Doggone music | News | The Press and Standard

by | January 5, 2017 5:00 pm

Last Updated: January 4, 2017 at 11:23 am

Scott Brennan and his friends do it for the love. For the love of music and friendship, both the two- and four-legged kind.
Brennan and friends are Going to the Dogs. “We play for free,” Brennan said. “Our mission is to do it for charity, to play for non-profits.”
When they looked around for a charity to adopt, they chose Friends of Colleton County Animal Shelter.
FoCCAS was a natural fit for the band, as three of the band members from Cottageville have dogs rescued from the Colleton County Animal Shelter. “We get to do our good deed and play music,” Brennan explained.
This year, Brennan said, the band raised $7,000 for FoCCAS.
“They are fabulous,” says FoCCAS President Sarah Miller. Their donations “help us in our many goals,” she added.
Going to the Dogs performs at almost every FoCCAS event; the next one will be the annual Paws at the Plantation fundraiser in early March.
They perform for other charities and perform at fundraisers for individuals who face coping with medical bills. If they get a paying gig, their money all goes to FoCCAS. Any sales of the band’s t-shirts and other band merchandise all go to FoCCAS. (Walterboro’s Consignment Envy store on Bells Highway sells all the band’s merchandise.)
Going To the Dogs Band was formed two years ago when Scott Brennan and another Cottageville resident, who assumes the stage name JD when performing, decided to merge their musical talents.
Next, Buddy Rossi, another Cottageville resident, added his talents to the project.
The three other band members reside in the Charleston area. Tom Flynn signed on with the band, adding his blues harp and then learned to play the ukulele from Brennan. Flynn already played guitar, but Brennan said the band did not need another guitar player, so the uke was added to the mix.
Brennan said the band needed percussion and took to Craig’s List seeking a drummer and found Thomas Parker. About a month ago, Parker’s son-in-law, Bill Whitacre, brought his guitar to the group.
Brennan plays guitar, banjo, bass and sings, while JD plays guitar and sings.
Rossi plays guitar and learned to play bass to round out the sound in the early days of the band. After adding Flynn and his ukulele, they decided that another guitar wouldn’t hurt.
The band members are all friends — if they were not playing together, they would likely be hanging out together anyhow. The practices, Brennan said, are a social occasion. A building on Brennan’s farm is dedicated to the band’s practices.
Asked to put a label on Going to the Dogs music, Brennan said they offer “hybrid bluegrass — we play bluegrass but are not bluegrass musicians.”
Further pondering the question, Brennan then described their music as “South Carolina sound. We’re regular rock musicians with a sound of our own. A little different.”
With a set that can include everything from “Rocky Top” to “Black Magic Woman,” from “Wagon Wheel” to “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” calling their music a little different is probably an understatement.
2017 will find them playing at the Cottageville tractor parade and Smoke in the Boro. There is also a possibility that Going to the Dogs will put in an appearance at the Colleton County Rice Festival.
The band, Brennan said, is constantly evolving. Currently they are work on adding more blues songs to their repertoire.
“We are always looking for good musicians that we can add to the band,” Brennan said. “No pay, but a lot of fun.”

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