Thursday, May 26, 2011

Feature: John Scott

This Month’s Feature: John Scott
By: Scott Bucholtz -
Are You Experienced?
Members of the music community and more specifically, the Lowcountry Blues Club clearly understand the meaning of that question. We have felt it. You could call it enchantment. An extraordinary magic. John Scott is driven by this spirit as well as The Spirit.
John Scott was born in Cambridge, MA on May 29th – a few years back. As a Navy kid, he and his family moved to Charleston in 1965. Within a year, boredom drove him and his younger brother to start a band. John went to Garrett High (his brother was still in middle school), the band was called The Spectros as they all wore glasses (he says they were the school nerds) and played mostly surf, beach and some of the early British music. Today, John is married to Carolyn, his wife of 18 years and they have three children (John John, Sophie & Iris).
After the Spectros, he played bass in a jazz band, The Elegant Truetones fronted by Juin Allen Dequire from New Orleans with Carleen Butler on drums. This lasted maybe a year. He switched back to guitar and hasn’t had a desire to set it down again!
John’s musical inspirations run from Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Les Paul and Chet Atkins to Australian Guitar Wizard Tommy Emmanuel, country acoustic guitarist Doyle Dykes, Walter Carlos, E. Power Biggs and soul singer William Bell. While those first few names are on every guitar enthusiast's list whether they are 16 or 60, you would do yourself a favor by investigating the others. The sources for inspiration are truly limitless.

Harmonica player Gary Wright (who plays with Highway 17) works for one of his company's customers and happened to tell him about the Lowcountry Blues Club about a year and a half ago. Like the rest of us, John couldn’t resist, he went down to A Dough Re Mi and has barely missed a week ever since. Now at Home Team BBQ, he has taken on the responsibility of running sound and ensuring that the ear candy is sweet.
On jam nights, John loves to stick close to the Blues. His favorites are All Along The Watchtower, Black Magic Woman, Little Wing and anything by Stevie Ray Vaughan. But, John is no one trick pony. There have been countless times that John’s playing has garnered worthy attention. His catalog of knowledge is quite impressive. Just when you think we’re launching into something obscure that’s bound to be a train wreck, John will step forward and nail a lead that will bring it all together. When referring to his favorite fellow jammers, he launches into a list of first names just like we were all a big family. Dan, JP, Charlie, English Charlie, Jack, Jerry, Brooks, Al, Greg, Cindy, Skye, myself… he says “everyone who gets up to jam or just listen”. The sentiment is spot-on. It is a big musical family!
After the Spectros and the Elegant Truetones, his list of bands includes Invictas, Carleen and the Groovers, Johnny King and the Electric Icebox, Phoenix and Gunz. Gunz featured Linda Johnson and our very own Captain Kirk on drums. Captain says John “knows every song there is”. The Groovers were the road band for William Bell who co-wrote “Born Under A Bad Sign”. Carleen Butler was the drummer, her brother Clary played trumpet. Clary had played with Wilson Pickett and Etta James! Note: William Bell’s “Every Day Will Be A Holiday” is the only cover song on Warren Haynes’ incredible new solo CD (Man In Motion). The Groovers cut four records in Columbia at Music World Studios around 1969-70. "Hot Pants”, “Right On”, “The Thing”, “Can We Rap”. Not too long ago John discovered that these songs are still in circulation around the world (buy the vinyl). He had been told that the masters had been destroyed. Thanks to the Web, you can look up reviews of these hits. John’s favorite refers to him as a “Hendrix influenced guitarist who drove a hearse to gigs”. His legacy lives!

Certainly, being William Bell's band director and guitarist was a career highlight. Another was the fact that he had the opportunity to play with the original Memphis Horns. If you get a chance, ask him about that. It’s a classic tale from the road! Also, I was fascinated to find that he actually worked as the director for the Grammy Awards Orchestra back around 1980. That’s not something most of us would be able to include on a resume!

Since 1994, John has been playing in the praise and worship band at Antioch Christian Fellowship in Summerville. He hopes to continue as he says that “The Lord called me”. He also enjoys the “fellowship and experience gained from playing with other Professional and youthful musicians both secular as well as spirit filled players”. He adds, “I thoroughly enjoy and support the Lowcountry Blues Club jams and shows”. There may come a time when he’ll put some thought into getting into another band but he’ll see where the spirit leads him. That’s a journey to Enlightenment!

“Trumpets and violins I can hear in the distance
I think they're calling our names
Maybe now you can't hear them, but you will
If you just take hold of my hand”

Are YOU Experienced?

As always, this weekend looks to be a buffet of sweet treats. It opens Thursday night with J.R. Getches & Allyson Taylor @ Bambu. Friday you can see Skye Paige & The Original Recipe @ Home Team BBQ (West Ashley) or Gaslight Street @ the Brick House Kitchen. Starling (w/ Captain Kirk) will be at Skynyrd’s in St. George on Friday and Saturday @ Geno’s in Goose Creek. Once again, hit the Vendue Rooftop @ 6 to kick off your weekend downtown. Look for YoungMi and Old You Friday @ 6 and The Louie D Project on the Vendue Rooftop Saturday @ 6. Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk can be experienced Saturday & Sunday at the Pour House and the Rev. Dr. Johnny Mac & The Booty Ranch hits Home Team BBQ (Sullivan’s Island) Saturday. I am thrilled to be playing Friday night with The Jonathan Robinson Trio on the patio at Outback Steakhouse in West Ashley and then I’ll be with The Mason Dixon Band Saturday night at Mueller’s Pub in West Ashley.


Thanks to everyone who came out to last night's jam! We missed Dan Wright, who was in Chicago, but Billy Gadol did a fabulous job filling in, and it was a stellar night with some great, great sets...

And thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put on the show at Awendaw Sound last Saturday -- those who came had a really good time. And thanks to all the volunteers, the sound guys, and the artists who played it: The Jonathan Robinson Trio (w/ special guest Austin Bucholtz), The Wyatt Garey Band, Johnny Mac & the BootyRanch, Port City Prophets, The Big Guy Blues Review, Billy G and the Lowcountry Blues Club AllStars, including Miss Skye Paige... What a show!

Don't forget that Piccolo Spoleto has LOTS of blues events (some were detailed in last week's blog), so check out all the news at, for May 27-June 10. There's the Early Bird Blues Series at Mad River, the Blues Cruises, and Blues on the Dock. Get out there and have some fun!



Check your favorite local paper for all the shows happening this weekend, and join the facebook site "Charleston Live Music" for highlights...

Don't miss our next jam: Wednesday night at Home Team BBQ/ West Ashley -- sooo much fun!!

June's featured artists are Howlin' Wolf (1910), and Scott Holt (1966), both born in June.

Join us on facebook (Lowcountry Blues Club) and twitter, and check out some of our recordings from the Wednesday jams at

It's time to pay your dues for 2011 if you haven't already done so. Just come out to a jam, and give us $10 for an individual, $25 for a band or family, or $100 for a corporate membership. Or you can mail dues to The Lowcountry Blues Club, P.O. Box 814, Isle of Palms, SC 29451.

LMW, May 26, 2011

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