Growing up, many people have the fantasy of becoming a rock star – learning an instrument, practicing for hours upon end in their parents’ basement, and maybe even playing a gig at a local venue. In 1988, Mark Bryan, with his band, the Norms, got the opportunity to play at the Montgomery Village Lawn Theatre (now known as the Bowie Music Pavilion), Bryan recently told the Frederick News Post.
This gig was during a summer break from school at the University of South Carolina, where Bryan played guitar, performing cover songs with a then unknown vocalist named Darius Rucker.
The duo would eventually hook up with bassist Dean Felber (who Bryan played with in a high school band) and drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, and name themselves “Hootie and the Blowfish,” a name formed from the combination of the nicknames of two college friends, according to the band’s official website.
After gaining a following playing gigs up and down the East Coast, Atlantic records took notice, and released Cracked Rear View in 1994, an album including hits “Let Her Cry,” “Hold my Hand” and “Only Wanna be With You.”
Twenty four years after that first gig in Montgomery Village and countless tours with Hootie and the Blowfish, Bryan is returning to the town he grew up in, and will play the Bowie Music Pavilion as Mark Bryan and the Screaming Trojans on Friday, August 3, from 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Bryan told the News Post that the name was inspired by the mascots of two local high schools, the Gaithersburg Trojans and Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles. All band members, Bryan, Ricky Slezak, Steve Lipton, Scott Tucker and Kevin Heister attended one of the two schools.
Tickets for the show are free, and more information is available at www.montgomeryvillage.com.