You’d think that with Myrtle Beach being the hometown of legendary country band Alabama and having venues such as the Alabama Theater and The Carolina Opry at its disposal, the area would be a hotbed of country talent.
- When | 8 p.m. Friday
- Where | House of Blues, Barefoot Landing, North Myrtle Beach
- How Much | $5
- www.hob.com/myrtlebeach or 272-3000
Yet the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach is doing it’s best to keep country alive — and help a good cause in the process — with its latest installment of the Myrtle Beach Rocks concert series Friday.
The show, which will begin at 8 p.m. will feature four local acts in an effort to raise money for the Junevnile Research Foundation, an international organization who advocates research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. For just $5, country fans will have a chance to take in southern rock-tinged Black Label, the bluesy Jaynie Trudell, the laid-back country soul of The Josh Brannon Band and the acoustic-laden Wahoo Creek Band.
The Wahoo Creek Band — named after a stream behind frontman Tim Thompson’s former home in Atlanta — got started when Thompson went to guitarist Phillip Trammel to help him record some music at Trammel’s home studio in 2008.
From there, the pair hit it off and began performing around town as a duo, before fleshing out into a four piece by the end of 2009. The band’s current lineup is rounded out by Dan Junk, a seasoned instrumentalist who has released multiple albums of solo material and Bates Holman, a well-known drummer and educator with a jazz background.
Though the quartet admits to letting country influence their laid-back acoustic style, they stop just short of calling themselves a full-on country band.
“We’re a little bit of everything,” says Thompson. “It’s really just a product of good music that people like to hear.”
According to Thompson, the band’s original setlist was simply built from requests he and Trammel had gotten while playing as a duo. Since then, the band has built up a repertoire of around 200 covers and currently has 12-13 original tracks in the hopper.
“We’ve been recording for 10 months now,” says Thompson. “We’re actually going to record the live stuff [from Friday’s show] which will be all original and we hope to master that and put it out as our original album.”
In addition to the chance to record, the band also relishes Friday’s show as an opportunity to play on the big stage at House of Blues.
“This will be our first time as a band,” said Trammel. “I’m excited. I’ve never even been in there before.”
A little bit country
Even for those who have been there before — such as veteran Grand Strand Blues player Jaynie Trudell — the allure of playing on a big stage never gets old.
Especially when it means a chance to show off a rarely seen side of your musical repertoire.
“I’ll be doing my country originals that I wrote back when I was in Nashville,” says Trudell. “It’s funny because the House of Blues thought I was just a Blues artist and didn’t realize I wrote country also. They called and asked me ‘Hey Jaynie, do you know anyone just like you that writes country?’”
The New York native says that while she’s been able to make a name for herself playing mostly Blues in 18 years on the Grand Strand, the 9 years she spent as a demo singer in Nashville and the connections she made there have always stuck with her.
One of those connections is a former songwriting partner of Trudell’s, Kimberly Winters, who will make a trip all the way from her home in Dallas, Texas to be part of Friday’s show.
“We’ve stayed in touch all these years and it’s awesome that she’ll be a part of all this,” said Trudell.
Also appearing with Trudell will be Charlie Snuggs, one of the area’s best-known guitarists who plays — among other places — with country singer Jeffrey Allen Edwards.
“Charlie’s going to lay down some tasty honky-tonk lead guitar for me and we’re going to have a good old time,” says Trudell in an overly exaggerated Southern accent which assures she’s ready to turn on the Nashville charm for Friday’s show.