From Graceland to Charleston: Pour House Brings The Music of Paul Simon to Life

pour3By Mark A. Leon

Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die.– Paul Simon

One Band; Ten Members; One night; All Paul Simon

“The way the camera follows us in slo-mo” showered through the microphone at 9:50 PM on Wednesday night as ten musicians banded together to pay homage to the legendary Paul Simon.? From the first note of Boy in the Bubble to the final encore and reprise of Call me Al at 12:45 PM, the night was filled with a collaborative tribute to the man who has donned us with iconic, thought provoking and get up and dance lyrics and music for over 50 years.

Paul Simon has evolved and re-defined his music over the years from the harsh brutal streets of New York with a comforting sense of home to the struggles of Africa.? The pure honesty in his lyrics have given generations fuel for thought and change.

The first set was a unique concept bringing the entire Graceland album to life from The Boy in the Bubble to All Around the World (Or The Myth of Fingerprints).? Each musician, including some special guests, lent their vocals to some of their personal favorites.? The crowd was won over immediately and maintained a level of energy well into Thursday morning.

The second set brought us back to our familiar classics including Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Still Crazy After All These Years, 50 Ways to Leave your Lover and Obvious Child.

The final two performances of the act took us down a sentimental path with Mother and Child Reunion and Slip Slidin’ Away.

As the words, “you know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip slidin’ away” came from the stage, we observed fans swaying, eyes closed absorbing the power of a song that defines the notion of lost opportunity and love.? It was a poignant way to end the set.

The band did return for one final reprise of Call Me Al to showcase the individual instrumental talents of these fine musicians that came together for this tribute.? The ensemble included guitar, accordion, symbols, drums, keyboards, base, bongos, trombone and saxophone.? Each member of that band brought a tremendous amount of talent and a truly spectacular tribute to Mr. Paul Simon.

Throughout the concert, the Pour House complimented the music with strobe lighting and images of Paul Simon and pictures related to the mood of the songs.

During a musicians life, to be recognized with rewards and honors is a beautiful symbol of your achievements, but when fellow musicians pay homage to the embodiment of your life’s work, there are no words to define the importance of such an act.

Tonight, was a memorable act of kindness from the musicians of Charleston to the great Paul Simon.


Get Your Musical Fill at the Charleston Pour House

By Mark A. Leon

At the heart of the Charleston music scene is the Pour House, a tapestry of music, art and food.? As I hoisted myself up on the back ledge listening to Feats Don’t Fail Me Now belt out an amazing Come Back Home led by the voices of the keyboardist accompanied by the other five members of the band, I could not help but look around and reflect on the many amazing local and national artists I have seen in this venue.

From Shovels and Rope to Chris Robinson to Soul Asylum, The Charleston Pour House has offered music refuge to those that truly appreciate the art.

For those few who have not experienced the artistry of this amazing Charleston contribution, there are a few things you should know.

  • The Charleston Pour House offers a truly amazing dining experience at The Lot restaurant connected right next to the indoor bar/stage area.? Their marketing tagline speaks volumes, “Like minded individuals seeking standards”.
  • For the quick munchie or the cigarette break bite to eat, there is a permanent food truck right outside the entrance way – Elbo Truckin
  • There is an indoor and outdoor stage area offering live music every night of the week including an outdoor happy hour kick off show free of charge
  • If you appreciate great street art and murals you will be in awe by the surroundings in the outdoor patio and outer part of the venue
  • You like beer, good beer or bad?? The Pour House lives up to its name with a great selection of craft beers and PBR tall boys
  • We cannot say enough about the deep appreciation for local music.

There are many nights I will migrate over, grab a beer and absorb some great bluegrass, funk, rock, rockabilly or soulful jams.

The Charleston Pour House is a lifestyle, surrounded by a great escape, surrounded by a feeling of chill and appreciation.? I have spoken to some folks that have told me that this place wasn’t their style.? That is the time I chime in and say, it is everyone’s style.

Music is the heart of existence and when you find that one place that combines the perfect blend of musical creativity, great people and a culture to welcomes free expression, you embrace it.? You embrace it hard.

This is one of those rare gifts that Charleston offers.