Thomas Kenney Photography
A slave is he who cannot speak his thoughts.
“I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.”
— Herbert Rappaport
To me, the words “benefit” at a “music hall” implies stiffness, fancy evening wear, and music that everyone expects to hear and has heard before. That’s not the kind of show the Charleston Music Hall puts on, though, and it wasn’t that kind of benefit. The music played at the Groundhog Day Benefit concert was much like the city of Charleston itself—southern, surprising and unlike any other.
I was in awe again at the Charleston Music Hall Saturday night as Bill Carson led us into a wonderland of aural bliss. He and a mind-boggling group of minstrels played hours of music that was carefully curated, composed, and polished to perfection, in honor of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art‘s 30th anniversary.
I am very excited to be recording with Michael Flynn (Slow Runner) this afternoon for his upcoming solo album!
1) Recording with Michael Flynn (Slow Runner) Wednesday for his upcoming solo album. 2) Heading to Charlotte on Thursday to catch my class mate from MSU, Chris Bullock, perform with his Grammy Award-winning band Snarky Puppy at the Neighborhood Theatre. 3) Just confirmed that Super Deluxe will be opening for Who’s Bad at the Music Farm on Friday, March 14th.
A few people that I know ironically commented that my Groundhog Concert program bio was so good that it made them want to meet me. Very funny, I thought. Must be good writin’!
Stratton Lawrence sculpted all the artist bios after a personal interview with each of us.
I thought he did such a great job that I decided to share here…
Imagine going to high school and getting credit for a class where you listen to Miley Cyrus, U2, Kansas, Bach, Nickelcreek, and Taylor Swift. That’s the approach ‘musical scientist’ Wilton Elder takes when teaching his Music Appreciation class at Bishop England High School. “You never know what people are going to get down to, but when it all aligns, that’s what life is all about,” says Elder, emphasizing that an open musical mind comes in handy whether he’s DJing a birthday party of 5-year-olds or holding court as frontman of Super Deluxe, his party band that’s known for hosting tribute shows to Herbie Hancock, Parliament-Funkadelic, and J Dilla. Elder identified himself as a saxophone player by 6th grade, pursuing his passion with a music degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master’s from Michigan State. Although great music should elicit a reaction, says Elder, “the foundation of any musical exchange is listening.”
Words are going to fail me here because I am not sure that I can articulate how special last night’s Groundhog Concert at the Charleston Music Hall was.
Each musician owned the music.
Each musician brought his and her A-game.
Every performer’s musical command and grace was exhibited at all times.
Small mishaps with melody lines, meters, and lyrics were handled with care and understanding.
This concert, yet again, confirms in me how incredibly special the Charleston music & art community is.
Such a strong group of talented individuals that care about their craft and each other.
I am still smiling and looking forward to hopefully doing this again next year.
Bravo and congratulations to Bill Carson & Ron Wiltrout for organizing, directing, and casting the vision for such a strong musical presentation.
It is an honor and a privilege to share the stage with you.
The band, in no particular order, is/was:
Rachel Kate Gillon
Cary Ann Hearst
Michael Trent Robinson
© 2009-2014 Wilton Elder - All Rights Reserved