Myrtle Beach clubs, bars bringing in rock, country stars for concerts this summer

spalisin@thesunnews.comMarch 28, 2014 

  • If you go – some local clubs

    BOATHOUSE WATERWAY BAR & GRILL

    Where | 201 Fantasy Harbor Blvd., along the Intracoastal Waterway, just west of Myrtle Beach, off U.S. 501, next to Clarion Hotel

    Open | 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily

    “Nashville Fridays” | 9 p.m. weekly, including:

    • March 28 – Chris Lane Band

    • April 4 – Tyler Hammond Band

    • April 25 – Johnny T

    • May 2 – Ricky Young

    • May 9 – Brian Davis

    • May 16 – Outshyne

    Sunday series | 5 p.m. weekly:

    • April 6 – Mike Stud

    • April 13 – Rusted Root

    • April 20 – The Movement

    • April 27 – Middle Class Rut

    • May 4 – Saving Abel

    • May 11 – Yung Joc

    • May 18 – Rehab

    • May 25 – Almost Kings

    • June 1 – Parmalee

    • June 8 – Inner Circle

    How much | No cover charge

    Information | 903-2628 or www.boathousemb.com

    PIRATE’S COVE BAR & GRILL

    Where | 205 Main St., North Myrtle Beach

    Open | 8 a.m.-2 a.m. daily

    When and who | 9 p.m.: prices vary per show, but generally not exceeding $15:

    • March 28 – Austin Mowery Band

    • March 29 – Below the Bassline

    • April 2 – Fortunate Youth with Treehouse!

    • April 18 – The Matt Lane Project

    • April 19 – Tastes Like Chicken

    • April 25 – Bullfrog

    • April 26 – The Deluge

    • May 2 – Venters

    • May 16 – Ben Miller Band

    • May 30 – American Aquarium

    • June 21 – Badfish

    Information | 249-8942 or piratescovelounge.com

    THE BEAVER BAR – IN MURRELLS INLET

    Open | 11 a.m.:

    • Thursdays-Sundays at Little Beaver Bar, 3381 U.S. 17 Business (350-6969)

    • Tuesdays-Sundays at Big Beaver Bar, 3534 U.S. 17 Business, at Georgetown County line (651-3838)

    Information | beaverbar.net

    DEAD DOG SALOON

    Where | 4079 U.S. 17 Business, Murrells Inlet

    Open | 11 a.m. daily

    Also | Home of the annual “Local Heroes Benefit” day of concerts, every Sept. 11 since 2002, benefiting local police and fire departments

    Information | 651-0664 or www.deaddogsaloon.com

    BOURBON STREET BAR & GRILL

    Where | 5307 N. Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach

    Special concerts |

    • The Boatmen, 9:30 p.m. April 17

    • Ricky Young, 8 p.m. May 3

    Information | 712-1083

    FRESH BREWED COFFEE HOUSE

    Where | 933 Broadway St., Myrtle Beach

    Open | 5-11 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; and noon-11 p.m. Saturdays

    Who | Victoria Vox, ukulele player, at 8 p.m. Friday, for $7

    Other regional shows by Vox |

    • 7:30 p.m. Saturday at N.C. Ukulele Academy, 203 Racine Drive, Suite 205, Wilmington, N.C., for $12 (after her ukulele workshop 4-5 p.m., for $35, including concert). Details at 910-538-3419.

    • 8 p.m. Monday at The Sentient Bean, 13 E Park Ave., Savannah, Ga., for suggested $10 donation. 912-232-4447

    Information | 251-8282 or freshbrewedch.com, and www.victoriavox.com

No band broke into the world on a higher plateau than Alabama did from The Bowery in downtown Myrtle Beach in the 1970s.

Ever since, clubs across the Grand Strand have been providing their own small universe to both rising and established and stars to shine on stage.

Parmalee, a quartet from the Tar Heel State, performed last May at The Boathouse Waterway Bar & Grill, just west of Myrtle Beach, when the group’s break-through single, “Carolina,” had begun its long climb to the top of the charts. Now the band, a Best New Artist semifinalist this past winter for the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards will play The Boathouse again, on June 1.

Jason Black, general manager of The Boathouse, with the Intracoastal Waterway as its backdrop, said with so many free outdoor concerts – every Friday during “Nashville Nights” and Sundays starting April 6 , said the club has “filled a void in the Myrtle Beach music scene.”

He said with only one “non-theater type establishment” in town bringing in national acts, and the closure a few years ago of the Beach Wagon, a country music draw, The Boathouse has built a niche.

“In partnering with local radio,” Black said, “we saw an opportunity to reach a market that we were not, at the time, associated with. We have been very fortunate to have had some really good acts come in at some prime moments. Kip Moore, and Love and Theft, actually each had the No. 1 song in the country when they played here. Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Lee Brice, Justin Moore and Colt Ford were all just beginning to become well known when they played for us.”

