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VISITING ACT ‌ Cottrell Gantt

Nashville power-poppers make their way into Charleston's scene

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"Melody is our big thing," says Jeremy Cottrell, lead singer and guitarist of Nashville's Cottrell Gantt." We take a lot of time and care writing our tunes. If it sounds good and feels good, it is good. We just do what comes naturally to us. There's a public out there for every genre of music, so we just do what we do ... and hopefully, somebody likes it!"

Cottrell, 32, met singer/guitarist Jason Gantt, 28, in Nashville. The two played as an acoustic duo at clubs around town before enlisting drummer Nathan Freitas and bassist Eli Beaird to form "Cottrell Gantt" as a proper band.

The quartet has made several nine-hour trips down to Charleston for recent shows at the Sun Dog, Toucan Reef, A Dough Re Mi, and, most recently, with the Fire Apes at the Music Farm. This week, they return for a headlining gig at Art's in Mt. Pleasant (drummer Mark Niemiec is filling in for Freitas).

Last fall, Cottrell Gantt released a solid debut titled Here I Go. The five-song disc is a modern guitar-pop gem. There's the big kick 'n' snare funky rock beat of lead-off song "Here I Go," pushed along with acoustic guitar and distorted electric guitar — very much in a classic power-pop vein of Live, late-era Cheap Trick, Matchbox 20, and maybe a bit of goofy-but-hook-filled '80s pop. "Lift Me Up" is a slower grooved ballad with tasteful solos and vocal harmonies. The anthemic "Can't Catch Me" features electronic drum samples and guitar effects while "Can't Help It" works from an upbeat four-chord, radio-ready foundation.

"Typically, our live show is a full-on, guitar-driven rock show," says Cottrell. "We are starting to incorporate the acoustic guitars into the set a bit more as we gig out. For a show like this week's at Art's, we'll split it up between an acoustic set between Jason and me and a full-band set." —T. Ballard Lesemann

Cottrell Gantt play a free show on Sat. June 10 at Art's Bar & Grill at 413 Coleman Blvd. Call 849-3040 for info. Check www.cottrellgantt.com for more.

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