DarielB – Flying Under the Radar

Mama Rue’s Gears Up for Summer

Posted in Music Stories by darielb on June 11, 2012

Mama Rue’s Blues Garden in Pawleys Island, S.C. was under water during the recent torrential downpour, but owners

Refried Blues Band will play Mama Rue’s on Friday, June 22, starting at 8 p.m.

Marrue Bleau and Eric Sutherland know how to roll with the atmospheric punches. They stayed open through the worst of it and are already gearing up for a summer of jerk pork and blues.

The entertainment lineup for June includes local favorites along with some regional big names that, combined with Chef Eric’s magic in the kitchen, are pushing this “best known secret of the Grand Strand” to the forefront of the music scene.

During cool months, there’s an intimate corner stage inside the restaurant. Once it’s warm, though, everyone heads outside to the Blues Garden with its live oaks, bottle tree and friendly, rustic bar.

June offerings include:

Friday June 15, 8 p.m. Pastor Pastor, a blues trip off the beaten path.

Wednesday,  June 20, 7 p.m. Jeff Liberty. From Columbia, S.C. Liberty’s scorching guitar and smokey vocals make him a favorite at Mama Rue’s.

Friday,  June 22, 8 p.m.  Re-Fried Blues. This local group plays some rockin’ blues. Members include Mike Markiewicz (vocals), Rick Oliver (bass), Chicago Bob Hess (guitar), and Ed Roderick (percussion), Sadly, Todd Roth “aka”My Buddy Todd” is off finding his fortune in Austin, Texas, so he won’t be joining them onstage.)

Wednesday, June 27   (not yet scheduled)

Friday June 29, 8 p.m.  Back Road Hounds. Another local group, the Hounds play hard drivin’ contemporary blues. Players are Eric Stair (drums), Johnny Webb (bass), Mike Donellan (lead guitar and vocals), and Steph Wilmson (harp and vocals).

Mama Rue’s Blues Garden is located at 9737 Ocean Hwy. (Hwy. 17) in Pawleys Island. Find them on Facebook or visit their website. For more information, call 843-235-3853.


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Mama Rue’s Has Tasty Lineup For November

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews by darielb on November 2, 2011

Mama Rue’s Blues Garden, the juke joint/Jamaican restaurant in Pawleys Island, S.C. has announced its November lineup of

Mama Rue - MIstress of the Bar!

entertainment. Anticipating a chilly month, Marrue Bleau – who owns the club along with chef Eric Sutherland – says the acts will be playing their original music indoors on the dining room stage.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Jeff Liberty, blues guitarist and vocalist from Columbia, S.C. will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.  Liberty’s scorching guitar and vocals have earned him numerous awards and fans from New Orleans to Columbia.

Thursday night, Nov. 3 is open mic blues jam at Mama Rue’s. Singer/songwriter Jennifer Price will be bringing her outlaw blues to town for the event.

Husband and wife duo Pastor Pastor are on the roster for Friday, Nov. 4. They start at 8 p.m.  Their religion is the blues.

Popular local guitarist and vocalist George Davis is booked for Wed. Nov. 9. Start time is 7:30 p.m.

On Friday night, Nov. 11 at 8 p.m., it’s piano man Shrimp City Slim. AKA Gary Erwin, he’s known throughout the Carolinas for his lowcountry blues and original tunes. His latest recording (August 2011) is Highway 77: Lowcountry Blues Live (Vol. 2).

Jazz jam band Spontaneous Combustion will be firing up Mama Rue’s on Saturday, Nov. 12. They start at 8 p.m.

Back by popular demand on Wednesday, Nov. 16 will be singer/songwriter Drew Baldwinwith his 100-year-old Larson made Dyer

Juke Joint Johnny on harp. (Photo Mary Anne McLaurin)

harp guitar and Juke Joint Johnny on blues harp. They start at 7:30 p.m.

Guitarist Jeff Liberty is set to be back at Mama Rue’s again on Friday, Nov. 18 starting at 8 p.m. If you missed him earlier in the month, you have another chance to hear this Columbia boy.

If rockin’ blues is your thing, mark your calendar for Saturday, Nov. 19 when The Strays hit the stage at 8 p.m.

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7:30 p.m. Jerry “Cool” Edwards is back at Mama Rue’s for a night of sweet and jazzy blues.

For the day after Thanksgiving, on Friday, Nov. 25, entertainment will be provided by Pawleys own My Buddy Todd. Blues, blues and more blues. Start time is 8 p.m.

On Saturday, Nov. 26, Spontaneous Combustion once again lights up the night, starting at 8 p.m. and on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. diners will be treated to the sounds of blues guitarist and vocalist George Davis.

J Edwards has a voice that you have to hear to believe. (Photo Mary Anne McLaurin)

The month of Dec. will bring some new excitement to Pawleys Island with Columbia, S.C.-based J Edwards at Mama Rue’s on Friday, Dec.2, along with Brian “Husky” Burnette  on Saturday, Dec.3.  Matt Walsh is scheduled for Feb. 17.

