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Have You Heard? Fall 18

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Mike Little is a deejay from Anderson, South Carolina and is a member of the Electric City Shag Club in Anderson where he deejays for the club on a regular basis. as well as a member of the Carolina Shag Club in Greenville.  He was a highly rated radio deejay for WANS AM Radio for 3-1/2 years.  He writes articles for several publications, including the newsletters of the Association of Beach & Shag Club Deejays (ABSCDJ) and the National Association of Rhythm & Blues Deejays (NARBDJ), for both of which he is a member.  He also writes articles for the Website, beachmusic45.com, as well as the SOS publication, Carefree Times.  In 2003, he received the NARNDJ's Rufus Oates Award.  In 2017 he was inducted into the Deejays Hall of Fame as an honorary member by the ABSCDJ.  Also in 2017, he was inducted into the Greenville Area Shaggers Hall of Fame as an honorary member.  He also serves on the advisory Board of Directors of the Carolina Beach Music Awards.

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Have You Heard

by

Mike Little

 

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The new James Harman album, Fineprint from Electro-Fi Records, has just been released.  It has been three years since we've heard from James Harman, when the album Bonetime was released, carrying the hit, Skirt.  These two albums are the only albums released in over fifteen years.  Born in Anniston, Alabama, James began taking piano lessons at the age of four.  He discovered a set of harmonicas stored by his father in the piano bench and began playing with them after his piano lessons.  Over time, he learned to play other instruments, including the guitar, the electric organ and drums.  In 1962, he relocated to Panama City, Florida, where he played in numerous bands, one of which was the Ice House Blues Band.  He began collecting ice picks, earning him the nickname, "Ice Pick".  During his time in Panama City, he also toured with The Pieces of Eight, the band formed by Brent Fortson and Steve Caldwell when they left the Swingin' Medallions.  Earl Caldwell, manager of the band and brother to Steve, signed Harman to a recording contract.  During the sixties and seventies, James recorded nine singles on five different labels.  In 1977, he formed his own band, the James Harman Band.   Over the years, the band's lineup included Phil Alvin and Bill Bateman, who left to form the Blasters.  Gene Taylor was also in James' band, leaving in 1981 to join the Blaster before moving on to the Fabulous Thunderbirds.  Among others who were with the band were Kid Ramos and Hollywood Fats, who left his own band to play alongside James for five years.  Fast forward to Fingerprint.  This album is highlighted by What'cha Gonna Do 'Bout Me.  There are two versions of the song on the album.  My pick is number one, although version two is good.  Just a different tempo.   You will also want to try In With The Grief...In With The Gravy.  Some might enjoy this one even better.  In addition to Skirt, James Harman has given us a number of dance songs over the years, including Hot Dog And A Beer and I'm Gone.  Songs from the new album will add to this list.  You will definitely want to put your fingerprints on James Harman's Fingerprint from Electro-Fi Records.    

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San Francisco Bay Area Blues singer, songwriter and harmonica player Big Harp George Bishop has released his latest, Uptown Cool.  Big Harp George wrote all twelve of the songs on the album and is joined by a who's-who of talented musicians and singers.  Kid Andersen appears on bass, guitars and percussion and Little Charlie Bety of Little Charlie & The Nightcats joins in on guitar.  There are a number of songs on Uptown Cool that plays right in to our style of music.  Down To The Rite Aid comes in strong for the hardwooders.  Big Harp is joined in the duet with Loralee Christensen and Curtis Burnd on the piano.  Another that should work wonders is Lord, Make Me Chaste.  This one carries a New Orleans flavored horn style.  Check out I Wanna Know.  This smoothie, which is Santana-like influenced, is a Brazilian Latin-fused song.  Another Latin-felt tune is discovered on Just Calm Yourself.  Loralee and Big Harp George swap vocals as Kid Andersen handles the guitar work.  One more not to overlook on is the instrumental, In The First Place.  Big Harp George Bisharat is uptown cool on Uptown Cool.  His talents on the chromatic harmonica playing are displayed.  The chromatic harp uses a button-activated sliding bar to redirect the air flow.  Prior to turning to music full time, George was a criminal defense attorney.  This was before he became an award-winning professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law.  The college was named after its founder, Serranis Clinton Hastings, the first Chief Justice in the State of California.  George was also a known expert commentator on law and politics in the Middle East.  In 2014, George was selected as one of the fifteen "rising stars" by Living Blues Magazine in the August 2015 harmonica issue.  Big Harp George's Uptown Cool on the Blues Mountain Records label is now available at your favorite music outlet.      

