The music business these days seems to change almost minute by minute, and for a band that is serious about getting its sound out to the masses, that can often make it difficult to navigate the rambling path that leads to mainstream success.
The latest Lowcountry act to attempt to take its next big step is Crowfield, which in a relatively short time, has become one of the area's biggest buzz bands.
Fronted by former college chums Tyler Mechem and Joe Giant, this roots rock band has wowed audiences throughout the Southeast. If you attended the Darius Rucker show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center in December, then you hopefully got to see Crowfield kick off the show with a scorching set that had the crowd on their feet by its conclusion.
Songs from Crowfield's debut CD, "Goodbye, Goodnight, So Long Midwestern," have been getting spins on local radio stations WCOO and WEZL, and next month, the band will have a chance to have their work heard by some very influential people at a special event in California. More on that later.
Those who haven't yet had a chance to catch Crowfield live will get their chance Saturday night at the Pour House on James Island.
Billed as "Crowfield with Nick Pagliari and Special Guests," the gig also promises something a bit different from previous performances, so even fans who have caught a live Crowfield show in the past might want to pencil in the date.
The band wouldn't elaborate on what the surprises are that await fans or who the special guests might be, but they promise a very special show.
After Saturday night's show, the band will start preparing for Feb. 12, when Crowfield will get the chance to perform the Sunset Sessions, an annual music industry event that will put the band in front of radio station program directors, television and film music supervisors and record company executives, all of whom are looking for the next big thing.
Past performers at the Sunset Sessions have included Jack Johnson, James Blunt, Joss Stone, Jason Mraz, Jewel, Ryan Adams, The Jayhawks, and Edwin McCain.
Crowfield lead singer Tyler Mechem credits WCOO (The Bridge at 105.5FM) Program Director Mike Allen and Assistant Program Director Joel Frank with getting the band a slot in the prestigious showcase.
"We can't thank them enough," says Mechem, "They are 100 percent responsible for anything that happens as a result of our playing there. They put in a good word for us and sent the organizers our CD."
WCOO's Frank directs the credit right back at the band, saying, "We didn't pick the band. Crowfield's music championed them to be selected to attend. Most of the slots to play Sunset Sessions are taken up by artists with major label backing and there are very few open slots. If the organizers didn't feel the music and the band was worthy, they wouldn't be participating. Crowfield's music is responsible."
So how does Mechem feel about performing in front of just about every influential ear in the entertainment business?
"It's intimidating," says Mechem, but then he quickly adds, "But I like going in like that."
Frank says that a big part of Crowfield's success so far is that they appeal to more than one type of listener.
"The great thing about Crowfield is that on a mainstream commercial radio station, I don't have to worry about the average listener that enjoys "hit music" being turned off by them," he says, adding, "Songs like 'Hayride,' 'Love is Hell on The Lonely,' and my personal favorite 'Give' can be played on mainstream radio and satisfy every listeners palate."
As for why Crowfield was selected for the Sunset Sessions, Frank says, "Mike Allen and I were talking about the rejuvenation of the Charleston Music Scene and how frustrating it is having so much good music that will never break through to the mainstream for a variety of different reasons. We didn't want to see Crowfield be one of these bands."
Only time will tell if the Sunset Sessions bring further success for Crowfield, but don't be surprised if in the near future you hear a song by the band in a film trailer or on a TV show, or see the band signed to a major label. There are more than a few fans in the Lowcountry who are keeping their fingers crossed for Crowfield.