Sound Bites: Brigades; Splang!; and My Girl, My Whiskey & Me

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My Girl, My Whiskey & Me. Photo provided

Thursday, July 19
Brigades, with Irises, Keep My Secrets, and The Apartment Club
Radio Room
110 Poinsett Highway
8 p.m.
$10 adv., $13 door

It’s been two years since the Spartanburg band Brigades played live, and three years since it last released any music. That’s largely because the band, which made some national waves on Pure Noise Records with its streamlined-but-massive modern rock sound, reached a point of exhaustion doing the album-tour-album cycle. Before singer-songwriter Darren Young revived the band late last year, he took some much-needed time off. “I went through a lot of crazy stuff,” he says, “with management, the record label, and agents. We were on tour eight months out of the year, we were having band turmoil internally, and nothing was going the way I’d planned for things to go.” After refashioning the band with new members and prepping a new EP (“True Blue”) for release at the end of the month, Young says things are looking up. “We took a year to work on songs and do studio stuff with [producer] Gene ‘Machine’ Freeman [Fallout Boy, Gym Class Heroes], and we loved what we got back,” he says. “It’s like we’re starting over. I’m happier now than I ever have been.” —Vincent Harris

Wednesday, July 18
Splang!
Gottrocks 
200 Eisenhower Drive
9 p.m.
$5

The Upstate jazz-rock trio Splang! (guitarist Monty Craig, bassist Tony Christopher, and drummer Jeff Sipe) may have been together for only a few months, but their roots go back a lot further. “Tony and I have been working together for a long time, and I thought Jeff would really like what we were doing,” Craig says. “But last year Jeff [an in-demand drummer who’s played with the late Col. Bruce Hampton, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and Susan Tedeschi, among others] was on the road a lot. Now we’re finally able to do it after a couple of years of talking about it.” The trio plays fusion-style jazz with a lot of progressive exploration, but Craig says they’re working on writing great tunes, as well. “We’ve developed a vocabulary of riffs that I hope will turn into songs,” he says, “but there’s always the element of surprise. Whatever’s happening in the moment, Jeff will throw us a curveball, and I’ll try to improvise over it.” —Vincent Harris

Friday, July 13
My Girl, My Whiskey & Me
Growler Haus
101 N. Main St., Fountain Inn
7:30 p.m.
Free

Greenville’s My Girl, My Whiskey & Me has a fluid, multifaceted approach to its bluegrass-based sound, and on its debut album, “In the Ground,” you can hear influences from jazz to progressive rock throughout the 10 rootsy-yet-experimental tracks. The group, which revolves around the nucleus of singer/mandolin player George Colyer and singer/guitarist Kelly Colyer, cites influences from the virtuosic bluegrass of the Punch Brothers to the expansive experimentation of Pink Floyd. Its members work to move beyond the traditional boundaries of acoustic music, and in order to do so on the album, they worked with singer, producer, and fiddle player Robert Gowan of the Upstate band Wasted Wine. The live version of the band typically includes Gowan but can expand to a quintet (most often with upright bass player Josh Riley and banjo player Vilai Harrington), which means that depending on the night, you could be seeing a full bluegrass-tinged ensemble or a more stripped-down, intimate duo. —Vincent Harris

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