No band broke into the world on a higher plateau from The Bowery in downtown Myrtle Beach than Alabama did in the 1970s.
Ever since, clubs across the Grand Strand have been providing their own small universe to rising and established and stars to shine on stage. Here are three places to catch them.
Boathouse Waterway Bar & Grill
Parmalee, a quartet from the Greenville, N.C., area, performed last May at The Boathouse Waterway Bar & Grill, just west of Myrtle Beach, when the group’s breakthrough single, “Carolina,” had begun its long climb to the top of the charts. Now the band, a Best New Artist semifinalist this past winter for the 49th annual Academy of Country Music Awards will play The Boathouse again on June 1.
Jason Black, general manager of The Boathouse said with so many free outdoor concerts – every Friday during “Nashville Nights” and Sundays starting April 6, said the club has “filled a void in the Myrtle Beach music scene.” The place has the Intracoastal Waterway as its backdrop.
Pirate’s Cove Bar & Grill
John Powell, general manager for Pirate’s Cove, with its scenic overlook of the Atlantic Ocean, said that family business will hit its 20th anniversary in 2015.
“We’ve always done live music,” he said, “and it was always kind of ... a bar with a band.”
In the past few years, though, with house lighting and sound system upgrades, the club has ramped up the “quality of music ... with a mix of original live music and cover bands.”
Powell sees “an intimate environment” as a key reason bands like Pirate’s Cove.
“It’s a small, but good-sounding room,” he said, noting its capacity for close to 600 people and another 100 on its deck upstairs.
Leslye Beaver owns two Beaver Bar sites in Murrells Inlet, S.C.: The “Little Beaver Bar” opened in 1996, and the “Big Beaver Bar,” at the Georgetown County line, in 2009. They’re among part of a family of businesses that includes a night spot in in Ormond Beach, Fla., near Daytona Beach, and two places opening this year in Panama City, Fla., and Sturgis, S.D.
She said locally, the Big Beaver Bar has had concerts in recent years by“red carpet people” and country “rock stars and celebrities.”
Beavers said being all-outdoor venues – there’s room for 5,000 at the Big Beaver Bar – their busy seasons wrap around summer’s searing heat: though May, then September through December.
The Murrells Inlet schedule for this spring remains in the works, she said, and that negotiations continue for the likes of Frankie Ballard, Clare Dunn, Colt Ford, Chase Rice and Chris Stapleton.