All The Best Block Party in Florence, AL

Record store and coffee shop, All The Best, celebrated 10 Years of Single Lock Records with their second block party.

Now this wasn’t just any block party. To say Kristy and Ben of All The Best know how to throw a party is an understatement. The Florence, AL, community as a whole was represented here with local restaurants providing food and local stores selling their wares. 

There were three bands/artists scheduled, each of which was joined by special guests. All of the performers are on Single Lock Records’ rota and based in the Florence, AL area. First up was Speckled Bird. Speckled Bird is comprised of members of Belle Adair, Alabama Shakes, Della Ray, The Prescriptions, and John Paul White’s touring band. What a way to kick off the evening’s festivities! Their sound is very chilled and indie-influenced, which led to a very relaxed and enjoyable first performance of the evening. They are joined on stage by special guest Duquette Johnston for a few numbers. 

Next up was PS, otherwise known as Paul Horton and Shanay Johnson. It’s fair to say that Shanay was very open and honest in both her commentary and lyrics as she explained the deeply personal experiences that inspired her work. Asking the crowd to be gentle with her, she didn’t have to as her voice and lyrics gained her a warm, virtual hug from those in attendance. They were joined on stage by special guest Thad Saajid, who also had the opportunity to perform some of his own material. 

Last up, but certainly not least, was Caleb Elliott. We first came across Caleb at the inaugural Shoals Fest when the second stage played host to Single Lock Records artists. We were impressed by his set then and it was a treat to get to see him perform again. Caleb is a talented and expressive songwriter and seeing him perform live with a full band is the best way to experience his talent. 

Caleb was joined on stage by Wanda, who we first came to know from her performance at Shoals Fest last year. It was great to see them both play together. As Wanda took over guitar duties, it meant that Caleb was able to flex his muscles on a cello. Shanay Johnson from PS also got to add her vocal prowess to one of Caleb’s songs. 

The evening was rounded out by a rendition of John Prines’ “All The Best,” the song which the store was named after. It was a heartwarming way to end the evening. We can’t wait to see what next year’s block party brings. If you’re in the Florence area, be sure to stop by for all your vinyl needs, pick up a little refreshment while you are there, and catch up with Kristy and all of the staff. 

And happy 10th anniversary to Single Lock Records! 

 

This block party was covered as part of our fundraising trip for National Independent Venue Foundation and Musicians On Call. We are traveling across the country and stopping at independently-owned music venues to cover a show and to chat with their owners about the importance of independent music venues within the music industry. Florence was our seventh stop of the trip and we were lucky enough to be able to stop by All The Best on our travels.

You can read more about this fundraising trip here. If you would like to donate to NIVF, you can do so here, and if you would like to donate to Musicians On Call, you can do so here. All proceeds go directly to your chosen organization. 

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About Kirstine Walton 386 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!