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Brett Barest: A Weekend of Big Shows & A Can’t-Miss Intimate Performance

Weekend Music Preview

The live music calendar is brimming with national names this weekend on some of the Upstate’s biggest stages but, naturally, it is the show without any stage at all has me the most excited. Allow me to explain…

Jason Isbell visits the Peace Center Saturday night which in and of itself is great news for the Upstate music scene. Isbell has established himself as one of the premier singer-songwriters on the Americana scene and has four Grammy’s to show for his efforts. He is a household name in any house with good taste in music and the Peace Center will surely be the perfect stage to showcase his immense talent.

What most caught my eye (and ear) about his show, however, is who he is bringing with him. Guitar virtuoso Molly Tuttle is opening things up and, if I had to guess, just might steal the whole damn show. I dare say I have never heard a woman play the guitar like her and, paired with an angelic voice and thoughtful songwriting, is every bit of a star in the making. She already took home “Instrumentalist of the Year” honors at last year’s Americana Music Awards and that feels like just the tip of the iceberg of good things to come.

Now, if I had tickets to Saturday’s show at the Peace Center, I would have double the reason to be excited about knowing that Tuttle is opening up. The bigger news for a ticketless guy like me that will be home with the family Saturday evening is that Tuttle is going to make an appearance at Horizon Records Saturday afternoon. Horizon owner Gene Berger never ceases to amaze me with the quality of artists he welcomes into his cozy little record store and I hope that never stops. Last week’s visit from National Reserve was just plain good for my soul and I am certain this Saturday’s visit from Tuttle will be no different.

Seriously, Saturday afternoon is going to be sweltering hot, rainy, or both so ditch the yard work or whatever other weekend chores you have on your plate and catch an afternoon show at Horizon Records. If you are not as blown away by Molly Tuttle’s talent as I am, I will reimburse your cover charge.  I mean, sure, it is a free show but really it is the thought that counts, right?

Just to complicate matters slightly, Jason Isbell and Molly Tuttle are not your only national names visiting Greenville Saturday evening. St. Paul & the Broken Bones will be bringing the ruckus to the Greenville Zoo as part of their ongoing (and ever impressive) Zoo Tunes concert series.  The eight piece soul band out of Alabama always brings a high energy performance that requires dancing shoes to enjoy live and the setting of the Greenville Zoo  adds a unique element that will make this performance all the more memorable.

Finally, but technically first just to present your musical options completely out of order, one cannot ignore the fact that Ross Newell is visiting the Spinning Jenny on Friday night. I have said it before, and I will likely never stop saying it, but the Spinning Jenny is the answer for every person who wants to share the tired complaint that “we don’t have an Oraaange Peeeel”. Yes we do. It is called the Spinning Jenny, it is the Upstate’s largest pure listening room, and they bring in some damn good shows.

Case in point – look at Ross Newell. Normally the front man of Alabama’s Mulligan Brothers, Newell is currently wrapping up a national solo tour just this weekend with the Spinning Jenny being one of his last three stops. His songwriting and voice are on par with anyone you will find on the Americana scene today and this show guarantees to be a real treat and perfect way to kick off the weekend.

Whichever show (or shows) you take in this weekend, keep up with all the action with iOnGreenville’s concert calendar. In the meantime, I hope to see you Saturday at Horizon.

Weekend Concert Calendar

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