Myrtle Beach rocker forms a new outfit with a headlining gig at HOB

For Weekly SurgeAugust 21, 2013 

Consummate front man and larger than life local rock persona, Eric Ness, has been reborn after leaving Power Born Rebellion (PBR), a band he fronted for several years. Ness’ new act, Sinister Blind, came together after he posted want ads on the Musicians’ Classified section of Craigslist earlier this year.

PBR won the regional Hard Rock Rising 2012 battle of the bands, sponsored by Hard Rock Café.

Out of 12,000 bands worldwide vying for the top prize, PBR’s win ranked them 42 internationally.

Despite the band’s success and some high-profile slots at area venues, Ness said it eventually became apparent that it was time for he and the band to “part ways.” The singer/songwriter/guitarist has never been shy about his drive to seek the national spotlight.

He auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” in January and made it though to the second round before returning home to Myrtle Beach.

In Sinister Blind, fans of Ness can expect the same hard-driving rock ‘n’ roll, party attitude, and rebellious approach that made PBR a fun band to watch.

Joining Ness are: Guitarist Stefan Willmert, who was classically trained as a pianist, lived in L.A. and was (insert fun fact here) a regular extra on the TV show “The Wonder Years,” appearing in some 50 episodes. Drummer Dave Pittman, and bassist Darryl Cherry round out the new team.

Sinister Blind will headline Myrtle Beach Rocks on Sept. 5 at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach. In an interesting twist, the band was given Carte blanch to choose the opening acts, something normally reserved for HOB management.

The band hosted a Facebook contest for local bands to show their fan support. The winners were chosen by the number of “likes,” “shares,” and fan comments supporting the act seeking the slot.

Those winning opening acts are: Driven Under, Heart Shaped Rock, and Melodic Mutiny.

Derby Singer Counts Blessings

It was touch-and-go recently for local singer/songwriter Joshua Grant, the mastermind behind Sideways Derby, after he sustained serious head injuries as a result of a bicycle accident on U.S. 17 Business South, near Farrow Parkway.

After spending several days in ICU at the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, in and out of consciousness, and in need of a ventilator (assisted breathing machine), Grant turned the corner, made steady progress and was released last week.

We spoke with Grant briefly by phone and found that his mood and attitude seemed positive. “I am blessed,” he said. “I’m glad to be alive. I know the Lord has a plan for me, now.”

Grant, who is a self-described environmentalist, says he likes to “stay green” and rides his bike as often as possible, sometimes at top speeds.

“I guess I was traveling pretty fast,” he said. “I’ve been riding for 35 years and I book around. My memory is foggy from that day, but I’m certain I was hit by a car. The car stopped but they told the police I went out of control and hit a phone pole. They claim they didn’t hit me.” Grant said that as far as he knows no tickets were issued.

The avid cyclist says he understands bike safety. “I normally wear a helmet. I have no idea why I wasn’t wearing one that day. I sure as hell wish I had been.”

Grant’s mostly original rock ‘n’ roll band, Sideways Derby, has performed in the area periodically since 2000, and he says the band and his “friends and family” are his focus for recovery.

“I’ve got gigs coming up, and I’m going to be ready.”

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