Pickin’ a laid-back New Year’s Eve party? The UU Coffeehouse has the acoustics -- A Guest Blog by Jim DuPlessis


If you’re looking for a laid-back gathering for New Year’s Eve, come over to the UU Coffeehouse in Shandon.

            You can hear Jack Williams performing along with Susan Douglass Taylor, Cary Taylor, and Danny Harlow. Doors will open at 8 p.m., and music will kick off at 8:30 p.m. The music will pick up later in the evening with room for dancing and a pause for a champagne toast at midnight.

            Coffee, tea, and sodas will be provided. Feel free to bring additional beverages that you may wish to enjoy. Plan to dance, listen, and be with friends as we bring in the New Year.

            Tickets for this special show are $25. For reservations, call (803) 200-2824, or just stop by. The UU Coffeehouse is a listening room located at 2701 Heyward Street, the corner of Heyward and Woodrow Streets, in Shandon.

            Monday night’s line-up

            Jack Williams is considered a “musician’s musician”, an uncommonly unique guitarist, a writer of vivid songs with a strong sense of place, and a storyteller in an old Southern tradition who further illustrates each tale with his guitar. Vic Heyman, in SING OUT!, wrote,“He is one of the strongest guitar players in contemporary folk.”

            His music is rooted in his native South Carolina, and was shaped by a 54-year career of playing folk, rock, jazz, R&B, classical and the popular music of the 1930s, '40s and '50s.

            His songs have been recorded by artists ranging from Tom Jones and David Clayton-Thomas to Chuck Pyle, Cindy Mangsen, Ronny Cox and Lowen & Navarro. In addition to his solo career, as a guitarist he has accompanied such luminaries as Tom Paxton, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary), Mickey Newbury and Harry Nilsson.

Listen to Jack Williams here.

   Listen to Susan Douglass Taylor here.        

            Susan Douglass Taylor is a singer/songwriter, guitarist and banjo player whose album, “Great Falls Road,” was released earlier this year.

            The Winnsboro native often performs solo or with The Twang Bombers, a bluegrass band featuring her husband, Cary Taylor (bass & vocals), Danny Harlow (mandolin, fiddle, tenor guitar & vocals), and award-winning guitarist and banjoist Randy Lucas.

            Taylor played bluegrass for 10 years with close friends in a band called String Fever before she started singing back-up with Jack Williams, whom Cary Taylor had played bass with for many years. Williams allowed Susan to experiment with banjo on some of his songs, and eventually included her background vocals and banjo playing on a number of his recordings.

            In mid-2007, Susan, Cary, and long-time friend and musician Danny Harlow went on an 18-month tour as the back-up band for Ronny Cox, a singer/songwriter and character actor. Cox made his acting debut in the acclaimed 1972 film, “Deliverance,” when he played the instrumental “Dueling Banjos” on his guitar with a banjo-playing mountain boy.

            “It was a great experience traveling around the U.S. playing concert halls and coffeehouses, and once to the UK, where we actually played for a convention of Stargate fans,” Taylor said. “And what a thrill it was to play “Dueling Banjos”with Ronny Cox!”