One might be surprised by the fact that, out of the hundreds of musicians, singers, and songwriters in Charleston’s busy music scene, many have military backgrounds. Of these, most served their country years ago. Some still serve. The military connections provide a unique dynamic within an already diverse musical community.

The 2010 Music Issue shines the light on some of these talented individuals. Playing music on the side allows them to be expressive and to blow off steam.

Troy Miller recently retired from the Coast Guard. Singer and former Marine Doug Marshall tours with Souls Harbor. Lyndsey Goodman is a glamorous jazz/blues vocalist on stage and an Air Force pilot by day. Drummer Paul Walls recovered from combat injuries while in the Army. Bassist and former Marine Aaron Hayden blasts riffs in Masticated. Former Marine Tommy Byrne splits his time between working with Serco and gigging with the Average Savage.

The stories here reflect diversity, positivity, and a sense of service and dedication. To those military musicians about to rock, City Paper’s Music Issue salutes you. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar
Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar A veteran's perspective on life in the music business

From the moment I saw my first rock 'n' roll show at a sixth grade sock hop, I wanted to play guitar professionally in a band. Nothing else has ever made as much sense to me. Little rock 'n' roll seeds are planted like this around the world every day. And every once in a while, one of these seeds will take root and sprout, and the world will have yet another one out there rocking proper and inspiring a new batch of seedlings. — Doug Walters

Press Kit 101: How to do it ... and how not to do it
Press Kit 101: How to do it ... and how not to do it An insider reveals the way

For many aspiring musicians, the greatest challenge of forming a band and rolling into the scene doesn't involve writing, rehearsal, or collaboration. Putting a song list together with the right combination of players, coming up with a decent band name, tightening up, or polishing a solo set comes easy to most musicians. — T. Ballard Lesemann

How not to annoy the audio engineer in charge of your show
How not to annoy the audio engineer in charge of your show Sound Check Etiquette

Doing sound at a live music venue is one of the most vital and thankless roles in the local music scene. The production work behind-the-scenes at local clubs and concert halls can be a sweaty, gruelling, eardrum-splitting task. The best production engineers — or as they call them, "front-of-house" sound guys — know as much about dealing with musicians' moods, personalities, and various levels of professionalism as they know about the mechanical side of things. — T. Ballard Lesemann

The behind-the-scenes scenes at some of Charleston's busiest recording studios
The behind-the-scenes scenes at some of Charleston's busiest recording studios Sound Advice: Recording on the Cheap

As this year's music issue theme is "the keys to success," the City Paper compiled "sound advice" (ha!) from some of the busiest and most dedicated audio engineers and producers in town. We got strong advice from longtime locals and up-and-coming acts aiming for high-budget studio quality from a low-dough budget. — T. Ballard Lesemann

The essential playlists for any cover band
The essential playlists for any cover band Keep 'em covered

Top Rock Anthems, How to Keep a Dance Floor Filled, Blues Tunes for the jammin' cats, Make 'em Shag To Everything, Classic Hip-Hop for Rock Bands, The Critic's Critical Indie List —

Suggestions for the photo shoot
Suggestions for the photo shoot The Photographer's Five

Whether you are a hip new band photographer, or a musician putting together your MySpace page, here are some photo faux pas to avoid. — Kaitlyn Iserman

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