Entrepreneurs are everywhere along the Grand Strand. The pair behind Dirty Karma, a national clothing brand based in Myrtle Beach, started when two lifeguards, pals Ryan Harris and Jason Denton, apparently got tired of renting umbrellas and beach chairs and developed a full line of denim clothing, shirts and hats. In the marketing of their goods, music has played a prominent role since Day One, some six years ago. More recently the company’s Sounds by the Sea Concert Series has helped increase brand awareness with the help of a little rock ‘n’ roll. Held at Bourbon Street Bar & Grill in Myrtle Beach the last Wednesday of each month, the series began in January and will continue through December, perhaps longer.
“We’ve always been involved with cool bands,” said Harris, co-owner of Dirty Karma. “We sponsor a lot of bands, give them swag bags and clothes to wear in concert, and like to affiliate with great music. It fits our demographic. So this concert series at Bourbon Street was a natural.” Harris and his partner Denton were lifeguards in Myrtle Beach for some 14 years before launching the enterprise.
The concert series features mostly indie bands on the rise, and Jay McAllister, co-owner of Bourbon Street, handles most of the booking. When possible, McAllister books acts touring the Southeast, some of which are already in the Dirty Karma family. “If [Bourbon Street] books a band we aren’t working with on the front end, by the time they finish their show, we are,” said Harris.
Gary Alexander, front man for classic country act The Winchesters, has been Operations Manager for Dirty Karma since December and he came to the table with a fair amount of promotional experience. “I did a lot of this type of work in Las Vegas,” said Alexander. “I worked with Throwdown, a clothing brand, so I have a background in promoting lifestyle brands. I’d like to take credit for the concert series, but that was Ryan’s idea. We have hopes to grow it into something much larger.”
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Each show begins with a free pour from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m., and the band (or bands) begin at 10 p.m. A $5 cover is charged for the Wednesday evening events. The next act up in the series, scheduled for April 30, is Dangermuffin, from Charleston. Other acts featured in past or future events include: Simplified, Ballyhoo, Lovebettie, Radical Something, and local boys Julio and the Saltines. May 28’s show will feature Three Legged Fox.
“We want Bourbon Street to be the coolest place to hang out on a Wednesday night,” said Harris.
The 12th Annual Rickfest, a fundraiser in honor of the late, and always smiling former Biminis Oyster Bar owner Rick Duff, who died in 2002, is slated for 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, reuniting old friends. The popular seafood restaurant is located at 940 Lake Arrowhead Road in Myrtle Beach. An afternoon and evening of live music, a pig roast, silent auctions and more will benefit Look Good Feel Better, an organization that donates wigs and cosmetics to women undergoing cancer treatments.
Donating their time for the event, the musical acts on the bill are: Who Shot J.R.? (Jonathon Roberts), John Swank, Maddie Hunt, and Jay Kennedy. Admission is free to the family-friendly affair.
Jill Fieldman, event organizer, says, “We loved Rick so much and miss him. It’s great to carry on in his name for such a worthy cause.”