Asheville Based Indie/Folk-Rock Artist Matt Townsend Coming to Charleston this Week

January 11, 2017 (Wednesday) – Awendaw Green Barn Jam (6:00 PM)

January 12, 2017 (Thursday) –? Cory’s Grilled Cheese (James Island) (7:00 PM – 9:00 PM)


Matt Townsend is touring the southeast in support of his newly released EP, The Drifter and the Dream (part 1). Part one of a two part series, the EP is both a politically charged and introspective affair, showcasing a “breadth of creative impulses…[with lyrics] in line with the pointed fury of Bob Dylan” says the Huffington Post. He will be performing and leading a workshop at the South Florida Folk Festival (Jan 28/29) along with a dozen other tour stops. On The Drifter and the Dream, which was recorded at the world class Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, NC, “Townsend explores the modern world and all of its rough edges with this exceptional collection of songs….Like Bruce Springsteen and Woody Guthrie before him, Townsend channels in elements of folk, rock, and roots to create a great sound that doubles as a magnifying glass on his country’s pulse.” The album feature’s a host of Asheville’s surplus of musical talent (including Bill Berg, the drummer on Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks). Townsend is also a featured artist on The Asheville Symphony Sessions, an album consisting of a collaboration between the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and Asheville-based recording artists. His Song “For Now We Are” was arranged by Michael Bearden (Neil Young, Michael Jackson) and is featured alongside fellow regional artists, Rising Appalachia, Steep Canyon Rangers and more. Tour dates and more information at

Nashville based The Rough & Tumble return to Charleston with their beautiful americana-folk sound

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.

Audiences in Charleston can pin down the traveling duo at Awendaw Green on Wednesday, September 28th at 6PM, or at Palmetto Brewery on Friday, September 30th at 6pm for the Loading Dock Series.? You can find The Rough & Tumble ahead of time at their website,, or on Spotify and iTunes.


Red Letter Days with Sirsy at Barn Jam in Awendaw


By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

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.