Riding on the heels of his debut single to reach No. 1 on the country charts, with “Chillin’ It,” Cole Swindell’s concert on March 14 marked “pretty good timing as well,” Black said.

The Boathouse series began “in its original form” in 2007, he said, with annual growth, and really taking off in later 2010. Also, amid the tourist economy here, Black figures that people from every state have visited the club, and “I can assure you most European countries have been well represented,” as growing a “very large contingent of European students [who] each summer enjoy the back yard.”

Family businesses

American Aquarium, a country-rock quintet from Raleigh, has played twice in the past year at Pirate’s Cove Bar & Grill in Myrtle Beach. BJ Barham, the group leader, before its show Feb. 7, said musicians naturally have goals to play “the big rooms,” yet to give a concert in a small place, “where people are really into your songs” lets artists reap another kind of reward, making “quieter songs” fun as well.

John Powell, general manager for Pirate’s Cove, with its scenic overlook of the Atlantic Ocean, said that family business will hit its 20th anniversary in 2015.

“We’ve always done live music,” he said, “and it was always kind of ... a bar with a band.”

In the past few years, though, with house lighting and sound system upgrades, the club has ramped up the “quality of music ... with a mix of original live music and cover bands.”

Powell remembered growing up in Myrtle Beach, and that “being able to have successful, original, live music concerts right in my hometown is fulfilling to me.”

With American Aquarium coming back May 30 and Badfish June 21, Powell sees “an intimate environment” as a key reason bands like clubs such as Pirate’s Cove.

“It’s a small, but good-sounding room,” he said, noting its capacity for close to 600 people and another 100 on its deck upstairs. “And fans can get right up there close with the band. ... kind of like in a living room setting.”

Leslye Beaver owns two Beaver Bar sites in Murrells Inlet: The “Little Beaver Bar” opened in 1996, and the “Big Beaver Bar,” at the Georgetown County line, in 2009. They’re among a family of businesses, including sites in Ormond Beach, Fla., near Daytona Beach, and two new places she said will open this year, in Panama City, Fla., and Sturgis, S.D.

She said locally, the Big Beaver Bar has had concerts in recent years by such “red carpet people” and country “rock stars and celebrities” as Lee Brice, Colt Ford, Dustin Lynch, Justin Moore, Kip Moore and Sunny Sweeney.

“We’ve certainly proven ourselves,” she said, explaining the logistics she weights in booking artists, with hopes they also can rotate among the Beaver Bars out of town as well.

Beavers said being all-outdoor venues, with room for 5,000 at the Big Beaver Bar, their busy seasons, working around summer’s searing heat, are spring though May, then in fall, from September through December.

The Murrells Inlet schedule for this spring remains in the works, she said, and that negotiations continue for the likes of these acts she named: Frankie Ballard, Clare Dunn, Colt Ford, Chase Rice and Chris Stapleton.

“We have a lot in the fire,” she said.

Ukulele pro in town

Local venues also attract other talent, such as Victoria Vox, who picked up the ukulele after graduating in 2001 from Berklee College of Music in Boston and has recorded eight CDs with her “uke.” She will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at Fresh Brewed Coffee House in Myrtle Beach, her first visit to the Grand Strand since 2009.

The Baltimore resident also will give a workshop and play Saturday at a ukulele academy in Wilmington, N.C. – the only one of its type she knows – then do a gig Monday in Savannah, Ga., on her way to a songwriters’ festival in Florida – all while taking the train and bus to get around, part of her “duty to seeing the country ... and slowing down between stops.”

Small clubs, Vox said, thrive on “grass-roots” operations in serving artists and patrons, and that “people like to be connected to it.”

Being an independent artist, she said, “there’s something cool about performing in smaller venues. ... I would rather perform at a small venue that’s full, versus a larger venue with the same amount of people and feeling empty.”

Also, in a club setting, Vox said, a special, “all there together” feeling in the crowd moves her.

Promoting her latest album, “Key,” on the Obus Music label, Vox called that project “very personal – definitely a little more modern than typical uke music,” along with “experimenting with the sound of the uke” and its four strings.

“As a singer-songwriter,” she said, “it doesn’t have to be fun and life all the time. It is a moving and emotional instrument.”

“Key” follows a pattern of development since she traded her guitar emphasis for a ukulele, and digging “a little deeper” in expression with each successive CD, “creating music from the heart, in the moment.”

Music in general, Vox believes, “is such a great skill to practice as a kid or even as a scientist or mathematician,” a diversion and direction that’s “good for the brain and the heart.”

“The uke is a really great way to make music,” she said, “ ... and with just few one-finger chords, you can play some pretty songs. ...

“You can go to town and rock out on it.”

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764 and follow Kicks! on Twitter @MBKicks.

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