Beach Buzz November 2014

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Beach Bits:  November Fall in North Myrtle Beach can have a little unpredictable weather, temperature wise. It can be a rather balmy 82 degrees one day and a cold and blustery 55 degrees the next. Clear crisp mornings to wake up to and cool nights, however, makes for an overall nice environment at the annual Carolina Beach Music Awards event. One thing is for certain though, there is almost no rain at NMB this time of year. In all the years we have hosted the Saturday afternoon outdoor Benefit Pig Pickin' & Artist Showcase, I do not recall ever getting rained on - pretty amazing!


Five nights of live entertainment kicks off this year with The Embers featuring Craig Woolard on Wednesday, November 5th and concludes on Sunday night, November 9th with The Embers and the Band of Oz. In between, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights you can see no less than fifteen of the best bands in Beach music. Given that this is the 20th year anniversary of the CBMAs, the Sunday afternoon Awards Show promises to be nothing less than spectacular. Any winners predictions? I am not getting into that, for my money, everyone that attends this awesome five day event comes out a winner!


Even though I will be working out back of the Ocean Drive Beach & Golf Resort on CBMA Saturday afternoon, I hope to get the opportunity to slip inside to the OD Beach Club to hear a few songs. The Lakeside Drive Band out of Charlotte will be performing as part of the afternoon New Music Showcase. They were a Rising Star Award nominee last year and are considered to be one of the best new groups in the business. I've heard their recordings of course but have never seen them in person - something to definitely look forward to during the weekend!



The legendary Clifford Curry has been writing, recording and performing great songs for right at 60 years. He joined a group called the Echos in his native Knoxville, TN while still in high school. The group was later renamed the Five Pennies, recording on the Savoy and Herald Record labels. All these many years later, Clifford is still going strong - his latest tune Cold Beer Hot Women is already on the Beach charts...........I am still not convinced that we followers of Beach music totally realize what an amazing talent Rick Strickland is in this business in terms of songwriting, performing and leading a band. Over the last year, he has had several charting songs, all original compositions,  including I'm Hungover (with bandmate Lesa Hudson), I'm Gonna Be Your Friend, The Best Of You and Wishing.... .......The Band of Oz won the CBMA Song of the Year Award in 2009 (Build Me Up),  2010(Dance To The Radio) and 2012 (I Can't Think). Their latest hit, Extra Careful, is nominated in that category for 2014. Can they win it once more? Will be interesting to see the results for sure.......


There is a horn laden outfit based in Nashville that is about as bizarre as it gets. Here Come The Mummies (yep, that is their name) dress the part - they come out on stage completely wrapped in preservation garb that looks as if it is straight out of ancient Egypt. The band member’s true identities are never revealed but they are obviously very experienced musicians. The vast majority of their song lyrics are quite unconventional as well. The Mummies have recorded several albums over the last fourteen years, including the 2011 release of Bed, Bath And Behind, which contained a killer upbeat groove entitled Aeroplane Blonde. A recent music session recording this same song by a group in Beach music calling themselves Hot and Humid turned out a tremendous cover version - some even say it is better than the original. It is featured on KHP Productions latest compilation Dancing With My Baby. Who are they? You know them better as Steve Owens & Summertime!!.......



The Floyd Brothers, Randy and Mickey, both outstanding songwriters, have a new project just completed on Music Tree Recordings. Ten tracks of excellent grooves, in a sort of Country/Rock meets Blues/Boogie vein. It features some of the best players in the business including Warren Leazer on bass (and co-writing), Randy Gilkey on keyboards, Tim Gordon on saxophone, Jeff Swafford on trumpet and John G. Franklin on trombone as well as both on the Floyds on guitar....... We've talked alot this year about Grayson Hugh, including our exclusive story on him in the June issue of Beach Buzz. He has two hot tunes on the charts right now, and will be joining us to perform at the CBMAs. Grayson also has an interesting new album project underway entitled Back To The Soul. You can learn more about it at the following website:



A new song from Vance Kennedy & Barksdale Station, Silk On Glass emerged last month on our Smokin' Top 45. It is from the band's album entitled Old Friends New Songs on the Patman and Robin Records label. The album title is significant since Vance and Harry Weisner, both experienced musicians, grew up together in a little place called Barksdale, SC but had never played or written songs together. Vance's nephew Joey Lewis, also originally from there, joined in and helped produce the resultant fourteen track release of originals. Quite a few life experiences behind several of the strong tunes, such as Down At The Dock, which represents the Lake Greenwood club from the '90's where Vance played or Smoothie Shoes, about a South Carolina shagging couple that both Vance and Harry had observed and admired but not at the same time. I'm liking all the tracks but a couple of faves are Never Grow Old and Mr. Boss Man, both are good dancing cuts. Not sitting on their laurels, the group is already working on material for their next album.



Danny Woods is truly an American music treasure. As an original member in the late '60's along with General Norman Johnson (and a little later Ken Knox), they made history in the world of Soul and Beach music as Chairmen of the Board for over 40 years. Even though he has had some difficult times healthwise of late, Danny always greets you with a smile and a warm hello!

A member of both the South Carolina Music and Carolina Beach Music Halls of Fame, Danny continues to write and produce outstanding music as well as perform as a member of The Party Prophets.


The Heart And Soul Of Danny Woods on Music Tree Recordings is Danny's latest exciting album release. The fifteen track effort, arranged and produced by Sir Jonathan Burton, is a combination of recent tunes as well as some that make up Danny's legacy of so many years of recording and performing, starting with the irrrepressibly smooth Another You and ending with the very appropriate Irish Folk tune Danny Boy. There are some current strong works, such as Do Right, which was on the Beach charts last year, the very danceable and popular Love You The Way You Are and The Man My Daddy Was.


 One of Danny's best from the Chairmen days and a personal favorite, Down At The Beach Club, always stands up strong as does additional tunes he sang lead on with the group, Finders Keepers, Try My Love On For Size and Two Can Be As Lonely As One. These songs serve to showcase the incredible singing talent that has always been there with Danny. New tunes (new to me, at least) added to Danny's catalog - Come In And Dance, I'm Falling, Love Bandit, To Be Loved and Should've Been With Me. Together We Can is Danny's previously recorded powerful anthem about making the world a better place. Still going strong, Danny Woods continues to make a difference in the world of Beach and Soul music!


The legendary Impressions have recently released a 2014 remake of their classic 1961 smash hit Gypsy Woman. It debuted on our Smokin' Top 45 in the #39 slot in October. Many folks do not realize that original member Sam Gooden and early on replacement Fred Cash for Jerry Butler are STILL with the group some 56 years after they were formed. The Iceman's quick exit for a solo career paved the way for Curtis Mayfield to come front and center to lead the Chicago based group on a fortuitous path that eventually took them right into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in 1991. Curtis left for a solo career in the early '70's as well, but the group soldiered on and persevered. This amazing singing act had 55 singles and 23 albums hit the Billboard charts in the 20 year period from 1958 to 1977. They are truly one of the great stories in all of the history of American music!


Who is Michael Lington?  He has a song, Gonna Love You Tonite, featuring R&B veteran Kenny Lattimore, that had it's debut at #37 on last month's Smokin' Top 45. It is a selection from his recent Soul Appeal album on the Copenhagen Music label.  Lington,  who is originally from Denmark, is the grandson of a famous jazz band leader. Growing up heavily influenced by the genre, he moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to further pursue his singing career. Five of his eight releases to date have made the Billboard Top Jazz Album charts. Two additional tunes from this latest album, Soul Appeal and Uptown Groove, reached the Billboard Jazz Top 10 Singles chart earlier this year.


Seeing the recent induction of former American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame reminded me that three of her uncles had a group called The Barrino Brothers which was formed back in the late '60's. Hailing from High Point, NC, they signed a contract with Holland-Dozier-Holland's Detroit based Invictus label in 1972. Two initial songs, I Shall Not Be Moved and Try It, You'll Like It were released in the U.S. during the production of their first (and only) album Livin' High Off The Goodness Of Your Love. The album, however, was never released in this country and their catalog was later sold to a music company in Japan. Perhaps their best single, Trapped In A Love, was not on the album but was later released as the B-Side of a song by the Invictus label female group Honey Cone.



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