FEEDBACK FILE ‌ Who Did What? 

Fortunately, it's too tangled to say

Who is most responsible for shaping the current local music scene over the last 20 years or so? Hmmmm...

Local writer Devin Grant attempted to answer that broad question in a recent feature in The Post and Courier's weekly Preview. He invited a pretty small circle of "musicians, venue owners and managers, music retailers, band managers, and radio personalities to name three people or groups who have done the most to affect or change the local music scene over the years." One can appreciate the sentiment.

It was a polite smattering of picks — an acknowledgement of some of those who've put major effort into promoting, supporting, and performing in the local music scene. Some of them.

Many of the usual characters were listed, including such bands as Hootie & The Blowfish and Jump, Little Children, various execs and staffers at the Music Farm and 96 Wave, journalists Eddie Hogan and Larry Queen (a former City Paper staffer), blues cat Gary Erwin, a few veteran club managers and booking agents (Bobby Ross of the Windjammer and Tim Kerwick and Sinan Raouf from Cumberland's), and Galen Hudson of the Cat's and Monster shops.

Certainly, Eddie Hogan, longtime publisher and editor of Charleston's Free Time, certainly deserves praise for cranking out a semi-monthly collection of music stories, show listings (in Charleston and beyond), and locally-written editorials (thumbs up for Andy "Smoky" Weiner's running observations; thumbs down for Skye Suarez's ongoing coverage of local bands promoted by her booking agency, Skye's The Limit Entertainment). All classified "musicians" advertisements are still free to musicians.

Whether or not Tom "Noonan" Werner's "Crude Guy Food" recipes, Chuck Shepherd's "News of the Weird," and Phil Perrier's Grizzardian commentary are exclusively for musicians is debatable.

As for the radio celebrities listed, it's a pretty incomplete list. Jerrod Wilkins, of Gold Mountain Ent., describes Dave Rossi of 96 Wave as a "longtime advocate for local and regional bands." That's fine, but what about Sunday evening radio show host Bryant Stowe? For over six years, he's delivered The Cutting Edge, one of the best specialty rock programs in town — and one that regular features interviews and independent music from local bands and songwriters.

And what about the other weekly local music program on rock radio — 98X's Local Noise? It's only been on the air for a year, but it has certainly "affected or changed the local music scene" — or, at least, the heavier rock side of it.

Tanya Brown, of 95SX, lists funky, high-dollar cover band Plane Jane as "one of the many jewels of the Lowcountry." No matter the lineup, Plane Jane has indeed maintained a high level of musicianship and professionalism on stage for years, but so have a stack of other local cover bands who regularly visit the local stages. Velveeta kicked off the campy "genre tribute" approach, followed through by the likes of MacDaddy, Weird Science, Booty Call, TNT, McFly, etc... aren't most of those Jump guys involved in some sort of heavy metal karaoke act these days, too?

Hey, what about the Rev. Dr. Johnny Mac? His current band is the epitome of fiery Southern blues-rock. His previous group, The Jumper Cables, predate current jam bands in the scene by 15 years.

What about David Bethany and the Killer Whales? This "new wave" rock trio helped define the guitar-driven sound of the city in the early '80s. If there had never been a Killer Whales, there... would never have been a Jody Porter (the former Charlestonian guitarist's first high school band, Foreign Aide, was nearly a Whales tribute act) ... if there had never been a Jody Porter, there never would have been a Belltower ... if there had never been a Belltower, there never would have been an Astrojet ... and if there had never been an Astrojet, music writer Larry Queen would have had to reconsider the focus of his music section and Fountains of Wayne might not have employed Porter himself.

And what about ... what about ... (we could go on for pages).


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