DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

South By Southeast Gets a Jump From the Cables

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on May 5, 2009
Guitarist Rev. Johnny Mac

Guitarist Rev. Johnny Mac

Okay, you Carolina folks are going to have one up on me here. I wasn’t in this neck of the beach in the eighties, so I didn’t recognize this group by name. I thought the Jumper Cables were, well, jumper cables.

Turns out they’re a rock trio that was based in Charleston featuring none other than Johnny Mac on guitar, Paul Tucker on bass and Steve Kent on drums. They’ll be electrifying the Grand Strand on Saturday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at Myrtle Beach’s historic Train Depot, thanks to my favorite nonprofit group, South By Southeast.

A true jam band, the Jumper Cables always loved playing those long numbers à la the Allman Brothers, and they did … to packed houses all along the beach. Johnny Mac, who had moved to Charleston from Georgia in 1972 had initially played piano and moved over to guitar as a teenager. Influenced by a range of musicians that includes the Allman Brothers, Santana, Albert King and Deep Purple, he liked playing a lot of bluesy rock stuff.

His band mates, both from Georgia, were part of the 70s Macon scene, working with some of the big names, including Sea Level and Chuck Leavell (current keyboardist for the Rolling Stones);Randall Bramblett, Davis Causey, jazz great Joe Taylor, Percy Sledge and others.

According to Mac, the trio, which hasn’t played together  in at least five years, will be performing a number of instrumentals like War’s “The Word Is a Ghetto” plus some Sea Level stuff. “”Don’t be surprised,” he tells me, “if we get into  some jazz, funk and intense rock and roll.”

South by Southeast organizer and jam band fan, Sam Hanneford, is beside himself waiting for these guys to get here. “We are going to have some rockin’ music goin’ on. You are going to be blown away by these guys. The last time they were here, we heard some excellent sets including driving renditions of eclectic material from Derek & the Dominoes, Traffic and even some Stanley Clarke.”

Whatever they play at the SXSE show, rest assured it will be a high-energy, high-octane show, one that folks will be talking about for some time to come.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for anyone under 21, if you’re a SXSE member, $25 if you’re not.

Your price of admission includes not only this every intimate concert, but also a pot luck dinner, wine and beer courtesy of New South Brewery.

About South By Southeast

If I were Warren Buffet, this is where my philanthropic money would go. This all-volunteer group of music lovers is dedicated to preserving and promoting all sorts of American music that normally isn’t performed in mainstream venues. As part of that mission, they also support local music education programs, instrument drives and help out any way they can.

Membership in SXSE costs $25 per year.  If you are interested in joining, visit www.sxsemusic.com and download an application form. For more information call Jeff Roberts, owner of Sounds Better Records at 843-497-3643 or Seth Funderburk at 843-455-6499.

A version of this will also be published in  the Beach Newz music column of Coast magazine and Alternatives NewsMagazine and on MySpace.

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