Howard County still needs a local music blog. I normally get frustrated when people say we need a certain brand of blog ("Your fingers broken?"), but the music blog genre comes with a work-load that needs to be steeped in passion. You need to listen to a lot of garbage before you find the next great garage band.
In the absence of such an advocate, a casual observer may lament the absence of a music scene in Howard County and say something like "You need to go to Baltimore or DC for anything good." Sure, there's Merriweather, but the United States' premiere outdoor venue has out-grown local bands, and certainly is not a reliable source for finding out what the community is listening to.
Recently, I've listened to three local performers that deserve your attention. Not all of them are Howard County local, but all play in our County. This is far from an exhaustive list of what you should be checking out because, as you might imagine, I'm not spending much time listening to music and my experience is limited. But our collective experience should not be, so feel free to name a few additional bands (including future show dates) in the comments:
Dropping Sully - This Ellicott City/Catonsville band is really really good. I first heard them play back in September at the Diamondback, but they have played in venues large and small across the state. As an added bonus, guitarist Andy Hall is the President of the Ellicott City Historic District Partnership and a dedicated community leader.
Damon Foreman - If you live in Howard County and you have heard of or met Damon Foreman, that's on you. Damon plays everything from Wine in the Woods to nonprofit fundraisers to Black Ankle Vineyards. He also teaches music in Glenwood. In many ways, Damon is the Howard County music scene and we are all very fortunate for that.
Scott Paynter/Jah Works - The Music at the Museum series continued to impress me with another great performance by Scott Paynter this past Saturday. Scott plays reggae. If you think you don't like reggae, you haven't listened to Scott. There is something about this music that is both invigorating and relaxing. When listening Saturday night, I thought to myself "this is exactly what I needed." The next time Scott plays in Howard County, I hope you make it out.
I understand that I am more likely to prove ignorance by attempting to offer substance on this matter, but music helps define a place, spur a nightlife, and foster community. We should celebrate our musicians and what they offer. Again, I would encourage all of you to post comments of additional offerings around town. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, just a few bands I wanted to share.
Have a great Monday, on a holiday shortened week, doing what you love!