The Rough & Tumble used to say they were from Nashville, TN.? That was before April 2015 when 5 year members Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler quit their day jobs, sold everything they owned, and gave their thirty day notice on their rental house to trade in for a life permanently on the road.? With their sixteen foot camper and their 88 pound dog, Butter, they have been touring nationwide.? Don’t let their vagabond tendencies fool you– this americana-folk duo are a compact team of close harmonies, versatile instrumentation, and deliberate songwriting all presented with a nudge of the elbow and a tongue in the cheek.? Haunting, quirky, solemn, and spritely, The Rough & Tumble are for the faint of heart and the strong of will.
The duo have 3 EP’s and one double album under their belts, a year long project aptly named The Rough & Tumble’s Holiday Awareness Campaign, in which the couple wrote, recorded, and released 24 songs in correlation with 24 underappreciated, uncelebrated, or misunderstood holidays.? Then, The Rough & Tumble found themselves presented with a new challenge.
When filmmaker and long-time friend Alyssa Pearson first asked Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler to create a soundtrack for her upcoming film, they were eager for the change of pace.? As The Rough & Tumble began to write, however, they found that the project would become one of their most emotionally taxing, digging into pertinent issues of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, women’s rights, and war.
On March 1, 2016, The Rough & Tumble released Pieces and Pieces, a collection of seven songs written for the dually named film to be released at a later date.? The EP takes cues from the film’s story arch of a mother returning from war encumbered by PTSD, radiating with haunting instrumental swells and lyric forward vocals, punctuated with found sounds that have endeared The Rough & Tumble’s listeners since their start.? Now, the little folk band is taking these songs to the road, as well.
Sometimes the band defines the sound and other times the sound defines the band.? On a rare occasion the tapestry of talent, sound and creativity create a force that inspires fans and ignites a release.
This nine-member Columbia, SC based ensemble include Prince Rupert and Sixx on vocals, Fresh Heaven on vocals and lead guitar, Poof the Blue Bat dancing and vocals, Moon Child on rhythm guitar, King Goof strumming the bass, The Seduction on keys and tambourine, Mister B with the drums, The Visible Choir Boy lending his talent to trumpet, Daddy Ice on ukulele and mellophone and finally Love Potion Number 9 on violin.
If you think their stage names have character, wait until you have an opportunity to hear them perform.
The Moon Moths, bring a sound to its fans that is creating a little buzz here in the Southeast.? We had a few minutes to work through a Q&A with lead vocalist Prince Rupert before the band kick off a mini tour including:
Questions & Answer Pow Wow –
CD:? When did the concept of developing the band begin and what was the process for identifying all the members of the band?
PR:? I was playing under the name Prince Rupert for about a year, along with some other bands, and had always dreamt about having a large band to back up the new music I had been writing. In the past 6 months, I started meeting and getting close to a number of extremely talented people who I started to collaborate with. Honestly, it was a beautifully natural progression to forming the band, but the spark was a show that was booked at the Palmetto Brewing Company back in May 2016, which was the biggest show I had ever played
so I thought that I should get a band together. Since then, more members have been added, and we have found a comfortable place where we are. Currently, we have 11 members, and it is more magical than I ever could have expected.
CD:? Who are your most dominant musical influences?
PR:? Chance The Rapper, Kanye West, and Arcade Fire. All three are extremely theatrical and lyrically brilliant. Our band is a combination of the three, taking the big-band feel of Arcade Fire, the pop melodies of Chance The Rapper, and the ferocity of Kanye West.
CD:? What do you want your fans to take away from your live performance?
PR:? We want our fans to be smiling and to have learned something about themselves. Our lyrics are focused on self-improvement, love, and the restless youth, and our expression on stage is a push to show the world that dreams can be achieved with work and patience. We want to show that everyone, regardless of their role on the stage, is a highly complex individual who adds their own unique spin on life and music that can be showcased in the performance.
CD:? What song or songs are you most proud of?
PR:? Childhood – Our newest song which speaks of memories of the past and how one cannot let them haunt their present selves. A lot has changed in our lives in the past year and it is an anthem to celebrate that.
