Greenville Live Music Preview: July 14-18th

  • By cvbizz
  • July 1, 2021
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Back-to-Back Shouldn’t Miss Shows at The Radio Room This Week
Brett Barest

When I first looked at the iOnGreenville music calendar, I was pretty sure I knew the one show I was going to write about this week – Charles Wesley Godwin at The Radio Room. His style of singer/songwriter storytelling is exactly the type of music I probably listen to most in my life and it felt like a no-brainer. However, that all changed when I explored the catalog of the artist appearing the previous evening and, well, now I suppose this is going to be a two show feature and two late nights out for some of us…

Thursday: Kitty Coen @ The Radio Room

If I am being honest, before I actually listened to Kitty Coen, the first descriptions I read of her music did not suggest that she might be my favorite artist of the week. Her bio describes her as things like a “disco cowgirl” and someone who is “picking up where Madonna left off”. For me personally, that sounds both like great praise and a description of a genre that just might not be my cup of tea, and that is just fine. We all have different tastes and if we all liked the same stuff, what do we need all these options for in life, right? 

Allow me to use this space to say I could not have been more wrong about my expectations of Kitty Coen.

For an artist that just emerged on the Austin, Texas scene in early 2020 (right before the world went to crap, by the way), Coen seems as polished and experienced as anyone worth listening to. Her sound blends a psychedelic vibe and electronic backings with a huge voice and compelling subject matter. Her darker tones feel light and her lighter ones seem dark for a feeling that keeps you on your toes every step of the way. As much as I respect the Madonna comparison, I am feeling more of an evolved Mazzy Star kind of energy and I am digging the hell out of every second of it. If am picking two shows as THE shows of the weekend, this is the one that I least expected to fall head over heels in love with.

I should also note that Spartanburg’s Salti Ray and Honest Creature are opening things up and I simply cannot think of better local openers to share this evening with Kitty Coen. Do not sleep on this one, as I admittedly almost did.

Friday: Charles Wesley Godwin @ The Radio Room

Back to my first love of the weekend, if you will, Charles Wesley Godwin checks all of my traditional boxes for what I want to sit down and enjoy with a glass of bourbon by my side. An Appalachian singer-songwriter unafraid to tackle dark themes through compelling storytelling and perfectly executed musicianship is my siren’s song and I am drawn to it before all others. True, a younger me that survived on a diet of Wu-Tang Clan and Rage Against the Machine might be a bit confused but, if this is the soundtrack for getting older, I am completely fine with that.

Seriously though, if you are like me and are drawn to the often dark and reflective aspects of Appalachian roots music, this might be one of the best shows of the year, much less the week ahead. Charles Wesley Godwin is a master of his craft and every tale he tells is more compelling than the one that preceded it. I suspect this is one of those shows where the crowd hangs on every word the artist sings and I am certain that it will be well deserved.

If you go to either of these shows, I assure you that you will be better off for it. If you make it to both, your life is complete and you can die happy. I do not recommend the latter part of that sentiment, though, as I have seen the Upstate music calendar for this fall and we all have a lot to look forward to. The Upstate music scene is not just back, but it is looking better than ever and I cannot wait to keep talking about it here at iOnGreenville. Thanks for reading and supporting the local music scene, Friends.

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