Much of the music enjoyed today can trace its roots back to the South, some including the influences of Gullah culture. Spirituals and gospel hymns became the basis for the swing, jazz, and big band of the early twentieth century which grew into rock & roll and eventually hiphop, pop, and R&B music that’s popular today. While bluegrass and country music grew up in the mountains of Tennessee, they’ve become a staple of the music scene in Charleston. It should come as no surprise that Charleston, a part of the Gullah Geechee Corridor, inspires musicians of all genres with its beauty and culture. Live music can be found just about anywhere you look in Charleston these days. And at these locally known Charleston venues, you might discover your next, new favorite artist or band performing.
Most restaurants in Charleston offer some type of live music on the weekends, which can be a great opportunity to support local musicians. Performances can range from a lone guitarist to a full multi-piece band, depending on the restaurant and time of day. Downtown, The Dispensary on King Street serves up brunch alongside live music. And down the street, Prohibition transforms from a 5-star restaurant into a swinging dance club in the evenings. Stop by Prohibition Sundays or Tuesdays for FREE dance lessons before the show starts!
Heading to the beach? For a family friendly experience on Folly Beach, Rita’s Seaside Grille and Loggerheads can always be counted on to serve up live music alongside All-American cuisine. Or during your afternoon on the sand, you may want to grab a cold drink and listen to some tunes – check out Blu‘s outdoor beach bar and grill featuring live music just off the sand.
Get your tickets to the many shows and concerts that come to Charleston. The Charleston Pour House on James Island has an indoor concert space as well as a huge outdoor deck and winding patio space built around age old trees. The space was built to incorporate the existing landscape in a fun and funky way, complete with vibrant paintings throughout the patio. Grab a bite from a food truck, there’s a different one every night, and settle in to enjoy some tunes! Across town, The Windjammer on Isle of Palms is quite possibly the best place to enjoy live music on the beach. In leu of a back patio, the entire outdoor space is a sandy oasis where concert goers rock out with their toes in the sand. Popular with the tribute bands, you’ll travel back in time to the beats of the 70’s & 80’s at The Windjammer.
The Gullah culture of the coastal south and the surrounding lowcountry, influenced more than just music, it’s credited for originating “The Charleston,” a popular dance that swept the country in the 1920s. Both “The Charleston” and other ragtime dances including “The Shag” are still danced in the city today. Charleston County Parks regularly hosts Shaggin’ On The Cooper and Boogie Nights all summer long at the Mount Pleasant Pier.