This month we are gonna be talking about the Bluffton music scene and what is missing from it.
I usually like to let things roll around in my head before I decide to write, but this assignment was particularly difficult. Oh, the wrestling I did when I thought of all the years I have been playing music here—something that I never thought possible in small town America. Such rich experiences! From the beginning playing with the local school music program to supporting my family performing with my musical buds, all the people I have met over the years (bar owners/restauranteurs/music lovers/theatre freaks/band directors) have made me who I am today.
I moved to the area in 1983 from Pennsylvania where I was born.
Before moving to Hilton Head Island, my family had also spent several years in the Virgin Islands and I guess this is where I got the music bug.
Fast-forward to the Lowcountry.
After playing saxophone in Pennsylvania, my younger brother Gavan (who is one year behind me in school—not dog—years) and I jumped headfirst into the local music scene, both joining the Hilton Head High Island School Marching Seahawks while still in middle school. So we marched, did the summer band camp thing and started a rock ‘n roll band, White Heat, in 1988, I think. We played at a place called Nick’s Golden Q on Hilton Head and I remember seeing a woman spit in her husband’s face during our first paying job.
Bluffton had live music way before I was around.
I heard Mike Schultz’ name a lot when we came to play at Stolis in 1997. We had just done our second Daly Planet CD with Jeff Franklin and were a little cocky at this point with long hair and a crew of dancing buddies who would come to all our gigs and spend zero dollars.
In ‘99, the year my mom passed away, I went on the road with Lowcountry Boil and learned some interesting lessons on how to spend money and network with strangers, something we had already started working on by meeting people on the beaches during the summer as younger, more muscular, dudes.
Having somewhat established myself on Hilton Head, things took a turn for the better when local hotshot Andy Pitts signed on with Lowcountry Boil in 2001. The band had played a lot previously, but now we started doing tons of shows together with my Dad and little brother Kieran as LCB. Bluffton was growing and our Pepper’s Porch gigs were really something.
We released our second album around 2003 (I think).
“Born in the Lowcountry” was the name of a song Andy and I wrote together and locals really embraced us. That is what I’m getting at.
When asked what was missing from the Bluffton music scene, I had to scratch my head and, yes, some hair fell out. I’m 44 now. I have three kids, one in the same high school where I went.
The people of Bluffton (the Simoneauxes, the Huffmans, Roby, the McGuires, the Weavers, the Threadgills, the Normoyles, the O’Donnells, the Benges, the Meyerinks, the Vauxes, the Hardens, the Giltners, the Hahns, the Renaldis, the Murdogs and the Banks) and the venues (Wild Wing was really something in 2009, Corks, V55 and The Dispensary), this is what the town is NOT missing.
Is there are a hardcore music scene here?
Well…there is music almost every night at The Dispensary and at Woodys. Maybe we don’t have a snobby, hipstery music scene where everyone is playing original music and kids are sneaking in to see their band. But, what we do have is a real honest-to-goodness MUSIC TOWN. With the addition of Josh Cooke’s Roasting Room and kids like Ben Hughey out there gigging all the time, and the addition of Fat Patties, I find it hard to name anything we don’t have here in Bluffton.
Written by Jevon Daly.