Eric Liebetrau

Lotus – Music Farm, Charleston, SC 2.29.12

Despite the need for some much needed acoustic improvements, the members of Lotus were mostly able to overcome the sonic limitations of the venue, delivering yet another satisfying two sets of danceable electro-indie tunes.

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The Barr Brothers: The Barr Brothers

The sweet closing tracks are punctuated by the crowning final minute of “Held My Head,” a gorgeous blending of instrumentation. Throughout the album, precise musicianship, appealing song-craft and intertwining waves of melancholy and joy create a balanced collection of ten songs, an excellent early-morning album to accompany the rising sun.

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JJ Grey and Mofro: The Music Farm, Charleston, SC 1/21/11

During the past decade or so, JJ Grey and Mofro have ventured to Charleston 2-3 times each year. By now, fans know what to expect: sweaty, down-home, funky rock and roll, punctuated by the in-the-pocket meter of drummer Anthony Cole, a wall of horns and the formidable pipes of band leader JJ—and the band’s packed show at the Music Farm provided more of the same.

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Sam Bush: The Pour House, Charleston, SC 11/18/10

Sam Bush is best-known for his prodigious skills on the mandolin and the fiddle, but it would be a mistake to label him simply a bluegrass musician. Throughout his years with the New Grass Revival, the Nash Ramblers and Strength in Numbers, he’s explored a wide swath of traditional American music, and his cross-genre blending has continued with the many iterations of his solo band over the years.

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Cedric Burnside and Lightnin

Raised on the raspy hill-country blues of Mississippi, Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm have played with many of the greats, and it shows.

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John Brown’s Body: Pour House, Charleston, SC 2/13/10

Founded in 1995 in Ithaca, a hippie-friendly, live-music–obsessed outpost in upstate New York, John Brown’s Body has always enjoyed the following of dedicated fans. After moving their operation to Boston and cycling through numerous line-up changes, the band has settled in and cultivated a substantial national audience.

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Toubab Krewe – Pour House, Charleston SC 10.29.09

The band’s combustible mixture of Malian tradition, highlife style, chunky grooves and amped-up rock kept the dance floor hot, and the frequent interjections on kora and soku grounded the proceedings in the earthy, raw sounds of West Africa.

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JJ Grey and Mofro: Windjammer, Isle of Palms, SC 6/26/09

JJ Grey has often described his music with Mofro as front porch soul. With no juke joints in Charleston, the Windjammer seemed as good a venue as any for the boozy, sweaty, soulful music of Grey and his band. For about two hours, Mofro churned through a representative selection of their catalogue, hitting on highlights from each of their four albums, in addition to a couple choice covers.

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