A Beautiful Garden Concert at the Gibbes

Maggie Lott

Sometimes a perfect night can surprise you when you least expect it. Last week when we all were worrying about the impending Hurricane Irma, I was fortunate to have a few hours reprieve from it. On Wednesday, I attended a concert hosted by the Gibbes Museum of Art.


Playing was a band I had never heard of, Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native. The Gibbes had partnered with the Charleston Music Hall to create this amazing event.


Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native can only be described as a harmonious blend of several musical influences. Between his songs, Ben would give us a peek into his past and some of the core moments that shaped him. One in particular involved his Grandpa Elvis. Grandpa Elvis was an amazing fiddle player. He and Ben would get together with others and play instruments together. One thing that Ben remembered and stuck with him was how rebellious and experimental it felt to him that you would hear rock and roll mesh with familiar Scottish tunes.




Today, Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native grab musical influences from all over the world and meld them with what they know, Kentucky bluegrass. What we get to hear is something familiar, yet completely innovative. While listening to their music, a feeling came over me that I felt like I was at home. Their sound is warm and inviting, just like the South. The songs could have been heard hundreds of years ago and still are applicable today.  


This concert was the first in a series of garden shows to be held at the Gibbes. Their outdoor back garden is a beautiful setting for the series. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs, food, and drinks. There is a cash bar there as well. Since the weather is cooling down, the next concert on October 11th will be a stunning event. Featuring the Garage Cuban Band., they are a mix of Cuban folk and jazz. The music pairs perfectly with their next exhibition featuring Pan American Modernism. Be sure and purchase your tickets to that soon!