Sound Bites: Live music & a film screening in Greenville

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Who: Cody Webb, with Revel Union and Mark Webb Jr.
When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 1
Where: Radio Room, 110 Poinsett Highway, Greenville
Tickets: $8

When he first got into playing music, all that Ridge Springs’ own Cody Webb wanted to do was play Southern rock. “I loved Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers,” he says. “But when I got to college, I had a lot of friends that were into country music, and I fell in love with Eric Church’s first two records.” Since that time, Webb (whose new song “Gettin’ Somewhere” comes out March 15) has become a dyed-in-the-wool country artist, putting his down-home vocal twang, songwriting skills, and six-string chops to work on a series of singles and EPs.  “I’m from this little town in the middle of nowhere,” he says, “and it’s COUNTRY where I’m from. And I think that’s who I am as a person.” And he’s also a songwriter with a fast-rising profile in Nashville, Tennessee. Webb co-wrote a song with Luke Combs (“Memories Are Made Of”) that ended up on Combs’ platinum-selling album “This One’s for You.” “I wrote that with Luke before he completely blew up and became a megastar,” Webb says with a laugh. “We moved to town at around the same time, and we wrote that song about two days before he went into the studio to cut his first EP. I actually got to go into the studio when he recorded it. None of us had any idea it would be a platinum record; it’s been cool to watch.”


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Who: Excons (album release show)
When: 8 p.m. Friday, March 1
Where: Horizon Records, 2 West Stone Ave., Greenville
Tickets: Free

The first album by the Upstate quartet Excons, 2017’s “New Life,” was created layer-by-layer, with the group recording, overdubbing, and rerecording parts as they built 12 tracks of prog-influenced roots-rock. But because the album is essentially a home recording, the sound wasn’t all it could’ve been. “We did it all at home,” says Excons’ singer and drummer John Byce. “The upside of that was that we had all the time in the world. The downside is that we didn’t know what the hell we were doing as far as recording and mixing. So sonically, it was very low-fi.” For their second album, “Sea Shanties,” the band headed to the increasingly well-known Echo Mountain Recording studio in Asheville, North Carolina, but they didn’t have nearly as much time. “It was not cheap, so we had to knock it out,” Byce says. “We essentially just set up the mics and tracked the whole thing in one day, which was a challenge because we were just capturing a performance.” The new album is tighter and more polished than “New Life,” a testament to both the quality of Echo Mountain and the band’s development. “We’ve got more confidence in our own playing and arranging,” Byce says. “The first time around we did so much tinkering and we built the record in the mix. This time, we knew what we wanted to do; it was just a matter of capturing it.”


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Who: Weed the People screening
When: 4 p.m. Sunday, March 3
Where: Gottrocks, 200 Eisenhower Drive, Greenville
Tickets: Free

Typically, you might see information about a concert coming up at Gottrocks in this space. But in this case, we’re talking about a film screening at the club, because that film covers an issue that more and more South Carolinians are talking about: cannabis legalization legislation. The film, a documentary directed by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein called “Weed the People,” focuses on families whose children have been diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Since these families live in a state where medical cannabis use is legal, the children are able to augment their traditional radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery options with cannabis use. The film is being presented by Cannabis Forward, an Upstate nonprofit dedicated to educating communities regarding the medical use of cannabis. The film is being shown at Gottrocks for a couple of reasons. “Gottrocks is operated and owned by Chuck Floyd, who is also the owner of Smoke ‘n Brew,” says Cannabis Forward founder and director Emily McSherry. “Smoke ‘n Brew has long been one of our primary sponsors, and anything I’ve needed, I’ve been able to reach out to Chuck.”  Economics played a part, as well. “When I saw the film, I wanted to be able to show it in a nontheater venue,” McSherry says, “because it’s a LOT more expensive to get the rights to screen it in a traditional venue. So I went to Chuck and told him that I knew Gottrocks was usually a place for live music, but for one day can it be a nontheater venue?”

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