer-drinkin' bands, and I have a feeling that this album is going to warrant quite a few listens.
Here's a new documentary from the boys in SondorBlue, who have been making waves in the Charleston music scene as of late. This 11-minute video captures the story of SondorBlue from the moment of inception through the various phases of the band, all the way up until the present, with their debut EP completed and set for an October 29th release. Be on the lookout for that EP, and don't miss the SondorBlue EP Release Show at the Music Farm on October 30th. It's going to be a blast.
One of the most interesting parts of this video shows SondorBlue in the studio, a kind of behind-the-scenes look at the challenges they faced in the process of recording the EP. We see them frustrated and trying to figure out how to make the songs sound the best way that they possibly can. They talk about how getting past the challenges in the studio was not only a process of musical growth, but also of personal growth, and they feel themselves better off as people because of the hardships they encountered while recording the EP.
The SondorBlue documentary was filmed and produced by Taylor Hickman of B-Side Sessions. Taylor has made some really cool stuff so far and I want send him a huge thank you for what he's doing for the music scene in Charleston.
I think it would be unfair to label the Charleston local band Whitehall as belonging to a singular genre of music. They seamlessly fuse together funk, rock, jazz, alt, and quite frankly whatever the hell else they want to create music that was born to be played live. I had the opportunity to see these guys play an acoustic set at Eclectic Cafe and Vinyl on Friday night, and they were nothing short of remarkable.
I dare you to find a group of guys who has as much fun doing what they love as the members of Whitehall. What really strikes me about the band is that they were completely involved in the environment, bouncing energy off of each other in a way that radiates good vibes. The band does not have a weak member, and somehow they all manage to stand out without ever outshining one another. From jazzy saxophone solos and funky bass lines to high-energy drum beats (on a box) and groovy guitar parts that are nothing short of electrifying, Whitehall manages to pack an element of excitement into every note and rhythm they play.
You can hear Whitehall’s new single, “Come August” on Spotify below. It combines the musical strengths of all five members of the band, and is well worth a listen if you like music that makes you want to dance. We hope to see more great things from Whitehall soon!
|Four-piece funk rockers See Water|
About half-way through their set, See Water brought out Walker Barnes (Moose Kick, The Brother's Westfield) to shred on the saxophone and Manny Houston on the keys and synthesizer to bring another layer of funk to their set. The sax and keys were incorporated flawlessly into the jam, making for an engaging performance that left me wanting more from the opening band of the night.
My favorite song of the night had to be See Water's most recent single, “Echo” that is going to be on their debut album Hit the Moon. The crowd went absolutely nuts for “Echo,” and I definitely wasn't the only one singing along to every word, so there is a lot of excitement for Hit the Moon's early 2017 release. You can stream and download the single below!
|See Water with Walker Barnes (Sax) and Manny Houston (Keys)|
|Manny Houston happy to be shredding the keys with See Water!|
The second band of the night, hailing from Rock Hill, SC, but consisting of Charleston natives, was nationally touring funky reggae group Sun-Dried Vibes, and while never seeing them live before Thursday, I'll definitely be on the look-out for their future dates. Their sound was extremely psychedelic in the best way, and their mixture of entrancing guitar riffs and epic vocals from Zach Fowler made it hard to look away as they showcased their new up-beat reggae music that they've been working on in Chucktown for their third full-length album. They brought out See Water vocalist Riley Randall for a song or two and it was dope to see the two bands collaborate together.
|Randal of See Water wih Sun-Dried Vibes|
Mysteriously starting their set with the Harry Potter theme playing through the Music Farm speakers, the third and final band of the night, all the way from San Diego, was Through the Roots, and their classic reggae sound and compelling bass-lines were the perfect end to the night.
|Through the Roots|
Today, Charleston rock n' roll band Mr. Rosewater released their new single, "Refuge". I spoke with Mr. Rosewater singer Tobias last night at the Eclectic Cafe and he told me how pumped he was for his band to finally release this song. He mentioned that they'd been working on it for almost a year, and with the recent addition of a trumpet to the band's lineup they've arrived at a point where they can be happy with their sound going forward. I'd have to agree; the trumpet sounds great, and in my opinion, brass is always a welcome addition to a rock band. I look forward to hearing what these guys come up with next.
Mr. Rosewater is playing at Kudu tonight at 6pm, with Katie Rose opening. Tickets are $7 at the door, and $5 with a student ID. Stream "Refuge" above, and go check out the show tonight!