April 2015


Author: Frank Dunne, Jr. | Photographer: Mark Staff Photography


When CH2 magazine throws a party, you can be darned sure it’s not going to be wine and cheese, and somebody’s going to turn up a winner. Well guess what? We’re throwing a party and it’s not wine and cheese, it’s rock ’n’ roll, and the winners will be everybody who attends, Island Rec Center, and local musicians working hard for that big break. The party is “CH2 Rocks the Triangle,” and it’s coming Friday, May 8 to Reilley’s Plaza, aka “The Triangle.” We’re billing it as, “6 Different Bands. 1 Wild Night” and, considering our track record for such things, you can be sure we’ll deliver on that promise. At stake for the evening’s performers is a professionally produced demo CD and release party at the Tiki Hut this summer (another party!), plus a CH2 cover story and $2,000 cash. All you party people get to decide who wins the big prize.

Our own Kaity Robinson sums it up like this: “The music scene is heavy here, and we figured it would be a good way to raise money for the Island Rec Center if we partnered with Swampfire Records to showcase our local talent. That’s basically how CH2 Rocks the Triangle came to be.” Oh, by the way, there’s one more winner we forgot to mention. We’re having a costume contest too. Come to CH2 Rocks the Triangle disguised as your favorite rock star for a chance to win cash prizes and a red carpet photo op.

Jos Vicars and Jevon Daly (of the wickedly talented band members that make up Unicorn Meat) record an original song for CH2 Rocks the Triangle contest with John Cranford at Swampfire Records.

We’ve always been big supporters of local musicians at CH2, and we do feature stories as often as we can. We’d love to be able to feature every one of them, but there just aren’t enough pages. So we asked Thomas Reilley at The Boardroom, one of the more active music venues on the island, to help us put something together to give some of those other bands a little exposure that they might not get otherwise.

“Our music scene is unique,” Reilley said. “Musicians here are never competing with each other; they’re always supporting each other. So why don’t we work together to throw a big party? Sure, you can vote for your favorite, but it’s not like a battle of the bands or anything like that. It’s a great live music night where everybody’s in it for the Rec Center cause.”

The party on May 8 is just the tip of the iceberg. For the past couple of months, our partner in crime, Swampfire Records, has been gathering original recordings from local bands and solo performers for a preliminary round of competition. Swampfire also provided production assistance to those in need. “Anybody who didn’t have anything recorded was welcome to come in and use the space,” said Swampfire’s John Cranford, who as a member of the band Cranford Hollow has obvious interest in a thriving music scene.

“Swampfire isn’t as much a record label as it is a co-op of musicians trying to get exposure and help the music scene flourish a little bit more.”

Anyway, this is where you come in. The songs are all posted on CH2’s website (CelebrateHiltonHead.com) where you can play, listen to, and vote for your favorite. We’ll tally up the number of plays, and the top six artists will earn a spot in the final round at CH2 Rocks the Triangle. Voting ends April 15 (now you have two reasons to save the date), so don’t let your favorite local players down. Get online and vote early and often.

For the final round at CH2 Rocks the Triangle, we’ll assign one act each to the six venues in Reilley’s Plaza: The Boardroom, Jump & Phil’s, Reilley’s Grill & Bar, One Hot Mama’s, The Lodge, and Hilton Head Brewing Co. They’ll play 90-minute sets, beginning at 7:30 p.m., and we’ll stagger the start times so you costume-clad partygoers get a chance to hear them all. Then, for a $5 donation to Island Rec Center, you get to vote for the winner. The first 500 voters will receive a CD with all of the original songs from the competition. “It’s another cool thing for the musicians because they get their music pressed,” Cranford said.

CH2 Rocks the Triangle is already shaping up like a who’s who of the Hilton Head Island music scene. Expect a lot of familiar names and a few fresh faces as well: Jevon Daly, Jos Vicars, La Bodega, Taylor Kent to name a few. Who knows how big it will be by the time you’re reading this, and it could get very interesting.

Daly is submitting songs by Unicorn Meat (with Vicars), Silicone Sister, and Lowcountry Boil, which is great for us because we get to hear some new material from all those guys. “And I wrote a song that my wife is singing,” he added. We’ll be very interested to see Daly try to be in three or four places at once if they all advance to the final round.

Kent is riding the momentum of her first CD, released last fall, into CH2 Rocks the Triangle and is using the opportunity to spread her wings. “I think it’s a great thing that Swampfire and CH2 are doing,” she said. “It seems like a great opportunity for all of us.” She added that her song submission is somewhat a departure from what you hear on her self-titled release. “It’s a little more funky, a little more pop sounding than what I usually do.”

Which brings up the point that, yes, we’re calling it Rock the Triangle, but that doesn’t mean all you’re going to hear is screaming guitar rock. For example, La Bodega will throw in their “recipe” of funk, soul, reggae, and blues.

Guitarist Todd Toho thinks CH2 Rocks the Triangle is a reflection of the overall nature of Hilton Head’s music community: venues supporting musicians and musicians supporting each other. “You can make a living doing this here,” he said. “I think this is an awesome thing, and I like that they’re pushing original music.”

Swampfire’s Cranford believes that is the real reward—a wave of new original material from our local scene that will flow out of CH2 Rocks the Triangle. “We’ve got a lot of great cover bands here, and I hope this will make some of them say ‘Hey, this is an opportunity to show ’em some of our own stuff,’” he said. “I want to see them push themselves as artists.” 

Who: CH2, Swampfire Records, You and all your favorite local bands
What: CH2 Rocks the Triangle, 6 Different Bands/1 Wild Night
When: Friday, May 8, 2014, 7:30-11:30 p.m.
Where: Reilley’s Plaza (The Triangle), 4 Greenwood Drive, Hilton Head Island (Just off the Sea Pines Circle)
Why: To benefit Island Rec Center

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