Dan McCurry has seen the same story play out, time and time again: an exceptionally talented musician or band rises to the top of the local scene, takes a look around to see which way the wind is blowing, and hits the road.
Nashville. New York City. L.A.
What would it take to make musicians want to stay in Charleston? That line of thinking led directly to Hearts & Plugs, a local indie label.
“I look around Charleston and I think: this is an exciting place to be,” he says. “We have the people, we have the talent. I don’t see why Charleston couldn’t be recognized as a music town. Bands are not necessarily better in other places. It’s just that other places have more in place for those bands.”
Dan, a multi-instrumentalist with a degree in music from College of Charleston, has gathered over a dozen local bands into Hearts & Plugs, including his own project, Run Dan Run, as well as Elim Bolt, Brave Baby, Grace Joyner and many more. Together with his wife, Megan Elger, Dan is rocking through the endless list of little things that have to be done behind the scenes to build success: producing new releases, merchandising, promoting shows, writing music and, of course, playing live.
Venues in which music is the primary focus are key to his vision. “We need more places where music is the reason people are walking through the door, rather than music being supplementary. We need to develop a show-going culture.”
“My philosophy is: rather than look outward, look inward. Let’s see what kind of resources we can build right here in Charleston.”