Brett Barest on Upstate Music: Poetic Justice

  • By cvbizz
  • January 22, 2020
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You know what I did not expect to see on the music calendar in the weekend ahead? A Robert Burns night at a local music venue. You know what I really did not expect to see on that same calendar? Two separate Robert Burns nights at local music venues. Now I have no choice but to talk about it.

First off, just in case you are not familiar with Robert Burns, he is Scotland’s most famous poet and lyricist and wrote that poem and song “Auld Lang Syne” that you might hear once a year on New Year’s Eve. What I did not know was that his birthday was a Scottish holiday celebrated here in the Upstate but that is exactly what is happening this Saturday night at The Spinning Jenny and Velo Fellow, each with their respective Burns Nights.

Over at The Spinning Jenny, the Clan Campbell Society North America, Clan Kennedy Society, Daughter of the British Empire, and Upstate International have joined forces for a big evening of celebration for Mr. Burns. Traditional activities will include dinner, dancing, and an “address to the Laddies, Lassies, and the honored guest, the ‘King o’the puddin’ race’”. There will also be an open mic portion of the evening where you can take the stage and recite your favorite Burns poem, or even your own work in the spirit of the poet. If you are all in on poetry and Scottish heritage, this is where you want to be Saturday evening.

The Velo Fellow’s Burns Night looks to be a more casual affair featuring TC Costello. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate a Scottish celebration of poetry and song than The Velo Fellow, nor a better Upstate artist to host it than TC Costello. Both long time fans of Burns Night and those just looking to get their first experience of the celebration are sure to enjoy the festivities at The Velo Fellow on Saturday.

Over at Quest Brewing on Sunday, there is a show totally unrelated to Robert Burns but oddly poetic in its own right. One Upstate artist is taking aim at constant misspellings (and advertising) of his name and, tongue pressed firmly in cheek, is deciding to have a little fun with it. So, Sunday will see “Eli Harrison” take the stage for an afternoon of Tears & Beers. You might recognize Eli from his role as front man of Eli Harrison & the Hamptoves or as the banjo player for My Grandma, My Dog, & A Beer. Fellow Hamptove Allen Bakeman will also join Harrison in the fun.

Finally, The Radio Room is going to sell out Saturday night with Stop Light Observations but the show I am really looking forward to is Sunday evening with Jeremy Pinnell. As someone who loathes everything about “modern” country, I cannot help but love Pinnell’s take on classic country music. Traditional blue collar themes of hard work and hard living are on full display with some truly great songwriting being the anchor to his most recent album “Ties of Blood and Affection”. Lines like “Laid up in the house full of hookers and wine/My baby’s in the back done committin’ a crime” (“Ballad of 1892”) and “Son, we broke the bed when we made you” (“Feel This Right”) had me listening to the album on repeat over and over while writing this week’s piece. This show promises to be the perfect end to the weekend and should be a real treat.

Be it a wild Burns Night on Saturday, an afternoon with Vilai (excuse me, Eli) on Sunday, or an evening show with Jeremy Pinnell, there is much fun to be had in the weekend ahead. Check out the iOnGreenville calendar for these shows and more, week in and week out with tons to choose from on the Upstate music scene.

Weekend Live Music Calendar

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