SOUND CHECKS – DON’T MISS CHARLESTON’S HOTTEST LIVE MUSIC SERIES!

Nobody brings you closer to today’s rising stars than Sound Checks.  We invite you to join the party, step on to the Clay Center stage, and enjoy the best music from local and national emerging artists.  Be a part of the scene at Sound Checks!

January begins a new season of celebrating local musicians and emerging artists live at the Clay Center!  The first half of the 2022 Sound Checks series, featuring six shows and twelve musical acts, will kick off January 28th! 

Tickets for all shows are on sale now!  Individual show tickets are only $20 each and  there is a special package available to purchase all six shows for only $90.  In addition to the live music, we look forward to featuring local DJs, local food trucks and a cash bar on site.  Doors open for each show at 6:30PM with the first act taking the stage at 7:30 PM.  We look forward to enjoying live music in the Susan Runyan Maier Sculpture Garden beginning in the spring (weather permitting).  Purchase tickets now using the buttons below, in person at the Clay Center Box Office, or by phone at 304-561-3570.

Sound Checks is presented thanks to support from SOHO’s, Roger L. Nicholson, Chris Blanchard, Encova Insurance, and Saluja Law. The Clay Center’s performing arts and visual arts offerings are presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Abby Hamilton with support from Drew Cable
Pre-Show Entertainment from Vinyl Village 
January 28, 2022

If you’ve spent any time exploring Kentucky’s booming folk/rock/country scene, chances are you’ve heard somebody say, “You’ve really got to hear Abby Hamilton.” The Nicholasville singer-songwriter has garnered a reputation as a can’t-miss live performer, opening for acts like Kelsey Waldon, Valley Queen, Arlo McKinley, and Justin Wells, as well as singing at festivals including Master Musicians and On the Rails. With influences ranging from the classic country divas to Bruce Springsteen, she wins over audiences with her clever lyrics and entrancing vocals.

Drew Cable is a country music singer-songwriter from Mink Shoals, West Virginia. With heavy influences of southern rock and classic outlaw country, Drew is inspired to take listeners on a journey as he spins narratives through his storytelling while onstage. 

Remember Jones with support from Corduroy Brown
Pre-Show Entertainment from DJ Nick Scott
February 19, 2022

Remember Jones is a one-of-a-kind soul/pop singer, storyteller and bandleader with a throwback vibe and authentic energy. Often backed and supported by a large ensemble of musicians, his original music and creative, theatrical events have played to countless packed and sold-out clubs and theaters throughout the United States.

Whether you see him alongside a piano, a four-piece rock band, or with a large orchestra, Remember Jones evokes the energy of the greatest front men and women, with one of a kind song styling and expert storytelling that keep audiences on their toes and emotions in the moment.​

Corduroy Brown is a poppy, rock performer from Huntington, West Virginia. His band emerged out of the pandemic as a group of old friends who just wanted to make music together and feel better about life in a time of uncertainty.

Cha Wa with support from Shelem
Pre-Show Entertainment from DJ Charlie Blac

March 11, 2022

New Orleans brass band-meets-Mardi Gras Indian outfit Cha Wa radiates the energy of the city’s street culture. “My People,” the band’s follow up to their Grammy-nominated album “Spyboy,” feels like pure joy, a distillation of generations of New Orleans expression. But it also never fails to remind us how hard-won that joy was and still is: not least in the tense, funky and explosive title track, with its declaration “My people, we’re still here.”

“Mardi Gras Indian songs are inherently songs about freedom,” the band’s drummer Joe Gelini says. “And that struggle is as relevant today as it’s ever been.” Popmatters describes the band as “a grand gumbo of singing, intoxicating rhythms, and deep funk grooves that are impossible to resist.”

