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MURRELLS INLET --
The water past the outside deck is a little saltier, but otherwise not much is different. Squint a little and it might even seem Justin Mychals is still playing his one-man guitar show at T-Bones on the Lake rather than the coast.
“It’s pretty much the exact same thing,” he said last week in Murrells Inlet, where he performs nightly at Drunken Jack’s Restaurant.
When Mychals moved from Lake Wylie, it made sense, he said, that other residents would want to take control of the child cancer benefit that was his namesake. Justin Mychals Child Cancer Benefit has been renamed Lake Wylie Children’s Charity. But Mychals continues to help children.
He still operates his charitable foundation. He has a family fighting brain cancer in Rock Hill he’s working to raise money for, possibly even planning concerts under a new format. He’s waiting until after the Lake Wylie Children’s Charity event Sept. 23 to formalize plans.
Otherwise, Mychals borders on becoming a real-life “Margaritaville,” minus perhaps the drinking on the job. He plays from 6 to 10 p.m. nightly, sometimes confusing his days because of the schedule. He spent Labor Day weekend leading sing-alongs to “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Toes” within earshot of the sea.
Mychals still considers himself blessed to live off his music. He still enjoys the same tunes that stir up waterfront crowds in whatever locale he finds himself. And, as with benefits past, he still appreciates a little jingle in his jar.
While he says it will be strange not helping to organize or participate in this year’s Lake Wylie event, Mychals is excited by how far the event has come and to see the impact it still makes.
“I’m just glad to hear they’re still doing what they’re doing,” he said between sets. “That they’re still helping kids.”