“It’s this place where there’s a vibrant scene with a lot of talented artists, a lot of venues where you can hear music, good radio, good press, but no industry infrastructure,” Bryan said. “You can tell that there’s enough talent here for something to bubble up on a national level, but we haven’t built the infrastructure that Nashville or Austin or Athens has.”
That’s what Bryan says he tries to do though his Chucktown Music Group, as well as via a program he helped found at the College of Charleston. Since 2009, Bryan has been teaching a course to help students learn about all facets of the music industry, from booking to publicity and songwriting. Two years ago, he also helped kick start a music industry concentration, giving students the chance to specialize as part of their studies.
“We are helping kids get an education and, in turn, jobs in the music industry all over the country,” Bryan said. “If you’re not an artist or a musician, there’s still a lot you can do in the music industry.”
Image: Members of the band Hootie & The Blowfish, from left, Darius Rucker, Dean Felber, Jim “Soni” Sonfeld, and Mark Bryan, arrive for the unveiling of a permanent piece of public art in honor of the band’s 25th anniversary on Oct. 21, 2010, in Columbia. Bryan is putting on a show to showcase some of the state’s musical talent, alongside celebrated national music acts. On Friday, Bryan’s show “Live at the Charleston Music Hall” kicks off its nationally-televised run with performances by Edwin McCain and Sam Bush.