Mama Rue’s is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, 4 to 12:30 Friday nights, and 4 to midnight on Saturdays. Times are approximate. They serve authentic Jamaican dishes along with a full selection of cocktails. Make sure you try the Howlin’ Wolf! Mama Rue’s Blues Garden is located at 9737 Ocean Hwy. in Pawleys Island. For information, call 843-235-3853. Website: www.mamarues.com. For daily updates, “like” Mama Rue’s on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Mama Rue’s Celebrates One Year in Pawleys

Posted in Live Performance Previews/Reviews, Music Stories by darielb on October 19, 2011

On Friday, Oct. 14, Mama Rue’s Blues Garden had their blow-out first anniversary shindig. Alongside Chef Eric’s fabulous jerk

Mama Rue - MIstress of the Bar!

chicken, collards, and Island rice with festival bread, they had the Keith Patterson Band’s official CD release party for Stone Cold Blue (which, despite the title, is over the top hot!).

Mama Rue’s is a smokin’ little juke joint just below the Hammock Shops in Pawleys Island. I don’t think they have more than ten or 11 tables inside, but the vibe is sweet , and outside there’s a big old bar with picnic tables and the main stage. I could live there.

Owners are Marrue Bleau and Chef Eric Sutherland. The duo met some 25 years ago in St. Pete’s, Fla. and have been looking for just the right spot to open a Jamaican restaurant slash blues club (Thank goodness they’re on Island time and didn’t rush into anything!) Marrue books the music and runs the bar, which includes creating some pretty magical cocktails. Eric works his magic in the kitchen.

Chef Eric is a native of Galina, Jamaica. He’s been in the States since 1979. Eric is a self-taught kind of chef. He cooks from the heart, with no recipes. He blends his own seasonings, makes his own signature hot sauce, his own jerk sauce. He buys whole seafood and he buys local.

I had a chance to talk to Eric when he came out to the bar during a brief kitchen break.

“When I was younger, I was adventurous! My first job was at the Playboy Club in Ocho Rios in Jamaica. I was determined to travel a

Chef Eric Sutherland and guitarist Keith Patterson

lot, so I then I worked for different cruise lines. Before I came to Pawleys, I was cooking in Atlanta. Now I like Pawleys; the people are friendly, always nice.”

I think Eric’s cooking must put them in a good mood … or it could just be hanging at the bar with Marrue.
She grew up in Florida and says she’s worked in and out of restaurants since she was 17.

“I was a bartender at a hotel in Palm Beach, working with a little jazz trio there, and that planted the seed of owning my own place.

Marrue has spent time in the Keys, on Grand Turk in the Turks & Caicos; she’s lived on the Suwannee River. Marrue and husband Steve lived on a 27-foot sloop for a time. They took off on a motorcycle and wound up in Mobile, Ala. for a while, too.

“I met Eric when my husband and I used to hang out at his place in St. Pete’s,” says Marrue. “It was called the EZ Jamaican Cafe, and people just went to it in droves. I needed a job and he took me in.”

Marrue and Eric are in the process of expanding the menu to offer more vegetarian fare. For me, I like the stuff that moves! Curried goat, jerk pork, Wednesday night ribs, the daily catch in Jamaican butter sauce or escovitch style (with spicy vegetables). Even the lowly burger is to die for.

I love the character of the place. There are no TVs to distract from the music or the conversation. Marrue laughs when she says, “We don’t serve shooters, we serve cocktails.” And if it’s wine you want, it comes in sweet little jelly jar glasses, New Orleans style.

All that, and top drawer music, too. Marrue tells me that she’s always been drawn to early blues. At Mama Rues, though, she’s

Todd Roth of My Buddy Todd on lead ironing board slide

running the gamut. Of blues, that is. Earlier this month, Mississippi John Doude was in the
house! Local bluesman Todd Roth of My Buddy Todd is a regular player. You can catch George Davis playing a set or two, as well. Rootsy, bluesy gospel duo Blue Mother Tupelo played to a packed house this summer. Rickey Godfrey brought his hot rockin’ blues to Mama Rue’s and folks are still talking about it.

That brings me back to the Keith Patterson Band, another rockin’ blues band, somewhat reminiscent of the seventies, when it was hard to tell the difference between blues rock and hard rock.

Keith’s 11-track debut CD, Stone Cold Blue is solid blues rock, dominated by guitar and B3. I can’t do a full-on review here, but the disc is in my car player and I’ve got it loud!

The five-piece band includes Keith Patterson on guitar; Daniel Korzelius singing lead vocals; John Taylor on drums; Brian Mckenzie, guitar and lap steel; and Drew Jacobs on bass.

They put on a great show. My guess is they’ll be back at Mama Rue’s before too long. YEAH!