Local leader rocks on the side
by Hugh Fisher
Most people in Huntersville probably know Charles Jeter as a businessman or a member of the Town Board.
Husband, father, member of the community – all of these roles are obvious.
But put him behind a drum set and surround him with musicians and a crowd, and one more truth becomes apparent:
Jeter knows how to rock.
In his spare time, he lays down rhythms for Green Vegas, a rock ‘n’ roll band based out of Greenville, S.C.
Sitting at the kitchen table of his home, Jeter is matter-of-fact about his music career, saying he brings to the stage the same dedication and focus he has for everything else.
There’s no stage persona, no makeup, no gimmicks. He’s not the front man and he doesn’t want to be.
“I do not sing at all,” Jeter said. “In fact, they loathe to mic my drums for fear they’ll pick up my singing.”
Music has always been a part of Jeter’s life. “I’ve played drums since I was in the sixth-grade band,” he said.
After college, he tried his hand at being a professional session musician.
In 1998, Jeter started playing with guitarist and vocalist Bill Rhodes as a member of Green Vegas.
Both men were living in Greenville at the time. Jeter said the band’s name is also a local nickname for the town.
They met when Rhodes put the word out that he needed a drummer.
He saw a man walk into one of his concerts and sit right in the front – “and he just watches me the whole night through,” Rhodes said.
That was Jeter, who was sizing up the band he was thinking of auditioning for.
“And here we are, years later, still pluggin’ away, still writing songs,” Rhodes said.
For his part, Jeter loved being in the band, even though they both figured out it wasn’t going to make him famous.
“After three years of playing the bar circuit in the southeast, we weren’t getting any record deal offers,” Jeter said.
But it was fun.
In 2001, Jeter sold his company in Greenville and relocated to Huntersville. Though he left he band, he and Rhodes stayed friends.
Then, two years ago, Rhodes asked Jeter to come back down to Greenville to see them play.
He asked Jeter to come back on board as the drummer.
Despite his busy schedule at IFCL Trucking in Cornelius and his duties as a member of the Huntersville Town Board, he agreed.
This means he’s sometimes unable to practice with his bandmates. Other days, he packs up and drives to Greenville for rehearsals.
The band has changed over the years, but the spirit behind it hasn’t, Jeter said.
The current incarnation of Green Vegas is Rhodes and Jeter, plus Richard Young on guitar and Dion Sweatt on bass.
Their first studio album, “All In,” is now on sale through iTunes and Amazon.
Jeter called the seven-song collection “a little bit of everything.”
Life is a lot different now for Jeter and Rhodes. They stayed friends even when Jeter wasn’t a part of Green Vegas. It’s the brotherly bond that’s held them together through the years.
“(Jeter) knows what he believes, and why he believes it,” Rhodes said. “Even if we didn’t play music, we’d be friends.”