The story of how Josh Brewer assembled his band is classic Charleston. He and lead guitarist Sean Money were playing a duo gig at the Kickin’ Chicken a couple years ago, performing Brewer’s original songs. Drummer Daniel Wilson sat in the audience, digging the funky acoustic stylings. Wilson approached the pair with a bold offer: “I can revolutionize your music.”
Soon thereafter, the new trio was back at the Chicken, with Brewer hammering the low notes on his acoustic guitar to fill the sound. Bassist Rob Perrill heard them and offered his skills. Deepwater Soul Society was born.
Brewer’s songs still lie at the group’s core, but co-writing and collaboration have fleshed out the singer/songwriter tunes into beasts of their own, with tight structures and epic crescendos. Together for just a year, they’re already regulars at the Pour House, Triangle Char & Bar, and, of course, the Kickin’ Chicken.
“We’re reading each other and finding the chemistry surprisingly well,” says Brewer. “We’ve got to have structure. We never cross over to being a jam band, but I think we appeal to a lot of people that like jam music, as well as to those not into that scene.”
With his deep growl and powerfully sustained vocals, Brewer and company’s sound is reminiscent of early Dave Matthews Band; it’s the sort of music you’d expect to spread quickly around college campuses. Deepwater recently began recording their debut album at Wilson’s home studio in West Ashley, and they’ve got several live recordings in circulation at their shows.
“You have to relearn things as you get older, and you really have to ask all these questions again,” says Brewer, explaining that he refrains from getting too personal with his lyrics, instead seeking to pull from the questions and lessons we all learn growing out of our childhood mold. “Everybody’s feeling those things, and it’s important to address. But then on the other side of music, it’s a chance to let loose. As you grow up, you release energy, and music allows you to express yourself in a different way.”