Vibes And Vocals
When your ears get tired of the soothing sounds of surf and seagulls, there’s no need to cross bridges and jurisdictions—our islands are home to a handful of some of the best live music venues in the county. You just need to know where to look. Local musician Marci Shore takes a tour through Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island live music hotspots to bring you the lowdown on the vibes and vocals to be found on our sliver of Atlantic Coast. Photo by Steve Rosamillia.
1008 Ocean Blvd, Isle of Palms, 843.886.8596
A favorite with locals and tourists alike, the Windjammer has withstood the test of time and elements since 1972. This no-frills, casual oceanfront bar has hosted many a big name band, boasts a beach volleyball court, pool tables, a back deck overlooking the ocean, friendly bartenders, a recurring Bikini Bash contest in the summer, and is known for its reasonably priced and simply delicious cheeseburgers.
Acts scheduled for this summer include: Sister Hazel, Cracker with The Whiskey Gentry, The Piedmont Boys, Cowboy Mouth, American Aquarium and the Blue Dogs.
HOME TEAM BBQ
2209 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island, 843.883.3131
The mellow and laid-back vibe found at Home Team during daylight hours, melts away after dark as this BBQ spot becomes the hottest music venue on Sullivan’s. Featured in national magazines for its BBQ, and a favorite for the signature high octane ‘Game Changer’ frozen concoction, there is a lot more to love here than just the live music.
Home Team is your go-to spot on Sullivan’s Island for consistent live music. Music starts late, 10 p.m. most nights Thursday through Saturday. Home Team has built its brand on blues, bluegrass and Americana/rock/country as played by national, regional and local touring talent.
MORGAN CREEK GRILL
80 41st Ave., Isle of Palms, 843.886.8980
For nearly 20 years, Morgan Creek Grill has been serving up superior seafood, cocktails and live music on the upper deck overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and the Isle of Palms Marina. For boat watchers, it’s the best location on the islands to eat, drink and listen to live music, taking in a salty breeze while you “watch the ships roll in and watch them roll away again.” The Grill’s outdoor oyster roasts in the fall have become weekend traditions for many families.
Featuring a new, state-of-the-art outdoor stage, music at Morgan Creek Grill looks set to be hot and steamy this summer, as some of the area’s finest acoustic musicians return to perform.
1120 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms, 843.886.0046
Location. Location. Location. A summer’s afternoon spent at Coconut Joe’s rooftop tiki bar overlooking the ocean while the live reggae sounds of the Mystic Vibrations band blend into the ocean breeze is hard to beat. Beginning in April and continuing through Labor Day, these island sounds echo every night, and during the day on weekends.
Mystic Vibrations play every Thursday and Sunday during the season for the “Reggae on The Roof ” sessions. They are one of the best reggae bands in the southeast, and are a must-see. The Flying Buganskis Band is a great act that usually plays as a three-man band, turning tunes ranging from Jimmy Buffett and Van Morrison to modern rock songs.
1130 Ocean Blvd., Isle of Palms, 843.886.4360
A casual, beachfront establishment that’s served up an old-school feel for decades, the Banana Cabana is hopping during the high season, with live music on the back patio just steps from the beach as bartenders sling domestics and serve up frozen concoctions.
You’ll find a solo or duo acoustic act strumming their six strings on the back patio every evening in the summer.
8 J C Long Blvd., Isle of Palms, 843.242.8310
Isle of Palms’ only dive bar, The Dinghy holds its own with the veteran establishments on Front Beach. Just across the street from the beach, The Dinghy has a laid-back Key West-vibe and a variety of unique beers on tap.
Live music hits the patio every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from around 6-9 p.m.
1517 Palm Blvd., Isle of Palms, 843.885.6121
Bushido’s recent arrival to IOP was music to ears of many locals craving Asian cuisine. Bushido lacks the oceanfront location, but makes up for it with fresh, creative dishes, sushi and Japanese dishes.
Live, upbeat acoustic solo/duos acts accompany happy hour most days of the week.
DUNLEAVY’S IRISH PUB
2213 Middle St., Sullivan’s Island, 843.883.9646
You’re likely to find live music most weekend nights during the summer at the islands’ only Irish pub. This Sullivan’s Island mainstay is also a true locals’ pub. Here you’ll find many of them propping up the bar while chatting with their favorite bartenders.
If you’re lucky you may stumble upon bluegrass night, featuring local troubadour Carroll Brown singing your requests. Whenever he’s on the schedule, a variety of his musician friends usually show up to join him on stage for late-night sing-alongs.