2021 Greenville, SC Music Rewind
It’s hard to believe that another year on the Greenville music scene is in the rearview mirror, but it’s time once again to look back on the year and talk about the best and brightest upstate. Here’s a brief, and by no means comprehensive, breakdown of who and what rocked our 2021.
Album of the Year: Niel Brooks, “Senatohoba”
In an eventful year, Niel Brooks released a sort of tonic with “Senatohoba. The home-made gem is a multi-layered mix of instrumental and vocal tracks, blending folk, country and progressive influences into a cohesive whole. Whether he’s remembering the classic country divas on ‘Nashville Babylon’ or saying goodbye to his grandfather on “Winter Mourn” Brooks created a charming and fascinating musical world on “Senatohoba” that rewards repeated listening.
Best Group: Phantom Ships
Ghost shipsThe music mixes the obscurity of goth-rock with the pure sound of early ’90s shoegaze to create something unique, sinister, complex and bizarre. Their debut album, released in February, was a exciting collection of epics on the big screen, and it will be exciting to see how the band continues to evolve.If you like bands that make a lot of noise with their guitars, try Phantom Ships.
Local Artist of the Year: Saul Seibert
This year, former Boo Hag frontman Saul Seibert turned his artistic life into an open book. Posting frequently on social media, Seibert discussed everything from breaking up his signature band and his upcoming projects to his need for new musicians, remarkably deepening every step of his artistic process. He also occasionally advises promising musicians on the local scene. Whether or not you agree with what Seibert has said in these posts, he made the courageous choice to raise the artistic curtain on his career and his passions, and he is to be commended for it.
Best Show (Small Hall): Local Flowers at Fall For Greenville, Live At Aloft Stage
Combining one of Upstate’s most talented rappers, Shyland Flowers, with a collective of live musicians including guitarist John Durham, drummer Dr. LuvBeatz and singer Barryle, the Local Flowers project was one of the mixes. most exciting musicals of the year. Their show Fall For Greenville, mixing Flowers’ verses with rock, soul and funk backgrounds, was a glimpse into the quality of the Upstate music scene with a little more collaboration and a little more cross-pollination.
Best Show (Large Hall): James Taylor and his star group with Jackson Browne, Bon Secours Wellness Arena
James Taylor’s work is so iconic that it deserves a legendary band to perform it, and that’s what Taylor brought with him to his Bon Secours Wellness Arena show on November 16. Taylor and her All-Star Band have weaved their way through a delicious set of favorites, spanning everything from “Fire & Rain” to “Copperline” and beyond. Add the fact that Taylor brought in equally beloved singer / songwriter Jackson Browne, and you have the makings of a classic and unforgettable concert.