Walls – A massive, loud tune that has a number of twists and turns throughout, but unifies it all under one theme, which is breaking down the walls that separate individuals, both physical and metaphorical.
Pink Moon – This one is just extremely fun to play and brings everyone together in terms of music and vocals. The lyrics are playful and tell a colorful story of hope and dreams.
CD:? Ideally, where do you see the band in 5 years and what goals do you want to achieve?
PR:? I love this. First goal is to record an album. We have all these songs that we can play live but it’s getting to be the time where we translate them into an album with a concept and visual accompaniment. Then, I hope to go on a tour, and play in cities all around the U.S. Further expansion goes from there, until we get to a point where we can play in cities around the world and spread our message throughout. We will continue to grow as a band and work on writing more songs as a full band, and creating orchestral hip-hop songs that help bring life into those who hear it. I am excited to see what is happening in 5 years.
CD:? What people in your life have had the most impact supporting your sound?
PR:? Well, as a band, we are extremely supportive to each other and help each other grow and sound better. Also, we are part of an art collective here in Columbia, SC called Scenario Collective who have been a huge support since we have played many Scenario shows and learned from the talented artists around us. Furthermore, I worked up in New York with a band called Young & Sick for about a year and they were a huge influence and continue to be a fan of the work that I am doing.
Sirsy, the husband and wife duo from Saratoga, New York took the stage at Awendaw Green for Barn Jam last evening under the pretense of rain and potential thunder, lightning and area flooding.? That did not steer away the crowd from an evening of gifted music.? Led by Melanie’s vocals and Richard’s guitar, they warded off the bad weather to plant the roots for a great evening of live music.
From the rolling hills of Upstate New York to the Lowcountry of South Carolina, Sirsy brought a unique blend of rock, funk, instrumental and sing along passion to their set.
Recently, married this summer, Sirsy at first glance provides a unique approach to the traditional anatomy of a band; only two members.? Melanie is versed in drums, flute and vocals, while Rich takes his tight guitar riffs to new levels.
After anointing the audience with a rich opening of songs that combined elements of early 70’s rock, funk, jam and ZZ Ward / Katy Perry strong female vocal anthems, Melanie took a step back and introduced their mantra song, Revolution.? As she explained? it, the song represents inner passion and leading a life of desire, unexpected journeys and complete fulfillment.? It is about “doing your own thing like forming a two person rock band and driving around the country in a creeper van”.
Sirsy then got the audience going again with Cannonball or the “hey, hey song”.? With her wit, strong connection to the audience and infectious smile, Melanie drew the audience into her world one song at a time.? Here cannibalistic beating of the drums along with Rich’s inspired guitar play welcomed new fans onto their journey.
Awendaw is one stop along a tour that is carrying them along the coast.? At the end of the set, Rich and Melanie combined for a powerful drum duet while Rich still carried his guitar piece.? It was the marriage of Metallica and John Stewart.? With power and accuracy, they beat the drums while they playfully laughed acknowledging the true bond they share with one another and their fans.
The final drum power bash could be seen as a symbol of their commitment to take the country by storm.? Ironic twist as Hurricane Joaquin is lingering just off the coast.
They were the highlight of a set of singer/songwriters which included Eric Sommer who has traveled the hills of Appalachia to the streets of Nashville; Texas to New York bringing deep rooted blues and poetic storytelling to the stage.? Weigh Station wanted you out of Chinatown and Forlorn Strangers introduced a little Tennessee bluegrass to the stage.
After the show, with only the light of the moon to provide us with exposure, I asked Melanie and Rich, what their go to songs were and who they would love to collaborate with.? There was a clear British influence in their responses with Bowie and The Beatles leading the charge.
Band of Skulls was a unanimous selection for mates to collaborate with.? Maybe one day, we will see two musical forces combine sharing creative energies.
As they departed for the highway in their “creeper” white van, we said our farewells and wished them well.? As they drove into the darkness, it was clear; the future looks bright for Sirsy.