Southern Sounds

G&G Hits the Southern Ground

By Jessica MischnerOctober 25, 2012

Last Saturday, G&G took a field trip to Zac Brown's Southern Ground music festival on Daniel Island. We arrived early—to have plenty of time to knock on some tour bus doors—but even at 12:30 P.M., an hour before the first group was scheduled to go onstage, the crowds were lining up.

We wanted to take our Back Porch Sessions off the porch and on the road, so we first made our way over to the roped-off "talent corral," where all of the performers were sequestered in their buses and trailers, to pay a little visit to the Avett Brothers. We piled onto the band's bus and Gonzo-style filmed a special performance session of "If It's the Beaches." The guys were friendly and welcoming, as always, though things got a little heated when the talk turned to barbecue. The group was split on which single location reigned supreme, but everyone agreed that Lexington BBQ and the Skylight Inn were about as good as it gets.

>Click here to watch the video of the Avett Brothers' live performance.

(Photos by Brennan Wesley)

Then, since Grace Potter was holding court nearby, we popped into her trailer to say a quick hello, too. Though raised in Vermont, the soulful singer-songwriter has clocked plenty of road and stage time touring with great Southern artists like Warren Haynes, Chris Robinson, and Dave Matthews, and counts Levon Helm, the Band, and James Brown as creative influences. It shouldn't have been a surprise, then, that her love of the South extends past the raucous fans and hospitable culture to embrace the foods of Dixie, too. After listening to her wax poetic about her recipe for cheese grits spiked with hot peppers, we knew she was the real deal.


Hungry and eager to hear the Charlie Daniels Band work some musical magic, we headed back to the main stage. After a plate of jambalaya that would make Leah Chase proud, we sat down with brother-sister duo Christian and Sarah Dugas for one last interview. Though they're originally from Winnipeg, the Nashville-based self-described "soul rock" performers displayed an impressively broad amount of insider knowledge on their adopted city, citing Mas Tacos Por Favor and the Basement as two of their favorite local haunts. Stay tuned for their first album to drop in the coming months.

Then we made small talk with Levi Lowrey, a burly fiddle player whose slightly shy demeanor belied a large and in charge stage presence. The father of two young sons, Lowrey was looking forward to a good old-fashioned Southern Thanksgiving back in his hometown of Dacula, Georgia, where his wife's apple cider-braised collards will have a prominent spot on the holiday table.

The weekend brought some of the best in Southern music to our back door, and we continued to take advantage of our good fortune on Sunday, too. This time, the music came to us in the form of J.J. Grey, who joined us on the Garden & Gun porch for a special Back Porch Session (look for it on our site soon).

(Photo by Margaret Houston)

Tags: Goings-On