Rock idol inspires contest entrants

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009

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Lusby resident Dylan Galvin, 23, a 2003 Patuxent High School graduate, is competing against other bands across the country vying to share the stage with musician John Mayer.

A Lusby man is seeking help from the community to realize his dream — sharing the stage with his musical hero.

Dylan Galvin, a 23-year-old student studying music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, has entered a contest, PlayMayercraft, in which his band, The Dylan Galvin Band, is competing against other bands from all over the country to play on the same stage before Mayer, O.A.R. and other bands perform during Mayercraft Carrier 2: Even Craftier. The concert event takes place aboard a cruise ship, the Carnival Splendor, which will travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, play for thousands of fans and then return to the states, according to the competition's Web site.

According to Galvin's mother, Wendy Tucker-Smith, Galvin's band has garnered enough votes to be in the top 20 for now, but the contest runs through January.

"He started the contest late, but something happened [almost overnight] and he is in the top 20," Tucker-Smith said.

Galvin began playing the guitar when he was in middle school, Tucker-Smith said.

"We got him a guitar for Christmas, and it sat around for a year or two and one day he picked it up and started playing," Tucker-Smith said. "And, boy, did he start playing."

Tucker-Smith said her son's ability came naturally, as he taught himself how to play.

John Mayer, a Grammy-award winning artist, is well-known for his hit songs "Your Body Is a Wonderland" and "Waiting on the World to Change." A virtuoso guitarist, Mayer inspired Galvin to continue with music.

Galvin is a 2003 graduate of Patuxent High School, and is majoring in professional music at Berklee College of Music. Galvin had a chance to meet his idol earlier this year when Mayer came and spoke to a class at his college, which is also Mayer's alma mater.

"[Galvin] and a bandmate of his heard that John Mayer was going to be speaking to another class at the college and they snuck in to listen to him speak," Tucker-Smith said. "After they listened to him speak, they went up to him. Dylan was star-struck, so he didn't say anything to him, but he got to shake his hand. His bandmate did all the talking [with Mayer]."

Galvin's band at Berklee is comprised of other Berklee students from around the nation, Tucker-Smith said. Galvin writes music for the band and also tackles guitar and vocal duties.

"When I was about 15 or 16, I had been playing guitar for a little while and I heard his song come on the radio, ‘No Such Thing,' and I thought, ‘It's OK, nothing special,'" Galvin said during a phone interview, when he was just finishing up his final exams at the college. "Then, I heard it later at a friend's house and asked ‘Who is that?' and my friend said ‘Oh, that's John Mayer.' I was blown away by it."

Galvin said he then bought the CD, "Room for Squares" and listened to it "about 600 times." Galvin said he has seen Mayer perform live about six times and has "bought every CD of his music and watched every YouTube video."

"John Mayer is just a fresh breath of air in the music industry," Galvin said. "So many artists are plastic, and manufactured. … He is the epitome of what I want to be. His playing, songwriting and musicianship is five-star quality. He has raised the bar for musicians, and was a big influence on my coming to Berklee.

"I have a lot of very, very helpful friends," Galvin said of his band's rise to the top 20 in votes.

"I know my music is good, at least I think it is, and I've gotten a lot of good feedback. In a single day we went from like 640th place to the top 20, which really helps put us where we need to be to hope to win."

In an e-mail, Tucker-Smith reached out to the Southern Maryland community to help.

"We are doing all we can and voting [on the Web site] daily, but if we could get the word out to more people to help this local guy win it would be awesome," Tucker-Smith wrote.

Those who want to help can go to

You must sign up using a valid e-mail address. Tucker-Smith said that people who have a Comcast e-mail address may have trouble with voting on the site, so she is encouraging people to sign up for a free gmail address and then vote for Galvin. Galvin's song "History" is on the Web site.

More of the band's music can be heard by going to Galvin's Web site at, which also has detailed instructions on how to vote for Galvin's band.

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