Saturday, September 20th
Old Mill Brew Pub
Chili Cook Off
711 E Main St., Lexington, SC 29072
Phone: (803) 785-2337
Thursday, September 25th
1157 Broad Street, Augusta, GA 30901
Saturday, October 4th
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From the Free Times 5/18/11
From the Free Times 08/18/10
"The idea for this band came by my recent phase of checking out Elvis music,” admits Marty Fort, whose previous credits include the recurring Doors tribute band and hard rock acts such as Entreat and Cosmic Fame.
“I’m a fan of crooners — Sinatra, Morrissey, Elvis; his 1956-era stuff really rocks,”Fort says.
With Fort, a fascination with a musical genre resulted in a conversation with Jay Matheson, whose Jam Room Studio is only one aspect of a local career that’s included stints in Bachelors of Art, Black Sabbath tribute The Void and Hick’ry Hawkins’ band Sidemeat.
"I approached Jay about the idea for a band, he approached Kevin Brewer, and here we are," Fort says.
Where that is, the band has already produced a batch of initial demos that sound like finished product; having a studio owner in the band probably helps in that regard. The Playboys' brand of rockabilly is a jumping, jiving, yet clearly articulated version that invokes everything from classic Carl Perkins to the more polished contemporary bands such as The Stray Cats and Cigar Store Indians.
"We recorded that demo to tape, to preserve a proper vibe," Matheson says. "No computers were used for the recording or mixing, either."
That vibe is one that he says Columbia has needed for a while.
"I’ve always thought that Columbia was in need of some good rockabilly bands," Matheson says. "It’s good party and dance rock ‘n’ roll with a heavy retro twist and some fancy clothes. Now people can get their leather jackets, hot rods and dancing shoes out of the closet and bring them to our shows."
The common thread tying these three musicians together is an unlikely, yet not altogether surprising, oneformer Columbia resident honky-tonker Hick’ry Hawkins, whom all of them have played with at least once. Matheson was an official member of Hawkins’ band for several years, even, and appears on a couple of his albums.
"My time with Hick’ry gave me the opportunity to study old school country and rockabilly bass guitar techniques," Matheson says. "I really like the old walking bass lines that tie in upright bass style to the electric bass, and I’ve been wanting to get back into a country or rock ‘n’ roll project for a while now so when Marty ran the rockabilly idea by me, he already knew that I’d be interested."
Fort’s connection to Hawkins runs right through Matheson, who says he had him fill in on guitar several times. As for Kevin Brewer, it’s a little more tenuous, but Matheson reveals, "Kevin filled in on drums for Hick’ry at a Lettuce Lounge gig once."
Matheson says the new band will definitely be a rockabilly-driven combo, but there is plenty of wiggle room in that designation.
"As far as direction, my main rockabilly reference is Carl Perkins and I listen to a lot of Link Wray as well which I guess is sort of pseudo surf," he says. "We'll be covering a lot of stuff like that as well as putting together a batch of original tunes in the near future. I am also a Cramps fan, so a little glam rock and lo-fi mayhem is always good with me, too."
Whatever they end up playing, the clear winners in any outcome will be local Columbia music fans, who have yet another option for some swinging nightlife and great tunes.