Isaac Shelem Fadiga, known by his mononym Shelem (pronounced shuh-lem) is a 25-year-old hip-hop artist and producer. A self-proclaimed true entertainer, his primary focus has always been to bring levity and fun into the lives of his audience. His extraordinary stagecraft promises a variety of captivating experiences, from commanding the crowd as a captain to saving the day as the local superhero. With innovative flair, Shelem has a knack for bringing his art to life. He has connected with fans in person by being the “Delivery Man,” written a song using their words, and held an 16-week online game of bingo.

LEVON with support from The Grip
Pre-Show Entertainment from DJ EJ
April 15, 2022

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because LEVON has visited the Clay Center before!  After opening for REO Speedwagon on December 1, we knew the Clay Center audience wanted more!  

LEVON consists of three best friends: Northbrook, Illinois, native Michael David Hall (on guitar and lead vocals, with a soaring five-octave range); Sumter, South Carolina’s Jake Singleton (on harmonies, bass, and percussion); and Camden, Tennessee, native Ryan Holladay (on guitar, mandolin and harmonies).

A few of the trio’s musical roots are suggested by their name, an homage to the talents of The Band’s Levon Helm, as well as Elton John and his song, “Levon.” All in their twenties, LEVON’s members nonetheless share a collective musical passion for the 1970s and the artist/songwriter generation whose lyrics and melodies have remained relevant long after their time on the charts.

Kitchen Dwellers with support Matt Mullins & the Bringdowns
Pre-Show Entertainment from DJ EJ

May 20, 2022

Montana-bred bluegrass outfit Kitchen Dwellers are captivating fans across the country with their high-energy live performances and unique approach to traditional music that fans have dubbed Galaxy Grass.  In the near decade they’ve been together, the Montana-based four-piece has performed for thousands at Red Rocks, shared bills with the likes of Railroad Earth, The Infamous String Dusters, and Twiddle, graced festival stages from Northwest String Summit to WinterWonderGrass, and transcended traditional genre boundaries, blending virtuosic bluegrass wizardry with ecstatic rock and roll energy and adventurous psychedelia. With their spectacular new album, ‘Muir Maid,’ the group has come fully into their own, seamlessly blending the past, present, and future of string band music to create their most daring and collaborative work yet. 

Matt Mullins & the Bringdowns are an Appalachian Rock band that have found a niche all their own. The stories in their songs are almost as diverse as the influences you hear in the music. Fueled by a driving rhythm section made up of drummer Dylan McInturff and bassist Bob Campion, Stuart Hill creates sonic tapestries with his guitar that will leave you in awe. Add to that the lyrical prowess of raspy voiced singer/guitarist Matt Mullins and you have what the group feels to be the most honest music they have ever collectively created.

Erin & the Wildfire with support from Holly Forbes
June 04, 2022

Erin & The Wildfire started as four college kids in Charlottesville, Virginia making music just for fun, but has grown into a flourishing, decade-long musical relationship among four best friends. E&TW, who now call Virginia’s capital city of Richmond home, have evolved their sound over the past ten years to where it currently stands firmly in the soul and indie-pop genres.

The band blends the expressive, powerhouse vocals of frontwoman, Erin Lunsford, with the pop, funk, and indie sensibilities of bandmates Ryan Lipps (guitar), Nick Quillen (drums), and Matt Wood (bass). In addition to the core four, E&TW has recently found a kindred musical soul in keyboardist Stephen Roach, who has played with the band since 2019. 

Holly Elizabeth Forbes is a unique vocalist with a honey-sweet tone and a signature soulful sound. She is best known for her band, Holly & The Guy, and Qiet. You may recognize Holly from her recent appearance as a featured contestant on The Voice.  

Nobody brings you closer to today’s rising stars than Sound Checks.  We invite you to join the party, step on to the Clay Center stage, and enjoy the best music from local and national emerging artists.  Be a part of the scene at Sound Checks!

Sound Checks is presented thanks to support from SOHO’s, Roger L. Nicholson, Chris Blanchard, Encova Insurance, and Saluja Law. The Clay Center’s performing arts and visual arts offerings are presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture, and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts