One of the most popular acts hails from the Ocean Beach area — Slightly Stoopid. Though they’ve had Top 20 Billboard chart placings, including their most recent album “Top of the World” at No. 13, the band remains underrated.
As busy as the band is, its members are truly passionate about music, taking part in side and solo projects. Such is the case with trumpeter C-Money, who joined the band in 2006 and will be performing with his own band at Winston’s Beach Club on Dec. 29.
Originally from North Carolina, C-Money was an eight-year veteran in the band John Brown’s Body when he made the switch in bands and locale.
“John Brown’s Body was opening up for Slightly Stoopid and things just clicked when we jammed together,” said C-Money. “I was closer to Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald in age, so it all just fell into place.”
Since then, he’s been around the world with the band “just playing music for a living and traveling.”
“Kyle and Miles are cool people to be around,” he said.
His inspiration as a youngster to play trumpet came from one of the greats, Louis Armstrong.
“I’m not really sure why. I guess I was drawn to the sound and the shininess of it,” C-Money said.
His first performance in front of a crowd took place with the Eustis Middle School sixth-grade band under the direction of Stan Lawson.
“I played the nursery rhyme ‘Hot Cross Buns,’” he laughed. “The crowd went totally wild.”
He pointed out the differences in the music of his main band and his solo work.
“The biggest thing is the freedom in the jams,” said C-Money. “In Stoopid, we have to play more structured and we tend to leave the space open, more the nature of the style.”
To date, C-Money has released two albums — “Family Business” and “The Rebirth of Hip-Hop” — with work on new music for 2013 already under way. In the meantime there will be more touring.
“It’s all I know,” he said. “I have been a professional touring musician for 14 years now. The road can wear you out and down. It can be dangerous, it can be deadly. It is also a place where you get to understand who you are and what you want from life. The perspective is unique.”
He said that even in the best of times, life on the road can be harsh.
“I slipped on a beer puddle in Japan and messed up my foot bad,” he said. “I was on crutches for eight weeks with ligament damage. Luckily, they had an awesome emergency room in Japan.”
Though he is a fairly recent transplant to the area, C-Money said he has nothing but affection and enthusiasm for his adopted hometown of Ocean Beach.
“Yes, I love OB, he said. “I’ve been coming here since the John Brown’s band days and it has always been a big support to all music, local and touring. I’m very proud to live here. 92107!”
After nearly two decades making music, C-Money is clear about what he likes most about his chosen profession.
“I like making people feel good,” he said.
Though life as a key member of Slightly Stoopid would be enough for most, C-Money’s plans are succinct for the new year.
“I want to crush it,” he said. “I want to make more music, release more music, be a part of the arts in general and be more of a part of the beautiful community of San Diego.”
• C-Money performs at 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29 at Winston’s Beach Club, 1921 Bacon St. 21 and up. www.winstonsob.com