"When Charleston soldier Staff Sgt. Matthew Joseph Taylor was killed in Iraq on Sept. 21, he left behind a wife and three little girls under the age of six," says local musician and BenefitFocus staffer Charles Wyke-Smith. "He enlisted the day after the 9/11 attacks and was just 61 days from completing his final tour of duty."
Wyke-Smith works with the late Army sergeant's father at the software services company. He was so moved by the incident, he organized a benefit for the Taylor family.
The musical lineup includes two local party-rock bands, an up-and-coming groove band, and a seasoned veteran. Opening the show is quintet Henry's Attic, fronted by guitar-strumming vocalists Heather Norton and Andrew Alberico. The band specializes in putting its own twang on classic rock and old-school country.
Wyke-Smith plays guitar, sings, and writes the songs with the middle band Mental Note. He and bassist Barnett Greenberg, drummer Sean Rose, and sax player Dave Sarnoff handle melodic material. "It's very song-driven with some room in the songs to solo out," Wyke-Smith says.
The Plainfield Project was voted "Best Local Band" earlier this year by City Paper readers. Their sound has expanded to include elements of ska, reggae, folk, and funk.
Local songwriter Mark Bryan (of Hootie & The Blowfish) will act as the emcee for the night and plans to perform tunes between sets as well.
Wyke-Smith says, "After all the incredible shock and the sadness of the military funeral, I hope this will be a more celebratory note." —T. Ballard Lesemann
"Rock for a Hero" with The Plainfield Project, Mental Note, Mark Bryan, and Henry's Attic takes place at the Music Farm (32 Ann St., 843-853-3276) on Fri. Nov. 21. Admission is $10. VIP tickets are $25. Visit www.musicfarm.com for more.