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Beach Buzz August 2017

       With The Soul Dog



 Well....I'm back!....again! I apologize for not being able to keep this column fresh each month, but my limitations on using a computer keyboard have been pretty severe. Elbow surgery two weeks ago is a first step to a slow process of hopefully remedying the situation in both of my hands. Nobody told me getting old would be this difficult LOL!! 



Some folks in the Beach music community may not have known the late Andy Smith, whom we lost last year. He was a fairly quiet, unassuming individual who was a tireless promoter in our industry as a principal in the Charlotte, NC based Green Dot Entertainment. Andy also served as a member of the Carolina Beach Music Awards Board of Advisory and was a key factor in the November event's success every year. I am proud to also have served on that Board with Andy for several years, getting to know him as a colleague and a true friend. He will be missed greatly but always remembered!

As a dedication to the memory of Andy, Green Dot's Rick Lee and Stan Ashley have come up with quite a recording project. They have just recently released The Next Chapter, a very unique and diverse set of primarily original tunes that is already making a significant splash in the genre. Both advance tracks and new singles have risen on the various charts, including Pretty Girl by The James Michael Brown Band, Won't Go Home Without You, the newest tune from Sea Cruz and Beast Of Burden from the Tonez (formerly known as the Swashtones).

 Smoking hot right now is a new Tim Clark track entitled This Love - not far behind will be the Catalinas with Hard Way To Go. Catching up as well is another great track from Too Much Sylvia - Love You Tonight is right in their wheelhouse of the song successes they have had over the past several years.  I Can't Live Without Your Love is a smoothie from the distinctive voice of John G. Franklin. The Holiday Band, which has been on the Green Dot label in recent years, checks in with a sterling version of Do You Know What I Mean. The diversity that I mentioned above is evident with solid cuts from AM ROdeO, Nathan Angelo and The Randy Clay Band. The last track on the release is very significant - we also lost the legendary Clifford Curry last year. The last song he ever wrote is featured here - I'm Still Here with the eloquent vibes of Gary Brown together with Clifford in a fitting tribute. All great stuff from Green Dot!!



Hot Tracks: Speaking of the Holiday Band in the review above, have you ever noticed that almost every song they release immediately jumps onto the Beach charts? Act Your Age is no exception, recently rocketing to #1 on the Smokin' Top 45 Countdown. What else is red hot? Rhonda McDaniel's Ay Les Bys is right up there - also making strong moves are Be With The One You Love by the Embers featuring Craig Woolard, I Want Your Loving from Ronn David, Lover's Lullaby by Silk Groove, Baby I Love You So by Darlene and Jimmy Harrison and   Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight from the Fantastic Shakers. These tracks are all on this year's KHP Summertime Fun compilation release.

 There are certainly others vying to get to the top  -  Lakeside Drive's When I'm With You has had strong success and  I Do Love You from Lesa Hudson has been very hot on the charts.  All I Need Is You Tonight from the Chairmen featuring Ken Knox is a well produced track that is really catching on, as is another great original for the multi-talented Rick Strickland entitled I've Got My Mind Made Up. The Catalinas, one of the groups recognized as early pioneers of Beach music, are getting regular radio rotation on Take A Walk On The Boardwalk.




Brand New: Archie Bell collaborates with Craig Woolard, including backing by the Embers to release a new track entitled Beach Vacation. After hearing it I would predict it to be a chart zoomer..........the mighty Tams just keep on keepin' on, doing what they do best. Just released is a 2017 version featuring Little Redd on If This Ain't Love, Keep On Foolin' Me, preserving that distinctive sound that they have had for 60 plus years...............Bluesman guitarist extraordinaire Bill Lyerly, who divides his time between Spain and the U.S., has had some recent outstanding success with original tunes, such as Death Letter Blues,  particularly on the  Roadhouse Boogie & Blues Top 40. Bill is already seeing results on his latest, You Never Know, which is steadily moving up the chart.............

The Summerdaze Band just released  A Rock And A Hard Place, not the Clarence Carter tune, but a new composition written by band guitarist/vocalist Pat Cashion. This is a preview of more originals coming soon on the release of a new album entitled Under The Radar, the title of which bandleader Mitch Simpson has been reserving for quite awhile now!!......Bradford Music out of Charlotte has a couple of catchy new tunes that should do very well.  Sonja Grier has been smokin' over the last two years with charting hit tunes I'll Know (When The Right One Comes Along) and Run For Cover - her latest release is Jimmy Mack Ain't Comin' Back. The guys that went down to Johnny Dollars back in the day, Carolina Beach Music Hall of Famers Bill Bradford and Sandy Bell, give us a new one that has strong potential entitled Doctor In Paradise.......Jon Rachels & The Sweet T's, based in the Pinehurst/Carthage NC area,  have been together about a year.  They have a few new tunes, including one entitled Shag-A-Licious, that is catching on with the DJs and the fans.  




