Credit: Derrick Smith

Johns Island musicians Rob Hampton and Jonathan Carman formed rock band Majic Dust in early 2018 after their jam sessions turned into something more. Hampton toured as a guitarist/bassist with Band of Horses and Carman toured as a drummer with A Thousand Horses, so rock ‘n’ roll is something that comes naturally to them after many years on the road.

Majic Dust has since recruited guitarist/bassist JR Spencer to record as a trio for a forthcoming album, which has two singles released so far, “Disappear,” and “Abandon All Hope.” When the group opens for Shovels & Rope on June 19, Majic Dust will be rounded out with a fourth, Little Bird bassist Ben Mossman. 

“They’re old friends of ours,” Carman said of Shovels & Rope. “I’ve known Mike and Cary Ann since before they knew each other.” He met Michael Trent when was in a band called Tinkers Punishment and Cary Ann Hearst when she moved down to Charleston from Nashville. “They’ve been so good to us. Before COVID we did the [Charleston] Music Hall and Music Farm with them. They’ve let us use their studio to record part of our EP, and even given us their van to go on the road. They throw us a bone whenever they can.” 

Carman describes Majic Dust as a wall of sound. “We are extremely loud. I hesitate to say psychedelic rock, but we are influenced by Wooden Shjips and other bands that are in the psychedelic world.” Between the two singles, you will hear dystopian lyrics and moody, heavy rock from the same vein as All Them Witches. “We are not like these dark, moody guys. I don’t know how this music comes out of us.”

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