The New Orleans Suspects live at Pour House this Saturday night

When Reggie Scanlan is playing in Philly, he eats a philly cheesesteak. When in North Carolina, he eats good ole’ Carolina barbeque. When he’s in Charleston this weekend, I think it is safe to guess he and his band the New Orleans Suspects will be feasting on shrimp and grits before their show at Pour House Saturday night.

“I like to eat what the locals eat,” he said.

Scanlan founded the swamp rock band, The Radiators, in 1978 after touring with the iconic Professor Longhair. Born out of five-hour jam session with Dave Malone, Ed Volker, Camile Baudoin and Frank Bua, Jr., The Radiators were one of the longest-running rock bands in New Orleans until their disassemblement in 2010.

Scanlan’s current band, The New Orleans Suspects, is composed of some of the most highly respected musicians in New Orleans: Scanlan on bass, “Mean” Willie Green on the drums, Jeff Watkins on saxophone, Jake Eckert on guitar and vocals and CR Gruver on keyboards and vocals. These men have played with renowned acts including the James Brown Band, The Radiators and the Neville Brothers. They play to a wide-ranged audience: 20-year-old jamband fans to middle-aged people into New Orleans music culture.  

Influenced first and foremost by the musically distinguished city of New Orleans, the Suspects formed in the wake of several bands breaking up, one of which being Scanlans’ The Radiators. At this point, the Suspects were already underway as no more than a side project, but the band got serious in 2011. “In New Orleans,” Scanlan said, “the older guys have always passed down the tradition of playing music to the younger guys.” Being born and raised in a city so rich in music culture shaped Scanlan into the musician he is today.

Following in the footsteps of New Orleans tradition, the Suspects love nothing more than a good audience, the main reason they love coming back to play at the Pour House.

“They have a great audience,” Scanlan said, “and the people that run that place are awesome. Nowadays, the state of live music is radically different than it was 20 years ago. There are fewer places to play, less of these oases if you want to call them, music clubs where the club owners are really involved in trying to maintain the live music scene. Pour House is one of those places.”

Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway, hosts live music every night. It fosters an eccentric crowd of people passionate about a good time. Part outside and part inside, it’s one of the funkiest places in Charleston. For bands like the Suspects, always on the road, places like Pour House are “golden,” key to the state and quality of live music today.

Tickets to the show tomorrow night are $13 dollars in $15 at the door. Doors open at 9:00 p.m.

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