With the peak of the summer tourist season behind us, area musicians and minor music moguls are staying busy with new projects, debut performances, and local indie re-releases on CD, vinyl and cassette, kicking off September with a focus on original music and those who made it – past and present.
Tim Oakes, the ex-pat Brit keyboardist at Alabama Theatre, has formed Bickleigh Bridge, a 9-piece act scheduled to perform its jazz, rock, and fusion originals 10 p.m. Saturday at a CD release party and concert at Pirate’s Cove in North Myrtle Beach. Oakes, from Devon, England, has performed in the U.S. for the better part of his adult life, and at Alabama Theatre for the last 10 years. He’s assembled a who’s who of area talent to record the project and perform the works in Saturday’s debut.
“I grew up in Exeter [Devon, England],” said Oakes, “and when my family moved to the country, when I was around 15, in order to see my friends I crossed Bickleigh Bridge on my bike almost every day. I was once told by a palm-reader on a cruise ship that I was a “late developer,” laughed Oakes, “and my talents would develop later in life. I’ve been working on other people’s projects, and never got around to doing my own stuff. All my family are over in England, so I guess it was the right time to do this – let them know what I’m doing over in the States.”
Oakes has written each of the 10 tracks on “Spirit of the Spaceduck,” which was recorded at Oakes’ N.C. home by Alabama Theatre audio engineer Rob Gainer (The Drag). This was Gainer’s first project in a new branch of his audio recording business he has named “SeaNote to Go.” The project is filled with inspired piano and synth tracks, live percussion, strings, guitars and vocals, performed by a few veterans and a newcomer or two. “I cajoled, and bribed, and asked nicely to get them,” said Oakes, “and they all seemed happy to do it.” Oakes was able to engage the same line-up of talent used in the recording to participate in the live show as well. In addition to Oakes, the band includes bassist Brett Sisson (Painted Man), drummer Steve Kirkman, guitarist Jeff Zona (Alabama Theatre), percussionist Mike Knight, cellist Tamar Ben Pazi and violinist/violist Jennifer Klich both from Long Bay Symphony, and vocalists Natalie Turner and Rodney Williams.
Saturday’s free concert, starting around 10 p.m. will mark the debut of the act whose music is sometimes light and jazzy, sometimes a rock/fusion mix, sometimes dramatic and theatrical, and always inventive and original. CDs will be available for purchase at the show and through www.bickleighbridge.com.
Swamp Rockers No Longer Conflicted
As first reported in Weekly Surge on July 12, members of two local bands; one the hard rock/metal-esque Confliction, the other southern rock act Superswamp Heroes, will perform for the first time in a newly reconfigured Superswamp Heroes at 8 p.m. Saturday at the House of Blues. The act combines S.S.H. originals Josh “Jiggy” Pierce (drums), Martin Graham (bass) and Jeff Mosby (guitar), with the former Confliction principals Rollin Carver (vocals) and Tripp Gaddy (guitar). The act will perform at HOB’s long-running Myrtle Beach Rocks! showcase series along with PBR (Power Born Rebellion) and Wide Open. The all-ages show has a $5 cover unless you can score a free ticket from a featured band member.
Turnip Farm Releases Sqwearl
At a semi-rare upcoming Sqwearl show scheduled for Saturday night in Flo-town (that’s Florence, for you newbies), fans, new and old, will be able for the first time in 20 years, to buy a vinyl re-release of the band’s full length indie hit “eight ball of confusion.” Thanks to the efforts of Chris Smith and his indie lable Turnip Farm Records, a variety of local and regional acts’ biggest hits are (or will be) available for purchase in their original form: vinyl, cassette and CD. Kilgor Trouts Music & More in Myrtle Beach also sells Turnip Farms’ pressings, which include SharkLegs’ “Iron Born” on cassette (coming soon) and CD (in stock), along with Wish Me Monsters self-titled re-release on cassette, and a variety of other releases and re-releases. Smith is hinting at a few high-profile re-releases coming later in the year.
“Brain McKenzie [Sqwearl] and I have been working on this “eight ball” release for like five months,” said Smith. “It sounds so great on vinyl – fans are gonna love this.” Sqwearl will perform with SharkLegs at 9 p.m. Saturday at Out of Bounds Sports Bar & Grill, 507 S. Irby St., Florence.
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