Local band celebrates decade of performing

Submitted Photo Lo Down Brown has been a band for over 10 years. Pictured, from left, are Sherry Iles, Darrell Rains, Mark Ferriter and Gary Shepard.

You might catch them at the Red Pepper Cafe one night and at your friend’s wedding the next day.

Lo Down Brown has been bringing classic rock music to the nation for more than 10 years.

And it all started because of a local benefit show.

Vocalist Gary Shepard played at the Aiken Women’s Heart Board show around 11 years ago.

The performance re-sparked his interest in music, he said.

“I have been in bands for most of my life,” Shepard said. “When I moved here, I naturally wanted to play music, which is very important to me.”

From there he found bassist Ashley Foreman.

The two started to play together yet still sought out more members.

It was then Foreman called upon his friends – guitarist Darrell Rains and drummer Mark Ferriter.

Rains and Ferriter have performed with each other on and off for 30 years, Shepard said.

“Both are great vocalists,” he added.

After two years, Foreman left, and bassist Sherry Iles came in to take his place.

“She is a powerhouse on the bass, and her vocals grab everyone’s attention,” Shepard said. “She is a tremendous asset to the band.”

The band still plays for the Aiken Women Heart Show benefit.

The band is most often associated with classic rock covers, yet sometimes they will pull out original songs by Shepard or country, R & B and beach music covers. A more complete list of its songs is on its website.

In addition to appearing around town, Lo Down Brown have hit the towns of Hilton Head, Charleston and Washington, D.C.

The four-member band will be at the Red Pepper Cafe on Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 803-649-9915.

Shepard, also a guitarist and keyboardist, is from Newton, Mass., according to his website.

He has played with British rock band Procol Harum, American rock band Night Ranger, Steve Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers and more. Iles and he also are part of local band Atomic Road and trio Trilogy, which often appears at the Up Your Alley Chophouse downtown.

Shepard works as an optometrist at Walmart.

Rains, a keyboardist and vocalist as well, will return as the musical director for this year’s Heart Board show.

The show will be in February.

Rains is married with two children, according to Shepard.

So is Ferriter, who, when he isn’t playing or with his family, works at SRNS.

He also has – in his 40-plus years of performing – opened for musicians Billy Joel, The Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose and more.

Iles was once with an all-woman rock band, Hijinx.

Now, she is also associated with Ronnda Cadle & the String Poets and is a website designer and a music instructor with a home studio.

Together, the band has released the album “Lo Down Brown CD Collection.”

The name of Lo Down Brown came from the Flying Saucers Restaurant beer menu.

The restaurant is in Columbia, S.C.

The band celebrated its 10th anniversary in September.

For more information on the band, visit www.lodownbrown.com.

Stephanie Turner has a hand on all areas of production for the Aiken Standard, where she reports, edits and lays out pages. She graduated in July 2012 with a journalism degree from Valdosta State University and lives with her family in Evans, Ga.