June 6, 2013
The Charleston Music Hall and Awendaw Green celebrated their second installment in the Grass in the Hall series Friday night. Grass in the Hall began back in March with The Barefoot Movement, Cumberland River, and Town Mountain. It was as if the imprints from the stomping and the vibrations left in the rafters from the March show were still shaping the stage, The Black Iron Gathering, The Bushels, and Nu-Blu certainly brought on the stomp. Bringing the natural outdoor liveliness of Awendaw Green’s barn jams to a more polished indoor setting has been fun for everyone involved. The Music Hall staff and Eddie White from Awendaw Green are working hard to bring the best local, regional, and national bluegrass talent to the Charleston Music Hall stage.
The lobby of the Charleston Music Hall was alive with The Black Iron Gathering, The Bushels, and Nu-Blu’s music before the show. Merchandise from each band was abound and the good times were rolling. Along with information about each band and Awendaw Green, we were all lucky to have the Lowcountry Biodiversity Foundation set up with information about local flora and fauna. Run by president Dr. Edward G. Farnworth, PhD, and vice president Dr. Merle Shepard, PhD, the mission of the Lowcountry Biodiversity Foundation is to “promote educational and scientific activities that support the value, awareness and conservation of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s rich biological and ecological resources.” Information about animals such as the American Bittern, an assortment of wood storks, different types of grasshoppers, and a wide variety of mosses were displayed. Proceeds from the show went to this fantastic organization.
With the powerful riffing of The Black Iron Gathering, the smooth vocals of The Bushels, and the hilarious on-stage antics of Nu-Blu the evening was a raucous event for all. The Black Iron Gathering, composed of Billy Ray, Charles Fun, Josh Latham, Chris Paget, and Charlie McLinden loosened up the room with their Columbia, no frills grunge-grass sound. Blue Grass deviants, The Black Iron Gathering ruffled the frills of a few folks, but brought on the noise all the same. The Bushels, a band from Mount Pleasant brought a smooth, classic blue grass sound that was sweet to everyone’s ears. Finally, Nu-Blu, with founding members Carolyn and Daniel Routh up front, took stage to the delight of everyone in the audience. With a #1 hit on the Airplay Direct Top Bluegrass Album Chart, and celebrating their 10-year anniversary as a band, Nu-Blu was polished, precise, and powerful. Lead singer, Carolyn Routh powered out covers, hymns, and originals. With all three bands touching different parts of the bluegrass spectrum, this installment in the Grass in the Hall series was not only an amazing concert, but a valuable way to look at just all that bluegrass has to offer, after all, in the words of Carolyn Routh, “Rock and roll is just bluegrass played slow.” The next show in the series is July 12th with Underhill Rose, The Barefoot Movement, and Flatt City.
Bennett MacNath – Administrative Assistant, CMH