Homegrown Concert, Rockin' on the Point, David Lee, Vinyl rebounds, Taras Kovayl 



On Fri. Aug. 15, S.C. pop-rock vets Hootie & The Blowfish — guitarist Mark Bryan, drummer Jim "Soni" Sonefeld, lead singer-guitarist Darius Rucker, and bassist Dean Felber — head back to Daniel Island for the sixth annual Homegrown Concert at the Family Circle Stadium (161 Seven Farms Drive, 843-849-5300). It's a regular feature for the Hootie & The Blowfish Foundation, a private nonprofit organization that regularly donates money toward music programs at S.C. schools. "For several years now, we've tried to help where we can with education in the state," says Bryan. "I think we've been able to raise more awareness with this Homegrown Concert Series." Tickets are available through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com) for $38 and $25. Visit www.familycirclecup.com and www.hootie.com for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann


Weekly music series Rockin' on the Point concludes on Fri. Aug. 8 at the Charleston Harbor Resort (20 Patriots Point Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant) with live sets of ska-rock from popular local band SKWZBXX, featuring singer Rik Cribb, drummer Jack Burg, trombonist/singer Steve Spaulding, trumpeter/vocalist Charlton Singleton, bassist Jonathan Holt, and guitarist/vocalist Brad MacLean (see City Pick on p. 31). Music starts at 6 p.m. See www.myspace.com/skwzbxxsqueezebox and www.charlestonharborresort.com for more. —TBL


In June, Nashville rock troupe Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers parted ways with their longtime lead guitarist David Lee, a native Charlestonian who started playing guitar as an East Cooper teen in the mid-'80s. On the way to their Village Tavern show, the band announced that Lee had stepped aside amicably to pursue his serious hobby of cycling and to explore new musical projects (Duane Denison, of Chicago rock band The Jesus Lizard, replaced him). Lee spent years on the road with the Shakers, touring North America and Europe behind a series of albums on Yep Roc Records. "After all the relentless touring with the Shakers, I decided it was time to back off for a while," says Lee. "They had an opportunity to play with Duane, who's great, so it worked out well." After a very brief break, he got back on the road two weeks ago with a new band called David Lee & His Mercenaries. Atlanta-based upright bassist Bruno Esposito (ex-The Van Ordsels) and local timekeeper Tommy Hamer (of The Fires Apes, The Hed Shop Boys) sat in for a quick jaunt up to New York and back. "I met Bruno a while back in Miami, and we'd always talked about doing music together," Lee says. Gretsch was planning an in-store show in New York in late July for the recently issued G6136DL David Lee Limited Edition model guitar — a large-sized, white-bodied six-string with oversized f-holes. "I decided to put a trio together to travel up there," Lee says. "It was kind of last-minute, so I just put a bug in the ears of a few clubs I knew and hunkered down." He recently returned to Charleston and plans to book a local show in August. Check www.myspace.com/hismercenaries for more. —TBL


It is the era of digital technology with HDTV, cameras, and digital music files. According to Variety, both physical and digital album sales have decreased 11 percent in the past year. Compact disc sales continue to decrease as the weeks pass by, perhaps due to the fact that music superstores such as Best Buy and Target have reduced shelf space — or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, digital is generally the way to go these days, which comes as no surprise since digital unit sales increased at a steady pace in recent years. The most popular track to date is Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love," which has been downloaded 2.6 million times. As far as albums are concerned, Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III sold 1.5 million copies, which is the most of any other album all year. Ironically, vinyl albums have become more popular with sales increasing by 349,000 since 2007. —Caitlin Baker


Sad news: Last week, we heard about the passing of longtime Charleston pianist, musical arranger, and composer Taras Kovayl, who'd been battling cancer for several years. He died on July 18. Kovayl was best known in the local jazz scene for his work with the Latin-jazz combo Brazil, his annual showcase events and stage shows, and his work with various top-notch jazz and R&B musicians and groups. Local music critic Jack McCray, of the Jazz Artists of Charleston, penned a moving memorial piece in a recent issue of The Post and Courier (July 27). "What Taras did is part and parcel of the values-laden jazz tradition," McCray wrote. "Before there was such a term as 'tough love,' older jazz musicians would teach, inspire and encourage younger ones, many times by busting their chops, getting in their faces to teach a lesson, often times appearing to diminish their worth as human beings along the way. We're all going to miss Taras, especially the jazz family." —TBL


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