Charleston, WV

Six live music events in Charleston, WV this weekend: August 20-22, 2021

Megan Hippler

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Image from Joey Thompson / Unsplash

The music scene in Charleston, West Virginia this weekend is full of Americana.

Sometimes the music veers closer to country. Other times it’s more folk or more rock. With a variety of solo acts and bands, both locals and out-of-towners, in bars, auditoriums, and outdoors, one of these shows might catch your attention.

But, if Americana isn’t to your taste, perhaps a grunge band or Grateful Dead cover band will get you hitting the town this weekend.

Whey Jennings

Country music fans might want to get the weekend started early with this Thursday night show. Gravely country singer Whey Jennings will take the outdoor stage at the Farm Bar & Grill on the outskirts of Charleston. The grandson of outlaw country music legend Wayland Jennings, Whey Jennings is praised for his authentic country sound. Local country duo The Bandwagon will get the music started at 6pm. Tickets are $25 pre-sale or $35 on the day of the show. More information is available on one of the Facebook events for the show.

Live on the Levee

On Friday night, head down to the Schoenbaum Stage at Haddad Riverfront Park for a rocking double-act. The music kicks off at 6:30 pm with West Virginia’s own Appalachian rock band The Kind Thieves. Then Hyryder, a Grateful Dead tribute band, will take to the stage. Formed in Indianapolis in 2008, Hyryder prides itself on delivering true-to-detail Grateful Dead songs while putting their own take on the show with moments of improvisational jamming. The event is free, open to all ages, and fully outdoors. More information on the event is available on the Live on the Levee website.

Matt Mullins & the Bringdowns

After Live on the Levee, Appalachian rock fans can head to Sam’s Uptown Cafe to catch Matt Mullins & the Bringdowns. With thumping rhythm lines and raspy vocals, this Southern West Virginia band says “it’s hard to classify them as just an alt-country band.” The doors open at 8pm for the music to kick off at 9pm. Tickets are $10, and more information is available on the Facebook event for the show.

Hurl Brickbat with Peremptory and KC Shingleton

Also at 9pm Friday night, for a rock fans can head to The Empty Glass on Charleston’s East Side for three acts. Supporting acts Peremptory and KC Shingleton will kick off the show progressive rock and grunge band Hurl Brickbat will take to the stage. The cover charge is $7 and can be pre-paid on The Empty Glass’ website. More information is available on the Facebook event for the show.

Jeff Ellis, Logan Halstead, Jake Dunn & the Blackbirds, Flat Tracker, Shawn Benfield

On Saturday night, Sam’s Uptown Cafe is hosting five musical acts in one night. West Virginia native singer-songwriter Jeff Ellis will entertain with his acoustic guitar and harmonica. 17-year-old Boone County native Logan Halstead has been touted as a country musician to watch. Four-man band Jake Dunn & the Blackbirds call their music “cosmic Americana.” Huntington rock band Flat Tracker is sure to have the crowd on their feet, and Southern West Virginia’s singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Shawn Benfield will keep the music going late. The show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the show. More information can be found on the Eventbrite page for the show.

Mountain Stage

This Sunday, another five musical acts take the stage as part of the Mountain Stage concert series. Two-time Grammy Award-winning singer Rodney Crowell will bring his heartfelt lyrics, Americana music, and chart-topping hits to the stage. Singer-songwriter and widely cited muse to fellow musicians Colin Hay will share his deeply personal music with the crowd. Baltimore-native Amy Speace will bring her Americana and folk singer-songwriter skills, and stripped back fingerpicking guitarist Jordan Tice will awe with his genre-defying narrative songs. Pop-rock and soul band Nobody’s Girl rounds out the lineup. The doors open at 6:30 for the 7pm show, but seats are first come, first serve. Tickets are $30, and more information is available on the Eventbrite page for the show.

Typically, The Empty Glass hosts a casual after-show/jam session after Mountain Stage shows for any of the acts who decide to appear. They charge a modest cover fee that is discounted for those who attended Mountain Stage. At the time of this writing, it’s unclear if that will happen this weekend or not.

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Megan Hippler writes about West Virginia humanities. Her work has appeared in Orion, Seamwork, and PopSugar.

Charleston, WV
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