Mckinley Devilbliss and his bandmates are celebrating the release of their first album — in a big way.
Incredibly Tall People — Sam Goodwin (lead vocal), Andrew “Panda” McDermott (bass guitar), Austin Perry (drums), Pablo Viafara (guitar) and Devilbliss (lead guitar) — have teamed with Phil Jackson of Surf Dreams Foundation for a benefit concert at The Boathouse Saturday.
The group is made up of local musicians whose genre is listed as “rock/jam” on its Facebook page and is formerly known as the cover band Below the Baseline.
All of the Incredibly Tall People are ages 24 and 25, and graduates of St. James and Socastee high schools, while Devilbliss is currently a student at Coastal Carolina University, majoring in music.
The bandmembers are of relatively average height, ranging from 6 feet down to the shortest — Goodwin at 5 feet, 7 inches “with his shoes on, he says,” Devilbliss said. “The name [of the band] comes from a song we wrote together a long time ago.”
Working collectively as a band, “we all have a hand in writing our music,” said Devilbliss, adding their busy schedules leave little time for a social life, but they’re all OK with that.
“We all hang out with each other,” said Devilbliss, to make more music and videos, and to grow their fan base in pursuit of the five-year plan.
In addition to the debut of “Sleep Outside” — a compilation of original music by Incredibly Tall People — Paperwork and The Wicked Gift also will perform at the release party/fundraiser.
The event kicks off at 7 p.m., entertainment starts at 8 p.m., with raffle prize offerings that include surfboards, skateboards, wetsuits, movie tickets, beach chairs and more.
Jackson, a surfer and the founder of Surf Dreams Foundation, said the prizes — totaling almost $5,000, Devilbliss said — are the result of the volunteer efforts of Linda Haley and Joyce Vanderzee, two dedicated women who acquire the raffle prizes by visiting local businesses along the Grand Strand.
Based in Murrells Inlet, Surf Dreams Foundation was Jackson’s dream for helping others fulfill their surfing dream. It became a reality when he began offering lessons, hosting surfing events and providing kids in need, who had a desire to surf, with instruction that also includes water safety, wetsuits and accessories.
Jackson said he hopes to suit-up 10 kids for Christmas and said Village Surf Shop is donating 20 surfboards to the foundation that he said has brought some broken families back together.
“We’ve had three families reunited in the past year,” said Jackson, adding that parents often bring their child, then stay to watch and find family interaction.
Jackson said he is proud that Surf Dreams can provide an outlet for both children and their parents. The fall fundraiser, founded in December, is necessary to raise money to purchase equipment and pay for the cost of “Take a Kid Surfing Day,” which Jackson said had more than 75 participants recently.
With Village Surf Shop’s donation, Jackson said they also are raising money for a trailer to transport the surfboards to and from the beach.
Devilbliss, also a surfer, said he met Jackson while surfing, and the two would run into each other when Jackson was working as a DJ and Devilbliss was performing, with the same members of Incredibly Tall People in Below the Baseline, a cover band.
“[The cover band] has played all over the Grand Strand,” said Devilbliss, including Rockin Hard Saloon, Pirate’s Cove and Hard Rock Cafe.
Devilbliss said it isn’t easy getting gigs where they can play original music.
“People — and especially tourists — come here wanting to hear music they know,” he said.
Combining the fall fundraiser for Surf Dreams and the CD release party for Incredibly Tall People just seemed to make sense to both Devilbliss and Jackson.
“We’re raising money for a good cause,” Devilbliss said, “and we wanted to do our part.”