Sunday, April 6, 2008

A tale of two cities

This weekend I experienced all that Charlotte has to offer.

My Friday night started out uptown at Grand Central for a ladies-only party (Beauty and the Beat, hosted by Jacinda from the A.M. Mayhem on 96.1 The Beat) that included Top 40 hits, hair stylists, a masseuse, jewelry, makeup and one very popular table featuring a multitude of ... ahem ... sex toys.

It was the first time the bar and 96.1 have done the ladies-only party, but Jacinda tells me she hopes to keep it up. Mark your calendars ladies; in two weeks, the Chippendales will perform. (Am I the only one who immediately thinks of Chris Farley's SNL skit whenever I hear the word Chippendales? Best SNL skit ever.)

From uptown, I headed over to Puckett's Farm Equipment in Derita where I entered a time warp. Johnny Cash was playing (it was the Cash Bash 5, after all) and greasers with their hair slicked back and sideburns grown long dominated the crowd in their cuffed jeans and Chuck Taylors.

(Some background on Puckett's: It was originally a farm equipment store, but when the city of Charlotte started to grow, owner Ralph Puckett realized farmers were buying more beer than tractors as they came in to drown their sorrows over their dwindling land. Now, Ralph's grandson Gary is the owner and bartender and it's one of the best places for live music in the region.)

Despite the storms in the area Friday night, I had to circle the place about five times to find a parking spot. Once inside, it was jam packed as Jem Crossland and the Hypertonics took the stage playing everything from Johnny Cash (of course) to Elvis to Neil Diamond.

Also performing were the Truckstop Preachers whose lead singer bears an uncanny resemblance to Will Ferrell doing his imitation of President Bush.

And I was told by about five different people that I couldn't leave without hearing the closing act, rockabilly band the Belmont Playboys. Though they didn't take the stage until after 1, the crowd was still rocking.

Thanks, Lynn, for getting me out of my bubble and introducing me to this hidden (at least to me) gem.

Any Puckett's regulars out there? What's the best night to go?


Anonymous said...

Glad you discovered Puckett's. That's probably one of the coolest, most down to earth places here in town. I have yet to see a bad act there.

Anonymous said...

Hope you stuck around for the entire Belmont Playboys set. Anytime they are in town you oughta go. Jem Crossland and the Hypertonics are semi-regulars at Puckett's and always put on a good show. Jem does a dead-on Roy Orbison "Crying"!