The sun’s a blazing and the shores are beckoning; however, there’s more to hear around Wilmington during the summer other than the hum of a seashell. Folks can wrangle in their beach hair, scrub the sunscreen off their noses, trade the flip-flops for a pair of dancing shoes, and hit up one of Wilmington’s many live music venues. Here’s a glimpse of what to expect this week:
The Reel Café, 100 S. Front St.
Thursday, May 28, 7 p.m. • Free
The fun gets underway at The Reel Café on Thursday night. The bar will play host to Sean Danielsen, former guitarist and lead vocalist of Smile Empty Soul. Danielsen has ties to Wilmington, as he’s collaborated with hard-rock band He Is Legend’s rhythm guitarist Mitchell Ray Marlow.
Danielsen hails from California, where music was ingrained in his soul from an early age. His father, Jerry Danielsen, was a musician himself and the owner of Busy Signal Studios. Danielsen upstarted his first band at the tender age of 11. During his teen years, he continued to pursue music, which eventually led him to meet percussionist Derek Gledhill and bassist Ryan Martin. Together the trio formed Smile Empty Soul in 1998.
A slew of small-time gigs paved the way for the release of their self-titled album in 2003. Produced by John Lewis Parker and mixed by David J. Holman, the album churned out three singles: “Bottom of a Bottle,” “Nowhere Kids” and “Silhouettes.”
The band has continued releasing new music ever since. Their latest album “Chemicals” was released in 2013 under Two Disciples Entertainment. Also in 2013 Danielsen put out “Enjoy the Process,” a six-track EP produced by Eddie Wohl. “Enjoy the Process” was the outcome of it. Subsequently, he recorded his second EP, “Food Chain,” in 2014. Featuring a full band, the EP strayed from the stripped-down stylings of his first solo release.
Come this weekend, folks can check out what he’s been up to at The Reel Café.
Skydog: A Tribute to the Allman Brothers
Riverfront Park, 5 N Water St.
Friday, May 29, 6 p.m. • Free
Summer’s here, which means the Downtown Sundown Concert Series officially has begun. This year marks its 10th season, and a high-profile Kickstarter campaign has allowed them to utilize the surface parking lot at the corner of Princess and Water streets later in the summer, once scheduled construction begins near the Riverfront Park area where the concerts have been held throughout the last decade. The series began last week with The Stranger, a Billy Joel tribute band, and will continue this week with Skydog, a tribute to the Allman Brothers.
The tribute band will be playing bluesy, country rock. From “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” to “Blue Sky,” fans of the band will surely have plenty to tap their feet to.
Best of all, attendees 21 and up can purchase a $1 drinking wristband, for which all proceeds go toward a local nonprofit that will soon be announced. The fun starts at 6 p.m., and Skydog will take the stage at 8 p.m. Those who can’t make it to this one need not fret; the concerts continue every Friday through September 4.
Nothing says summer like a little reggae to ignite that Caribbean spark. Coming from Columbia, SC, The Movement is sure to let everyone know “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.”
Formed in 2004, the band derived from a troupe of Sublime and Pixies’ fans. Comprising Joshua Swain, Jordan Miller and John Ruff, the band released their first album, “On Your Feet,” in 2004. It was recorded and mixed in 24 hours at Pat Casey’s Modern Music Studios in Columbia.
Currently, the group consists of Swain, Jay Schmidt and Gary Jackson. Their most recent release, “Side By Side,” was finished in 2013. It’s available for purchase on their Bandcamp (https://the-movement-vibe.bandcamp.com) and iTunes. The 12-track album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Reggae Chart. They have plans to drop a new album sometime this year.
Those looking to groove the night away this weekend can check them out, alongside opening acts Signal Fire and Elephant Convoy. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of.
Formerly the mandolin player for Yonder Mountain String Band, Jeff Austin will be coming to town with his new outfit, aptly called “The Jeff Austin Band,” in tow.
An Illinois native, Austin met future Yonder Mountain banjoist Dave Johnston in Urbana, Illinois. Spurred by Johnston, Austin picked up the mandolin for the first time, and began playing with Johnston’s band, The Bluegrassholes. The two parted ways but reunited in 1998 and formed Yonder Mountain with Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann.
The quartet churned out a slew of folky, Americana hits over the years. However, in 2014 it was announced that creative differences had led Jeff Austin to leave the band. Subsequently, Austin formed The Jeff Austin Band, featuring Danny Barnes on banjo and guitar, Ross Martin on guitar, and Eric Thorin on bass, and released “The Simple Truth” under Yep Roc Records, earlier this year.
Legendary artists Todd Snider, Jenn Hartswick, Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee, and Sarah Siskind all make appearances throughout the album’s 10 tracks. Demo work for the album began in 2013, and a recording session in March 2014 saw the finish of the majority of the album’s tracks. Despite a brand new musical vehicle, Austin’s mandolin can still be hear throughout the recording’s tunes. From upbeat bluegrass stylings to slowed-down tender diddies, “The Simple Truth” has it all.