Lovers Leap with the Marshgrass Mamas

Charleston Pour House, 1977 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412

Lovers Leap Folk, Bluegrass, Acoustic

Standing on the precipice of a new and exciting venture, the band members of Lovers Leap decided to jump. Although it was more of a soaring than a falling when they first played together under the shadow of the beautiful rock outcrop in Hot Springs, NC, for which their name was inspired. At the heart of Lovers Leap is a lovely balance of lush harmonies and provocative solos, intwined in songs that span from old mountain murder ballads to original tunes, that are set to worldly rhythms and stratocaster daydreams. As a show unfolds and boundaries dissolve, the nucleus of a performance is steadfast, tugging on the listeners’ heart strings, while also satiating one’s desires of instrumental virtuosity.

Independently, Shelby Means (bass, guitar, vocals ), Mary Lucey (banjo, bass, vocals ), Joel Timmons (guitar, drums, vocals) and Billy Cardine (dobro, vocals), have each made an impact on the evolving Americana music scene. Means began singing and playing upright bass as a young’un in a family band. These talents lead her to a GRAMMY nomination with band, Della Mae where she shared the stage with folks such as Willie Nelson, and the Avett Brothers. Lucey, a founding member of The Biscuit Burners, helped propel the band to international attention with her powerful singing, bass playing and songwriting. She also played with Uncle Earl alongside John Paul Jones for their album release tour. Timmons, as a member of Sol Driven Train has played alongside Bruce Hornsby, Levon Helm and Michael Franti, demonstrating his sonic playfulness, danceable rhythms and Americana pop leanings. Cardine, a slide guitar pioneer, founding member of The Biscuit Burners and current member of Acoustic Syndicate, Rapidgrass and North of Too Far Downs has made a name through his distinct voice on all things slide. He has performed with Edgar Meyer at Carnegie Hall and collaborated with greats such as Debashish Bhattacharya and Jerry Douglas.

Collectively the bandmates have presented their sound from the Kennedy Center to Bonnaroo, Merlefest to Telluride, Europe and China to Israel and India. They each have taught workshops throughout the country and internationally on their respective instruments.

Billy Cardine - (Acoustic Syndicate, The Biscuit Burners ) Shelby Means - (Sally & George , Della Mae) Joel Timmons - (Sally & George, Sol Driven Train)
Mary Lucey - (The Biscuit Burners, Uncle Earl)

Marshgrass Mamas

If there’s any such thing as a Charleston supergroup, Marshgrass Mamas fit the bill. The eight-piece band features Cary Ann Hearst (Shovels & Rope), Hazel Ketchum (The Hungry Monks), Kristen Meierer (YeeHaw Junction), Caitlin Cahill Pape, Dee Payne, Rayna and Gina Perez (Cane Creek String Band), Chandler Marburg, and Lauren Cahill (The Lowhills). Of course, the downside of having such busy musicians in one band is that they don’t get to play together all that much. In fact, the band took a 10-year hiatus from the stage while the women were busy with their own projects and families, coming back together when former member (and Della Mae mandolin player) Jenni Lyn Gardner asked them to reunite for one of her local shows two years ago.

But just because they weren’t onstage doesn’t mean they weren’t playing. “We try to get together for some front-porch pickin’ at somebody’s house at least once a week,” Meierer says. “Primarily we’re a bunch of girlfriends who got together 16 years ago and just started having ‘chick picks,’ and we ended up getting a gig a Shorty’s Pizza on Highway 41. Then we all started to have babies, so we quit for about 10 years. “

The group’s calling card is their vocal harmonies, which Meierer says simply comes from having “a lot of singers in the band and a lot of people who sing really well.”

So when it’s time to break in a new song, they’ve got a bit of a headstart on the typical ensemble.

“It’s just a matter of someone pitching a song to the band and everything else falls into place,” Meierer says.

And if their schedules don’t allow them to keep singing those songs onstage, there’s always the porch.

“We’ll play out when we can, and when we can’t, we try to get together on one of these Johns Island front porches,” Meierer says.

7pm Doors/8pm Show $10 Adv/$12 Day of Show