Music Scene

Owen Beverly

His is a tale not unlike many others, I suppose, that one about the promising songwriter being churned in the machine of business and circumstances only to come out a better storyteller and musician, thumping out lyrics from a heart that now understands them.

In the beginning, it always seems easier than it is, and Owen Beverly experienced aspiration no differently. He came to Charleston from Jackson, Miss., and earned a degree in music theory and composition from the College of Charleston. Shortly after, in 2003, he cut a record called "The Drunk Lover" with Rick Beato (Shinedown, Needtobreathe, Jump Little Children).

He saw his career take off after having his single picked for HBO's "Entourage" and tours with John Mayer and Howie Day.

But by 2005, the industry was beginning to change and deals became harder to earn and even harder to keep, leaving Beverly with nowhere to go but back home to Mississippi to work odd jobs and regroup.

He came back to Charleston in 2008 and began collaborating with friend and former Working Title front man, Joel Hamilton, all the while grinding out labor jobs to support himself.

But Beverly is a true musician, a real scrapper filled with the determination to have his story heard in the best way he can tell it. He soaked up the struggling in order to wring it out later in his songs.

He moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., and started a band called French Camp, writing and recording until joining Danish electro-pop singer Oh Land as her touring guitarist, proving that the churning had begun to tame and that he had survived.

Beverly returns to Charleston before the release of "Exit Wound," his first solo LP in six years. He will perform at The Royal American, 970 Morrison Drive, Friday alongside Charleston singer-songwriter Jordan Igoe and The Kernal. Tickets are $6 at the door. Show starts at 9 p.m. Go to or call 817-6925 for more information.

Charleston-based musician Jack Burg will celebrate the release of his latest album, "No Swagger," under his Punks & Snakes project at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, on Saturday.

Punks & Snakes has quietly been Burg's one-man-band project for the last several years, performing all instruments simultaneously around town off and on while writing and recording with his Shrimp City Records colleagues.

For the release show, Burg will be backed by the veteran collective of fellow Charleston musicians known as the Shrimp City Records, featuring Cary Ann Hearst, Michael Trent, Joel T. Hamilton, Jonny Gray, Bill Carson, Michael Flynn, Ron Wiltrout, Andy Dixon and surprise guests. Teenage Eagle will open the show.

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Doors open at 8 p.m.; show starts at 9 p.m.

Introducing the quirky honky-tonk energy to the melody of classic rock and the bluesy soul of classic country, Tennessee's The Kernal isn't easy to understand.

The Jackson-based singer and songwriter enjoys what his biography describes as a "Southern mystique," something that hints at either design or paranormal in The Kernal's ambiguity and indefinably haunting musical style.

His father, Charlie Garner, spent a career playing music with the likes of Sleepy LaBeef and Del Reeves, as well as serving many years as bassist in the Grand Ole Opry house band. Charlie played with Reeves until the singer's passing in 2007. Only months later, Charlie also would pass away, prompting The Kernal to pick up the torch and carry on the family's country pedigree.

In truth, it may be as much of his father spinning these outstanding musical yarns as it is The Kernal himself. Born Joe Garner, The Kernal was a frustrated musician who had admittedly grown bored with the music he was making when his father passed. In a previous interview, Garner says he went into his attic, found Charlie's Grand Ole Opry suit and put it on.

Symbolic or literal and the questions that follow perhaps don't matter, as the music that followed seems to provide enough of an answer.

There's a ghostly channeling of honky-tonk country and early era folk-blues that is so perfectly authentic the only thing modern about it is the recording quality.

Something happened in that attic when Joe Garner became The Kernal, and it's all buried in the deceptively complex songs of a severely underappreciated new throwback country star.

The Kernal will perform at The Royal American, 970 Morrison Drive, Friday alongside Jordan Igoe and Owen Beverly. Tickets are $6 at the door. Show starts at 9 p.m. Go to or call 817-6925 for more information.