Salti Ray & 50 Years of Upstate at RJ Rockers

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By Andrew Becker
The Carolinian

Upstate faculty and friends gathered to celebrate Upstate’s 50th anniversary at the RJ Rocker’s Brewery in downtown Spartanburg, Monday, Oct. 9.

RJ Rockers commemorated the event with a specially-brewed beer and a special performance by Upstate’s Salti Ray. Like minstrels and troubadours in taverns of old, Mary Emma Norris and Noelle Taylor, accompanied by the talented Dalton Guest and Tripp Hammett on bass and drums, guided the night’s bacchanalia: Noelle’s comfortable southern groove met Mary’s warm, sultry voice, and things got more than a little livelier. An excellent song to pair with a new beer, their cover of Lake Street Drive’s “You Go Down Smooth” proved moving and enlivened the festive crowd.

As lines for the food and bar grew longer, I found myself in defense of a barstool — head-aching from four long classes, traffic, a math quiz, and impending deadlines — with a wallet far too light for drinking (and did I mention it was Monday?). I truly didn’t want to be there, but the only thing that gave me comfort throughout night was the music of Salti Ray.

Mary told me some of the original songs they played were “N.C. Sunshine” and “Be My Lady,” as well as another cover of Father John Misty’s “Real Love Baby.”

Be sure to check out Salti Ray on Facebook at, or at where you can get information about the band, shows, merchandise, listen to their music, or contact the band if you’re interested in booking. They’ll be playing shows throughout October, such as a free show this Saturday, Oct. 14, at Hub City Farmers Market, and a backyard music bash on Oct. 21, in John’s Island. There will also be another show at Hub City Farmers Market on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Come out and support some of Upstate’s greatest talents this Fall with Salti Ray.


Gallery by Brandon Pack