There is an outstanding group that has been operating somewhat under the radar with regard to the Beach music genre for several years. They do, however, have quite a local following and are known for their outstanding performances and original tunes. Formed in 2004, Inlyn Gruve features a blended variety of Beach, Boogie, Blues, Rock, Funk, Soul etc. in their live shows at various venues up and down the East Coast.  Based in Murrells Inlet, SC, they have released three albums to date.   2007's Hold On Baby, featured several strong grooves, including the title track, the award winning Black Cat Bone and one I really like, You're All I Need. The band followed the initial release up with their sophomore effort, Six On The Beach, a half dozen dillies plus a heck of an extra joint, the rollicking Boogie Row Jam Session. Fessa John Hook has Shak'in'The Blues, which was originally from this album, on his current Roadhouse Blues & Boogie Top 40. The band's latest, Now & Then, released in 2016, is a combination of a few of their older tunes brought forward with several new original tracks. That Old Beach Town and Carolina Style both received early airplay - the jumping Debby Lee is the current hot ticket on the charts. Looking ahead to a potential new album in 2018, the recently released singles Listen To The Horns Blow and Midnight At The Ocean are both high quality cuts worthy of play in regular rotation.

Pennsylvania native and band lead singer Joe Graziani is a name that is known in Beach music, from his work as the lead vocalist in The Sugarbees and his own band, The Delta Riders, as the recipient of multiple CBMA awards and as a Grammy nominee. His distinctive vocals is a definite plus for the band's overall output.  Originally from Florida, Phil Salone is the band's owner and drummer, who writes and/or co-writes many of their tunes. Also participating in the composition of their songs is Phil's wife, Diane. Having lived previously in Hawaii and Singapore, guitarist Russell Drake moved to the Myrtle Beach area in 1989, playing in local bands before joining Gruve in 2016. Bassist Billy Ray Engle, who is originally from Tecumseh, Michigan, started his own band at age 15 and has been with several groups since that time. The only native of the Grand Strand area,  keyboardist Ron Craine, is a veteran of groups such as the Whiz Kids, Sneak Preview and the Playboys.  All of the band members participate as vocalists on occasion.

Inlyn Gruve just recently performed for great crowds at both MOTOs and Ducks in North Myrtle Beach. Upcoming events in the area include dates at Wild Wings Cafe on August 12th and 13th and at Deckerz on August 26th. You can also check the band out on their Facebook page or on the Net at




Midnight Allie

We certainly hate to see any of our Beach music artists, new or old, leave the genre. Unfortunately, we will bid good-bye at the end of August to Midnight Allie, with one of our most recent brightest stars, Allie Privette. The ever vivacious Allie got her auspicious (and possibly somewhat intimidating) start in late 2011, joining this years Carolina Beach Music Awards Hall of Fame inductees Dino Fair and Butch Barnes while replacing five time Female Vocalist of the Year Molly Askins in the group Sea Cruz. A pretty strong crew to get a crash course in how to engage a crowd with enticing vocals, I would say. The first recording that the group released with back and forth vocals from Allie and Butch was Think It Over, in mid-2012, which became a charting hit as did the outstanding 2013 follow-up Hey Eugene. Both of those tunes finished in the Smokin' Top 45 for 2013  -  Allie received the well deserved Rising Star Award that year at the CBMAs.

 Fast forwarding a little, that great learning experience gave her the courage to venture out on her own, forming the band Midnight Allie.  It was not without its trials and tribulations, as managing the money, the bookings, the band personnel comings and goings etc., which is par for the course. Allie persevered, their popularity grew, as did their booked performances. Soon it was time to record - Bone To Pick With You and One And Only were the first two out of the gate, both which hit the charts. The self-titled album Midnight Allie became a reality. More charters followed including Sooner Or Later, Danny's All Star Joint and Come When I Call. 2016 culminated with Allie being named Co-Female Vocalist of the Year at the November Carolina Beach Music Awards.

Alas, as they say, all good things eventually come to an end and it is certainly understood. Allie and the band have been a tremendous asset to Beach music and will certainly be missed. Although no longer involved in the business full time, she may be seen occasionally filling in at various venues, which will definitely be a treat for all of her many fans!