FARM TEAM: (From left to right) New Music Farm director Charles Carmody joins co-founders Carter McMillan and Kevin Wadley (also pictured below) as well as partners and building owners Jerry Scheer and Mark Cumins at the Ann Street music venue.
DUB IN THE CLUB: In the mid ’90s, Jamaican roots reggae group, Culture, drew a full house.
CENTER STAGE: Before the pandemic, lines of eager concert patrons would wrap around the building to Ann Street.
DÉJÀ VU: The Music Farm under construction in the early ’90s.
The recent overhaul as pictured in January 2022.
HIGH ENERGY: From 1991 to 1998, Music Farm co-founders Kevin Wadley (left) and Carter McMillan booked bands in the office by day and worked nightly shows until all hours.
Wadley sits in with Hootie & the Blowfish; Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, and the band were regulars at the Farm in the 1990s.
CROWDED HOUSE: Stage diving during a 1990s show featuring Raleigh-based funkpunk band Johnny Quest.
Young guitar phenom Derek Trucks.
(Clockwise from above left) Darius Rucker, Hootie & the Blowfish; Rick Miller, Southern Culture on the Skids; Edwin McCain playing with Uncle Mingo; Kevin Wadley (center), Carter McMillan (far right) and friends with Cracker in the band room at their last show as owners in 1998; The Archetypes.
(Clockwise from above left) Dave Matthews Band; Janna Jeffcoat (center) with her sister and Bayside; Social Distortion; The Dead South; Run DMC; Brian Setzer Stray Cats; Music Farm crew; Johnny Quest; Gov’t Mule.
RENEWED INTEREST: The Music Farm building under reconstruction in January 2022; upgrades include new floors and house and stage lighting, elevated speakers and baffling to improve sound, fully renovated bathrooms, a VIP balcony, and a refinished bar with multiple point-of-sale systems.
When asked whether he designed all the posters shown here, graphic designer Gil Shuler responded: “Honestly, I think they are all mine. But I’ve done hundreds, and it was so long ago... but I’m 99 percent sure.”
BUT ANYWAY: In 2000, Music Farm owners Riddick Lynch, Craig Comer, and Yates Dew hang out with Blues Traveler, “a huge show at the time for us,” says Lynch of the band that had been headlining the HORDE festival at major amphitheaters across the country just two years prior
A sampling of the many autographs and thank-yous from bands and artists who played the Farm, including David Byrne’s missive to co-founder Carter McMillan on a record sleeve, for giving him a ride to dinner. “We took care of the bands,” says Kevin Wadley. “As a musician, I knew how I wanted to be treated, and that paid off for us.”
BAR NONE: Carter McMillan credits the dedicated crew—bartenders, bar backs, managers, security, and janitors—with the venue’s early success. “It all had to come together, and they did a tremendous job and really cared about it.”
TO THE FUTURE: Charleston Music Hall and Music Farm director Charles Carmody (center) joins building owners Mark Cumins and Jerry Scheer near the David Boatwright mural, which will remain.
Edwin McCain playing with Uncle Mingo.
Darius Rucker, Hootie & the Blowfish
Dave Matthews Band.
The Dead South.
Janna Jeffcoat (center) with her sister and Bayside.
Brian Setzer Stray Cats.
Rick Miller, Southern Culture on the Skids.
Kevin Wadley (center), Carter McMillan (far right) and friends with Cracker in the band room at their last show as owners in 1998.