School is out, graduations are in full swing, and summer in Charleston is just getting started. We're in that wonderful few weeks before it gets really hot where it's so pleasant to be outside at an evening concert.
The Spoleto Festival and Piccolo Festival are over today but there's one last grand gesture. You can go out to Middleton Plantation for the Spoleto finale. It's one of the best picnic spots around and after the concert, there's a spectacular fireworks show so close overhead that you feel you are in the show. (There's more information about it on our Spoleto page today.)
It's a favorite evening of mine, and a great way to start thinking about summer music events.
But if you aren't going there tonight, there's another venue that is a Lowcountry icon and the site of a musical reunion.
Tonight is the Smoky Weiner and The Hot Links Reunion out at Bowen's Island. (Hint, the island is just off the causeway leading to Folly Beach.)
Smoky has been playing around the area for many years, and usually his show is part of Piccolo Spoleto. That changed this year, but for fans who might have missed them, they are going to be playing their hearts out.
This show features Chicago and Delta Blues guitar and some old time jazz. Coming back for this special reunion are some folks who have played with Smoky in the past: Nik Pappas, Dr. Kim May, and Roy Brooks among a few.
They start playing at 4 p.m., the price is $10, and the location can't be beat.
At both venues, sometimes the frogs and the crickets join in once the music gets rolling - just an added bonus to remind you of the great outdoors.
Then there are other things starting this week, like Thursday Night Boogie, the great twilight spin around the dance floor at the Mount Pleasant pier.
People dance the shag, do some line dancing and in general just move to the groove. It's a great mixed crowd and it starts early. That happens from 6-10 p.m. for adults, and again is $10. If you miss that one, there are plenty more this summer. This is the start of the series.
And one more not to be missed event that happens on Monday nights on the deck at the Pour House on James Island. Again this is part of a series.
Elise Testone of American Idol fame will be holding court and she'll have some special guests each week.
I know that the Pour House is getting to be the "in" venue for music because parking is getting interesting in the neighborhood.
She'll be there from 6-9:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 4 p.m. Testone will help fill the house, I'm sure.
And this one is my favorite price: free.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at email@example.com or 937-5557.