Bare footing during Christmas Week? Well yes, with The Barefoot Movement and Finnegan Bell.
We actually could be bare footing in the low country this week, but thankfully the weather outside was seasonally delightful! We donned mittens, scarves, and boots and cozied up close in the pews of a stoically quiet historic church for an awesome Christmas show! What? Did you miss it? Don't worry this line up will be back by popular demand soon, I am sure.
STAC House and Awendaw Green's presentation of Christmas with the Barefoot Movement & Finnegan Bell at the St.Thomas & St.Denis church off of Cainhoy road was mesmerizing, once again. How could it not be? A leaf-strewn and root-traversed church site off the beaten path with a history dating three centuries, musicians young and younger oozing with talent, food, wine and spirits of Christmas past.
I've been to several of the STAC House events and have never been disappointed, but — my hubby sure was! He came down with a terrible cold or bug the day of the show. I tagged along on a surprise date night with my friend and her gracious hubby! I believe he knew immediately he had lost the "date" aspect of the night to the chattering friends the minute that we both climbed into the front seats of the vehicle together to come to the event.
When we pulled off of the dark two lane road onto the pine strewn property I could see the busy elves of Eddie White and his Awendaw Green crew bustling around with Pastor Hamilton Smith of STAC (St.Thomas Anglican Church) performing their last minute preparations. One by one, more vehicles found the narrow drive and gathered together before the show. The crowd mingled, ate gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken bog by Lisa Love Catering, sipped wine and warmed themselves near the outdoor heaters until Hamilton Smith rang the cowbell to signal us into the candlelit and strobed sanctuary.
The show started with Finnegan Bell, Charleston's very own. I loved their selections, my personal favorite is Carolina Line, but they had a few interesting compilations, which had us all grinning. One in particular played by Shane Williams and sung my Warren Bazemore was called Mathew's Begats by Andrew Peterson from his Behold The Lamb Of God album. Yes, you guessed it, a full 2-minute chronological lineage to Christ.
Their melodic voices and instruments primed the crowd for The Barefoot Movement who wowed us with their "just try to be still in your seat" foot stomping, roof rising, bluegrass version of Christmas favorites. “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” was one my favorites!! It brought back memories of rat pack, retro 50’s tunes from my childhood. But another fun selection was an intro to a tune from Alvin and the Chipmunks.
I watched the reflections of smiling faces in the candle lit church panes and imagined those who sat here over the centuries. At the stroke of a clock sometime later tonight the huge red doors will lock and silence will fall over the quiet church of non-parishioners once again, but—tonight, it is filled with light and love and joy and laughter.
Thanks, Finnegan Bell, The Barefoot Movement, Eddie White of Awendaw Green, Hamilton Smith, pastor of St. Thomas Anglican Church, and all of the wonderful elves that put up the lights, heat stands, sound systems and food and beverage tents.
I am grateful for their creative enthusiasm. East Cooper is very fortunate to have this awesome venue, church outreach, and musical trifecta in their community. This nostalgic encore event was magical and I am already looking forward to the next one.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!