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Scott Blackwood, ambassador for the music scene 

He's also a promoter, manager, and this writer's husband

"I told those guys they can crash at our place tonight. Cool?" my husband says to me, pointing at the band onstage that just wrapped up their set.

I know my protests about dirty dishes in the sink or lack of beds for everyone aren't going to get me far. Scott Blackwood has been called upon to help out some artists and he's going to make it happen.

It's been this way throughout our 10-year relationship. Scott's not only a promoter, not only an artist manager, but an official advocate and ambassador for the music scene in Charlotte.

If he brings an artist to town, they aren't just getting the money they're contractually guaranteed, they're getting a cookout, an after-party and a general celebration of their presence ... and it's probably going down at our house.

Over the years, I've cooked for dozens of musicians. I've stepped over countless boxes of promo flyers, CDs and merch lying around our house. I've proofread hundreds of emails being sent to agents. I've given an eyeroll each and every time he's stepped away from the dinner table to advise a local venue owner about a show booking.

Our kids have grown up not thinking much about kicking a soccer ball in our backyard with an iconic West Coast rapper or having a famous DJ from London help them with their homework or a singer from Charlotte give them dating advice. They just consider them part of the family, and that's usually how the artists say we make them feel.

The first time I met Scott, he was performing with his rap group Dominant 7 at Fat City, NoDa's former music anchor. He was channeling William Wallace with half his face painted blue, climbing into the ceiling rafters like a madman. It was evident he was not afraid to take risks for the sake of a good show. His risk that night had to do with his personal safety. More often, the risks are financial. He will put our money where his mouth is when he thinks an artist is worth investing in. It doesn't always pay off in terms of profit, but rarely does he come up short on respect and gratitude.

When we attend large festivals, we're often stopped by artists who want to give him daps and hugs and thank him for their time here, even if he hasn't booked them in years.

"When I talk to other acts around the world about the South, they always think Atlanta is the spot, but I tell them Charlotte is where it's really at, and I tell them they need to talk to Scott," DJ Vadim recently told me.

Supastition said, "When I decided to return to music again, Scott was the only promoter that I'd consider calling. He's an OG in this music scene as far as I'm concerned."

This is the case for many rappers and DJs in Charlotte. "Scott Blackwood was the first person in Charlotte to ever give me a stage to perform on, and for that I will be forever grateful," said Mikal Khill of the ThoughtCriminals.

In addition to promoting and artist management, booking agent, tour manager, image consultant, sound guy, recording engineer, event host, hype man, DJ and, until last year, venue owner are all in his repertoire.

It's all so sexy to me until I'm ready to snuggle up on the couch with him, but I can't because there's a musician sleeping there instead.

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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