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LOCAL ACT: Sean Waterman

Water Music: Sean Waterman's soulful songs

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"Zero Hour" from recent demos
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Sean Waterman may be a relative unknown on the music scene, but one listen to songs like "Loose Change" and "Aluminum" confirms that he's among the strongest songsmiths in Charleston. With over 100 tunes in his catalog, he's now putting the finishing touches on his debut album, which will be released this fall on local label Full Code Recording.

Waterman's songs are not your three-chord country jangles, but intricate sonic weavings with multiple parts and hooks — sort of a layered Jack Johnson-esque vibe.

"Almost none of my songs are from personal experience," says Waterman. "I'm trying to draw on everything going on in the world, not just from my own life. That would just be from my chair. I try to see through everyone else's lenses as well."

Growing up in Brooklyn, he took up the classical guitar at age nine at his mother's behest and hated it. She wouldn't let him quit. By his high school years in Atlanta, he'd taken to playing on his own.

"A considerable amount of my songs were written at The Citadel," says Waterman, a 2002 graduate of the military college. "It was hard as a freshman. You don't want someone busting in your room when you're supposed to be studying, and there you are playing guitar."

Music is now Waterman's full time tour of duty. He often performs with lead guitarist Jason Hayes, who complements Waterman's powerful vocals with soaring, wah-wah laden embellishments.

Waterman's currently focusing on booking regional tours and playing creative gigs like art shows and baseball games. With guitarist Hayes joining him this Friday, fans may witness a home run before the first pitch is even thrown. —Stratton Lawrence

Sean Waterman performs at 6 p.m. (an hour before the RiverDogs game) in the Margaritaville area at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park (360 Fishburne St.) on Fri. July 25 and again on Sat. Aug. 9. Visit www.myspace.com/seanwatermanmusic for more.

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