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How well do you know Charlotte’s bands and musicians? Take the Charlotte Music Challenge

In small coffee shops, busy bars and dedicated music venues, Charlotte bands provide the soundtrack to our weekends. How well do you know Charlotte bands? Take the Charlotte Music Challenge and see if you can recognize 12 local artists by listening to short musical clips.

Some of these artists tour regionally and nationally, but they all perform locally too. After you take the quiz make sure to follow the links for the sounds you liked and learn more about the bands.

How the quiz works: Hit play below. The 12 clips will begin playing, with a 4-5 second gap between each to give you a chance to answer the question on the quiz below the player.

So, how’d you do? Scroll down to learn more information about each local band and the name of each song used in the quiz.

We also made a Spotify playlist for the local musicians. It’s embedded at the bottom of this post.

Answers and more info

(1) Grown Up Avenger Stuff

The clip: “Pins,” from the album Sparkleton.

Grown Up Avenger Stuff

Hailing from Charlotte, this blood related (mostly) band has spent the last half decade playing the underground scene across America, Canada, and Europe, sharing their unique heavy indie music sound and reaching toward their goal of saving the world one song at a time.

(2) Mike Strauss Band

The clip: “No Party Tonight” from the album The Whole Skinny.

Mike Strauss Band

Voted best band in Charlotte and best local songwriter by the readers of Creative Loafing 2015, The Mike Strauss Band has released seven recordings over the last ten years and performs original music regularly around town.

(3) Time Sawyer

The clip: “Better Off” from the album Disguise the Limits.

Time Sawyer

Time Sawyer is interested in “real people and real songs” and that’s just what the listener finds in their music – a sense of realness. Time Sawyer blends a grassroots feel with heart-felt lyrics to put on a high-energy, entertaining show. The band is about to record its 6th album. It will be produced by Mike Ashworth of the Grammy-winning Steep Canyon Rangers at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville.

(4) Ancient Cities

The clip: “Juice” from the album Ancient Cities.

ancient cities

Charlotte based psychedelic rock band Ancient Cities released their debut self-titled album in 2014. Featured at Newport Folk Festival, CMJ, and Bristol Rhythm & Roots in 2015, the band also began working on its second album in Boston at Converse’s Rubber Tracks Studio with Seth Manchester (produced Deer Tick). Currently the band is putting the final touches on the album at Sioux Sioux Studio in Charlotte, NC and hopes to release it later this year.

(5) Groove 8

The clip: “Protocol” from the album Debut.

groove 8

Groove 8 is a US based jazz funk band that has recorded four albums. The band is currently touring the US.

(6) Bless These Sounds Under the City

The clip: “Eye of the Storm” from the album Bless These Sounds Under the City.

Bless These Sounds Under the City

Bless These Sounds Under The City is a local musical duo out of Charlotte. From acoustic and piano ballads to indie electronic mid-tempos, their music is an eclectic mix of originality and accessibility.

(7) David Childers

The clip: “The Prettiest Thing” from the album Room #23.

David Childers – 2014
Ford Mike Hammer

David Childers performs with his band The Serpents. Some call them folk, some call them Americana, most call them a great band.

(8) Paleface

The clip: “Dancin Daze” from the album Just About to Burn.

paleface (1)

Prolific, influential, cult­hero & indie-folk icon, Paleface, is now a high-energy and charismatic duo featuring his girlfriend Monica “Mo” Samalot, on drum-kit and charming candied vocal harmonies.

(9) Amigo

The clip: “A Murder of Crows Outside” from the album Might Could.


Based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, amiable country-rockers Amigo specialize in a winning blend of propulsive, Jonathan Richman/Doug Sahm-inspired rockabilly/roots rock and soulful, heartache-inducing folk-rock in the vein of Gram Parsons and The Band. A honky tonk dance band with a punk rock heart, the trio formed around the talents of guitarist/vocalist Slade Baird, drummer Adam Phillips, and bass player Thomas Alverson.

(10) Sinners and Saints

The clip: “Only You” from the album Love and Misery.

sinners & saints

Sinners & Saints is a two-man “one-man band” that plays shit-kicking, whiskey-drinking, sweet-loving music.

(11) The Loudermilks

The clip: “Quite Honestly” from the album The Loudermilks


Named for iconic gospel & country duo Ira & Charlie Loudermilk- a.k.a. the Louvin Brothers, the Loudermilks’ Edwards Brothers find a comfortable place in the unlikely juxtaposition of the Louvins’ southern gothic and sibling harmonies, and the powerful Memphis-Soul-meets-‘60’s-Pop of underground rock legends Big Star. It’s a musical compost which, in the Edwards’ hands feels intrinsic and honest.

(12) Abe Reid

The clip: “Can’t Hold Out.” Abe Reid on Spotify

abe reid

Abe Reid makes savory old-school blues sizzle into steady-rockin’, party-down musical dynamite. From Statesville, N.C., Reid is a past winner of the International Blues Competition in Memphis. As a young man he learned straight from Winston-Salem’s old-timey greats, and has paid them tribute by keeping the blues alive and full of grit for more than thirty years. His “talking” harmonica, soaring voice, and easy smile make the blues accessible and fun for listeners of all ages and backgrounds.

Photos: Provided by the bands