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Pavilion Reunion: Put on your dancin’ shoes

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Entertainer Mark Roberts wants to be under the stars when he performs at Saturday’s Pawleys Island Pavilion Reunion.

Despite the rainy weather lately, he doesn’t want a cover on the stage at the island’s Nature Park on the North Causeway.

“I want to bring all my lights,” Roberts said, “and the only way I can really put on a production is without some kind of cover. If anything happens, we’ve got tarps. When you cover a stage, you’re putting the band under a bushel. We want to let it all hang out, do something nobody has done here.”

Roberts has been leading his own band — The Mark Roberts Band — for five years with his present lineup intact for about 15 months. That includes Roy Harper, who played in the brass section for rock ’n’ roll legend James Brown for 16 years. With Harper and veteran keyboard player Bland Sawyer doing what Roberts calls “brass patches,” the band can produce the sound of five horns, a must for the modern beach music sound.

Other band members include Joe Stinnett, engineer; Ron Zara, guitar; Kevin Mercer, bass guitar; and Jeff Sanson, drums.

The light show won’t be the only new entertainment feature Saturday. The Mark Roberts Band brings more than traditional beach music to the stage.

“We want to push everybody’s buttons,” Roberts said. The recession cut into shag music’s niche market, forcing beach clubs to broaden their appeal. “Along with that,” Roberts said, “it was my desire to please everybody. I love the beach music fans, but there’s a lot more fans out there I’m trying to touch. We cover a wide range from beach to classic rock, to country, to country rock. We cover everything.”

This will actually be Roberts’ second trip to the reunion stage. He played with Craig Woolard in 2006.

Along with the band, there will be a deejay, Scott Richards of radio station WEZV, playing recorded favorites in down time between 6:30 p.m. and midnight.

Annette Perreault, executive director of Habitat for Humanity for Georgetown County, said the reunion is a “logistical challenge” that is coming together. As in past years, Hog Heaven and Hanser House will provide food. Parking will be at Pawleys Island Plaza beginning at 6 p.m. with continuous shuttle bus service to the causeway where golf carts will be available for the last leg of the trip.

Perreault said the pavilion reunion requires a “tremendous number of dedicated volunteers.” The goal is to raise between $30,000 and $40,000 to build a house for the Brown family on Church Street, Georgetown. The project will be a Youth United Build, involving county high school students doing the labor.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Children 12 and under are $10. Advance ticket locations in Pawleys Island are Georgetown Kraft Credit Union, Pawleys Island Supplies and Lachicotte Company.

For more information go to habitatgeorgetown.com or call 546-5685 ext. 6.

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