UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE - UPDATE
South Carolina State Representative Stewart Jones has drafted and filed a Bill in the South Carolina House of Representatives to amend the current Bill. He is encouraging any and every person who wants to continue to see the South Carolina hospitality industry and small music venues thrive throughout our State to please contact your respective State Representative to encourage them to sign this Bill.
THANK YOU, Rep. Stewart Jones!!!
Don't know who your district rep is? Look here.
River Monster Records will be releasing Bedlam Hour
It is with great honor and extreme excitement to welcome Bedlam Hour to the River Monster Records Family. During the 90's big music scene boom that was coming out of South Carolina Bedlam Hour was louder, faster and way more entertaining than most. If you ever happened to catch one of their live shows you'd know exactly what I'm talking about. If it wasn't for the impact Bedlam Hour had on me during my younger days I probably wouldn't be involved in the punk scene today or even own an independent punk rock record label. If you don't know Bedlam Hour or haven't heard their music please look them up and give them a listen but if you're like me you can't wait to hear what they have coming soon.
Acclaimed North Carolina-based singer-songwriter CHRIS CHURCH is back with a new single – and a new sound! -- this Friday, February 17. The all-new “Going 'Til We Go” is the global pop world's first tease of the forthcoming album RADIO TRANSIENT that Chris has been hinting at and Big Stir Records is soon to officially announce. The single will be streaming everywhere on the street date with pre-order/pre-save live now (https://orcd.co/chrischurch-gtwg), and more details on RADIO TRANSIENT are soon to come as “Going 'Til We Go” hits guitar-pop airwaves all over the world.
From its opening synth figure to the hyperkinetic drumming (courtesy of Nick Bertling) to the sleek, clean, '80-inspired guitar lines, “Going 'Til We Go” is an instant earworm and a sonic departure for CHRIS CHURCH. But it couldn't be anyone else: the unmistakable vocal presence and the irresistible hooks of the chorus make it clear that while the sound may be new, it's pop songwriting at its finest, emotive and inviting. Chris tells us why “Going 'Til We Go” is emblematic of the direction of the new record:
“This song captures the essence of what I was going for musically when I began writing this album. I was looking for the crossroads between Lindsey Buckingham, The Fixx, and '80s Hall & Oates. There are aspects of those influences in most of the songs on this album, but this song is the first one I wrote for it. Achieving the sound I had in mind was greatly aided, and somewhat restrained in a positive way, by the fact that i forced myself to use only my 12-string Danelectro guitar. It captured the thin 'silvery' sound I wanted. As on all the songs on the album, Bertling's frenetic drums are fantastic and really drive the song, and Lindsay Murray's backing vocals play such an important role in the big picture.”
With the sound set in place, and as always with CHRIS CHURCH, the songs take center stage, and “Going” is one of the sweetest and most heartfelt tunes on the new record. “The lyrics here are somewhat metaphor but largely literal, about how my wife Lori is my biggest concern, with a nod to the fact that we like to sit outside on our deck talking, fixing all the problems of the world and listening to music all evening. just reminding her that i'm always going to be there for her, in the moment as well as in general, until we both 'go inside'.” Not everything on the record is as tender, but it's all just as invigorating and original, and sure to be one of the year's most celebrated releases. Big Stir Records can't wait to bring it all to you this March.
I'm not going to lie about it - Chris Church is one of my absolute favorite artists putting music out today! I can't wait to hear the new material and this teaser single is spot-on cool. Follow the link below to read about it and to hear it for yourself then pre-order your copy today. — Jerry Axson
South Carolina Save Small Venues and Bars, Address the Insurance Crisis
Petition started April 20, 2023
Petition started by Kynn Tribble
This is an open letter to our legislature. We speak for not just ourselves but all music venues and bar community members. In 2017, South Carolina introduced a law, that drastically changed the minimum insurance coverage requirements for establishments that sell and serve alcohol. Bill 116 requires a one-million-dollar yearly policy. This rate increase is excessively high for an across-the-board requirement.
As a result, in 2021, insurance companies began to pull out of South Carolina. The number of available carriers has dropped so severely that we can count the remaining options on one hand. The inability to shop for insurance coverage caused the average insurance prices for bars and venues to rise in 2021. When 2022 hit, we were shocked to see the price quoted, which we had no choice but to pay. What was a $5,000 - $6,000 policy skyrocketed to upwards of $20,000- $25,000. These numbers are based on average prices of venues of the same size.
This cost came on the heels of the 2020 Covid shutdown and restrictions. Many of us hit rock bottom and went out of business. Others took a hit but built back to where we could stand again. We could finally see the end of the struggle, but then inflation hit in the most brutal way possible. We were all forced to raise prices and cut costs to make our business survive and pay our employees.
This year, small music venues and bars have been hit again with these staggering, across-the-board insurance policy prices. Small bars, venues, and restaurants across South Carolina are receiving quotes for policies costing $50,000 and higher! Many business owners in this situation have already started to close or attempt to sell. Unfortunately, selling may not even be an option due to those same insurance costs. We are at risk of losing our small, locally owned venues and bars.
If our representatives ignore this dire situation, far too many small businesses, not just bars and venues, will fall one after another. The companies that do try to survive will be forced to raise prices again and again resulting in less customer frequency. Many family-owned businesses will collapse completely, giving way to more corporate chains.
In this industry, the fallout will be a trickle-down effect from the venue and bar owners to staff losing their jobs. The employees affected include but are not limited to, bartenders, waitresses, cooks, busboys, sound engineers, door staff, and bouncers. Bands and musicians will lose a long list of places to perform, many of whom play shows in smaller venues as their only source of income. Towns and cities will lose tax revenue and tourism dollars.
What can you do? Spread the word.
Contact the representative in your area. It's as simple as emailing. Don't stop with one email. Continue to email them daily until we have this issue resolved.
LINK BELOW TO CONTACT MEMBERS OF THE SENATE: