by Jane Harrison
HURLEYVILLE, September 2021 – I braved the traffic on a Friday and ventured out to Mountaindale at the end of July to see two fun bands and check out two new venues. I’ve been to Mountaindale maybe three times in the 12 years I’ve lived here. Nicely painted storefronts, but pretty much all empty. So, when I heard there were things happening there, I had to see for myself.
The HIGH VOLTAGE on Old Post Road, just off Main Street, has an amazing bar and a live music stage called THE CREEK, and, if you’re looking for a new experience, this is somewhere you should check out. At the sidewalk is an entry arch made of branches with THE CREEK. From there, all you see is nature EXCEPT for a small wooden sign with an arrow. Follow the path and you begin to hear rushing water. Then you come to an opening with picnic tables, padded seating around a fire pit (There is another fire pit on the far end of the clearing.), all well-spaced. There is what appears to be a makeshift bar that is anything but, where you can get a drink and order food
The band, R SQUARED (RON, vocals and guitar; RIGO ALCOVER, guitar; and MARC YAEGER on drums) is what only can be described as bright, engaging and fresh. They had me at their creative, but still recognizable, take on HANDLE ME WITH CARE by the Traveling Wilburys. I don’t remember the last band that even attempted that song! Brilliant! This is one of those bands that’s high on my “see again” list.
Kitty-corner across the street is THE DALE. The vibe is comfortable chic, where the owner and the staff make you feel immediately welcome. This, too is an outside venue with picnic table seating, also well-spaced. And the band? None other than CRAWDADDY! I was shocked to hear they were back in the area so soon. It was also humbling that I was greeted like a longtime friend
August 11 was certainly an ODD one, as it was the one and only performance by THE SEARCH AND RESCUE ORCHESTRA this year at their old stomping grounds, BREW in Rock Hill. Ordinarily I’ve been shying away from indoor spaces, but I couldn’t resist.
My good friend Joanna is a powerhouse of a singer with a voice that is theatrical stage quality, and with enough professionalism to know how to moderate it and maneuver the microphone to accommodate a small room without sacrificing one bit of that quality. And she’s one of the few who can actually make me LIKE standards. When she’s not asking for requests (“It’s Raining Men” is a favorite request among the mature ladies.), she will go flawlessly from “Misty” into Janis Joplin’s “Bobby McGee.” JOANNA GASS is a treasure, and each and every member of THE SEARCH AND RESCUE ORCHESTRA has that same level of that professionalism and quality.
August 22, I went to see another good friend and fellow Hurleyvillle-ian DAVID SAMUEL BLOCH who was performing at the ROCK HILL FARMER’S MARKET with CELESTE ALDRIDGE. This duo goes by MUST BE DREAMING and it is a perfect name. Celeste has what can only be described as an ethereal voice. As a song writer, she writes the kind of song that when you hear it, you stop and listen. David is no slouch at songwriting either. When I first met him, his style was very folksy, the kind of songs that wrap you up and let you float. In the last few years, since partnering with Celeste, even his guitar work has evolved into a more potent mix and still with the whiffs of folk here and there.
Stay safe, stay well and mask up!
Until next time….