Sea Ray-sponsored AquaPalooza music festival pilots into fifth year with trio of bands on the Wando River

A platform was set up for one of the bands at a past AquaPalooza, which has been sponsored yearly by Sea Ray Scout of Charleston (Photo provided).

By JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Look for three jammin’ bands and hundreds of scantilyclad spectators in dozens of motor boats anchored off Daniel Island pier July 28.

Could it be anything but AquaPalooza 2012? The waterborne concert presented by Sea Ray Scout of Charleston was first held in 2008 and has taken place every year since then.

Next week’s festivities will be noon to 5 p.m. at the island’s boat ramp on the Wando River.

Here’s how Sea Ray pitches the upcoming event. “It’s almost time for the party of the year! There will be live music and many, many boats.”

Performing will be The Blue Dogs, The Marc Collins Band and Two 3 Ways.

Now 25 years old, Charleston-based The Blue Dogs are what one reviewer called “roots rockers” whose music is played on X-country stations on satellite radio, according to its website.

The band has performed on the same stage with such artists as Willie Nelson, Widespread Panic, Bruce Hornsby and Little Feat, its website notes.

The group received national exposure by singing the national anthem at the final Southern 500 NASCAR race in Darlington in 2004, and three years later performed as the house band on a week’s worth of Wheel of Fortune shows.

In his bio online, Marc Collins describes himself as “a hard rocking, tradition-rooted singer/songwriter. Sometimes confessional; other times character and story teller. A purveyor of visceral punch, erudite lyrics, fluid guitar and melody.”

He grew up in a small South Carolina town, studied at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, then returned to his home state and set up a studio in Charleston. For a long stretch, he was a lead performer at the Carolina Opry in Myrtle Beach. The band is based in Mount Pleasant.

Charleston’s Two 3 Ways is a cover band that’s big at weddings and formal functions in the Lowcountry.

On its website, the group said it “was born with the intent to fulfill the wants of a wide range of listeners. Covers range from the Dave Matthews Band to Johnny Cash to Motown’s Marvin Gaye.

“With (band members) Bryan, Brandon and Ben’s tastes varying they accumulate a mixing bowl of ingredients to satisfy any listener.” The group said it has played all over the Charleston nightlife circuit.

AquaPalooza is actually a national series of festivals put on by Sea Ray boatmaker and its dealers across the country. For instance, AquaPalooza will be held 4-8 p.m. on the same date in Thunderbolt, Ga., at the Savannah Bend Marina, featuring a band and a cookout.

For more information on the Charleston 2012 AquaPalooza, visit www.searayofcharleston.com or call Deni at 843-747-1889.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.