In 2011, the Mauldin Cultural Center added an outdoor amphitheater. In January 2012, The Railroad Concert Series officially launched as part of our summer amphitheater programming with a sold out performance by Mac Arnold & Plate Full O’ Blues. Since then, more than 5,000 music lovers have attended the Railroad concerts and have traveled from as far as the Northeast to as close as our neighbors behind the Center.
Today, the series features live performances by musicians offering up a heady mix of bluegrass, Americana and folk every Friday night in May. And the best part? All shows are FREE of charge.
• All shows are FREE of charge and general admission.
• Lawn chairs and/or blankets are welcome for all outdoor shows.
• Outside food and beverages are prohibited.
• Food and beverage vendors will be on-site.
The Secret Sisters | May 5, 7 p.m.
Growing up surrounded by the sounds of the South and the powerful timeless music emanating from Muscle Shoals, The Secret Sisters, Laura and Lydia Rogers, were heavily influenced by a range of uniquely American musical styles, including country, bluegrass and gospel, as well as classic rock and pop. They were raised on a rich tapestry of music, listening to everything from George Jones and Loretta Lynn, to The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, The Ramones, Fiona Apple and Rufus Wainwright. But it was their father, a musician himself, who introduced Laura and Lydia to bluegrass at an early age and spent many weekends bringing his daughters to local bluegrass festivals.
The Secret Sisters’ 2010 debut was comprised mostly of traditional country songs the sisters grew up loving, although two standouts were Laura and Lydia originals “Tennessee Me” and “Waste The Day.” That album, lauded by critics and adored by their rapidly growing legion of fans, led to their wildly successful second album Put Your Needle Down, an eclectic mix of musical styles and sounds rooted in storytelling that showcases their depth and growth as songwriters, vocalists and as women.
In the studio, Laura and Lydia were advised by powerhouse producer T Bone Burnett and joined by a stellar array of musicians who provided the sonic and musical foundation for The Secret Sisters’ incomparable vocals and harmonies. Among them were Jay Bellerose on drums, Gurf Morlix, Marc Ribot and Burnett on guitars, Keefus Ciancia on keyboards and Zach Dawes on bass. While all brought significant contributions to the proceedings, every musician was in awe of the presence of legendary tambourine player Jack Ashford, whose signature sound can be heard on countless Motown hits dating back to the early 1960s and who propels numerous songs on Put Your Needle Down.
Currently working on their third album, there is still an aura of mystery that surrounds The Secret Sisters, and they certainly like to keep their fans wondering where they’ll head next on their musical journey. But with Laura and Lydia, one thing is for certain: integrity and honesty will guide every note.
Mountain Heart | May 12, 7 p.m.
Mountain Heart is the band that has been fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be presented and played. The band’s name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation. Widely known throughout the music industry for continually redefining the boundaries of acoustic music, the band has gained legions of loyal fans both as a result of their superlative musicianship and just as notably, their incendiary live performances.
Mountain Heart or members have been nominated for Grammys, ACM, and CMA awards. The band has also been nominated for and won multiple IBMAs. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry in excess of 130 times, and have shared the stage with acts ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Montgomery Gentry, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Brad Paisley to Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, The Avett Brothers, Yonder Mountain Stringband, The Punch Brothers, Levon Helm, John Fogerty and many more.
Mountain Heart’s musical virtuosity – the band is comprised of top call studio pros at every position, unmatched energy, and a keen sense of entertainment dynamics have helped them to forge a highly unique sound and stage show which appeals to an ever-growing variety of musical tastes. From large outdoor Folk music, Americana, Jam and Bluegrass festivals, to sold-out shows opening for Southern Rock icons like The Marshall Tucker Band, The Tedeshi Trucks Band or Lynyrd Skynyrd, Mountain Heart always makes an undeniable connection with an audience. This rare combination makes Mountain Heart one of the more versatile musical acts ever assembled.
Throughout the band’s storied history, members past and present have dedicated their time, talent, and creativity to the group, leading to their hard earned reputation as one of the most exciting and unforgettable live shows anywhere in the world. With a new team in place, Mountain Heart is beyond excited for this new beginning and journey ahead.
May 19 | TBD
My Girl, My Whiskey & Me | May 26, 7 p.m.
My Girl My Whiskey & Me was named after a song written by Cam Shriver of the Rayado Ruffians. This song represents George’s love-at-first-sight experience with bluegrass and the mandolin. A progressive bluegrass duo that got it’s start in Naples, Florida, the band has played for a large number of audiences from caviar bars to sports bars, and was recently featured in the Naples Daily News, with another local duo called, The Good Bad Kids.
Despite their rising success in the South Florida area, MGMWAM (an extremely long acronym) bid a bittersweet farewell to their home for a new beginning in Greenville, South Carolina in January 2014. The band’s folk, rock, progressive bluegrass and Americana notes have been influenced by The Beatles, The Civil Wars, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, and Old Crow Medicine Show to name a few.