Mechanical Riverby Kelly Rae Smith
Photo by Jonathan Boncek
Mechanical River is what Charleston musician Joel Hamilton calls his one-man band that utilizes concepts all his own. Onstage, Hamilton centers himself within a setup that includes a kick drum with a tambourine shoe hi-hat, a sampler, a homemade cigar-box guitar, a microphoned baseball helmet, Christmas lights, and, quite notably, a Casio keyboard atop an old ironing board. It doesn’t make for a concisely packed tour van but when you pair it all with Hamilton’s entrancing voice and superbly crafted songs, what it does make is one uniquely magical act to both see as well as hear.