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The Occasional Milkshake is what happens when Hootie and the Blowfish, The Blue Dogs, and Cravin’ Melon all take a break. Hootie lead guitarist and founding member Mark Bryan, Blue Dogs stand-up bass slapper Hank Futch, and Gary Greene, who plays drums for Cravin’ Melon, and percussion for the Blowfish, began jamming together for fun in the early aughts, when their respective bands were on hiatus.
The Occasional Milkshake’s motives are pure – have fun playing music. The guys like to switch instruments and open for themselves. Hank is actually a fine acoustic guitar picker, and he likes to sing old songs while Mark works the mandolin, and Gary sometimes tries his hand at banjo. Once they plug in, it’s a rock show, with originals and covers that fall all over the map; from bluegrass to punkabilly, and anything in between. Laughter is a key ingredient, and there is plenty of it. It’s a spontaneous affair, with a loose setlist – the way music is supposed to be.
The Milkshake’s “The Great Beyond” can be heard as the theme song on the Emmy Award-Winning PBS series, Live at the Charleston Music Hall. They’re also on most of Mark Bryan’s solo CD – END OF THE FRONT, and all of Doug Jones’ (lead singer for Cravin’ Melon) solo effort – DOUG JONES EVERYBODY, DOUG JONES. The three-piece has also been known to back up singer/songwriter Danielle Howle.