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South Carolina

South Carolina:

CITY: South Carolina

Slow Runner 

All-Time Best Band: Iron and Wine
All-Time Best Solo Artist: James Brown
Best New Band: Slow Runner

Though IRON AND WINE is actually just plain ol’ Sam Beam, who was born in the Palmetto State’s capital, we’re going with I&W in the band category, anyway. We just can’t get enough of his lo-fi lusciousness. Oops. Make that their lo-fi lusciousness. | Godfather of Soul JAMES BROWN not only dominated R&B in the ’50s, but also was a crucial agent in developing the soul and rock of the ’60s, the funk of the ’70s, and, through sampling, the hip-hop of the ’80s and ’90s. And let’s just casually add that his Apollo record is generally considered the finest live album of all time. Bonus points: his former tour manager was Al Sharpton. | Charleston’s SLOW RUNNER have Boston roots, as Michael Flynn and Josh Kaler met at Berklee, where Flynn had won a BMI/John Lennon Scholarship for his clever songwriting (the experience got him a photo of his mom with Yoko Ono). But the band fleshed out their membership — and their gorgeous Southern languor — in Flynn’s home state of South Carolina.

Video: Iron and Wine
Video: James Brown

Listen: Iron and Wine, "Boy with a Coin"

Listen: James Brown, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag"

Listen: Slow Runner, "The Stakes Were Raised"