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Concord Records has just released Boz Scaggs' new album, Out Of The Blues.  This release is the last of a trilogy celebrating American music that began with 2013's Memphis (Gone Baby Gone) and continued in 2015 with A Fool To Care (Full Of Fire).  The key song on Out Of The Blues has got to be Little Miss Night And Day.  It has "hit" written in it from beginning to end.  The song was co-written and choreographed by Boz' and his close friend, guitarist Jack "Applejack" Walroth.  You can't go wrong with this play, even though it's length needs to be trimmed.  After so, you will be playing a future hit that is somewhat a cross between Chuck Berry on the rhythm and Jerry Lee Lewis on the vocals.  It is truly to be a Boz Scaggs classic.  Other songs of note are the Jimmy Reed classic, Down In Virginia and Rock & Stick.  Rock & Stick was penned by Jack Walroth, who also plays harmonica on the track.  William Royce Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio, eventually moving with his family to Plano, Texas at an early age.  He attended a private school in Dallas, Texas, which just a mere twenty miles from Plano.  It was during this time when a schoolmate gave him the nickname, "Bozley", later shortened to "Boz".  The name stuck.  After college, he became a part of the Rhythm & Blues scene in London, England, eventually moving back to America, residing in San Francisco, California.  It was then that he teamed with former classmate Steve Miller, singing with his band.  In the mid-seventies, Boz signed with Columbia Records recording four albums that brought him into the limelight of success.  From these albums came the hits Miss Sun, Lowdown and Lido Shuffle.  Over the years, Boz Scaggs has scored big in the Beach Music arena with song titles such as T-Bone Shuffle, Sick And Tired and, most recently, Full Of Fire.  Look for Boz Scaggs' Out Of The Blues in music stores everywhere.  

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Joanne Vertie Delapaz was born in Chicago, Illinois, moving at the age of two with her family to Bay Springs, Mississippi where she still lives today.  Growing up singing in her church, she eventually found her way to Ecko Records in Memphis, Tennessee where she met and auditioned before Ecko's president John Ward and singer Morris "J" Williams.  Immediately signed, her first single released from her debut album was Ms. Jody.  Thus was born her profession name for stage and recording.  "Jody" was a popular legend around the beginning of World War II.  The recurring character "Jody" was the civilian that stayed at home while the soldier was in training or serving overseas.  "Jody" is the fancy dresser whose lifestyle was driving the soldier's car, spending the money the soldier sent home and going with the soldier's girlfriend.  "Jody" is a close cousin to "Stagger Lee".  Ms. Jody's new Ecko release, I'm Doing My Thang, fits right into our music world.  These selection from the release are highlighted by We Got To Cheat On Schedule.  Yes, the title and the lyrics are risque.  However, when the dancers hears the song with the melody similar to Etta James' Gospel classic, Strange Man, I predict they will head to the hardwood.  Ms. Jody's Got A Man is another great potential chart maker.  The tune has strong similarities to one of Ms. Jody's biggest hits in the Beach music arena, The Bop.  Other songs you do not want to overlook are Let's Play Hide And Seek and Southern Soul Bounce.  Ms. Jody is doing her thang with her new Ecko Records release, I'm Doin' My Thang.   

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Never Throw Your Dreams Away, released at the start of Spring Safari 2018, gives us the #1 song in the Beach Music nation.  This number, Old Time Saturday Nite, is provided by R. Mark Black, and also appears on Mark's new album, Make Your Mark.  The charted Black Diamond's Don't Stop Moving also appears, however the album's version carries a remixed version that can only be found here.  Long Island, New York singer and songwriter Danny Kean debuts into the Beach Music scene with the charted  I Can't Wait.  The Entertainers give us an updated version the classic, Come And Get Your Love, which was a hit for the Native American group Redbone.  From this CD, songbird Rhonda McDaniel now has two appearances on the charts, Never Throw Your Dreams Away, which is the title track of the album, and Ay Les Bys from the KHP Music album, Summertime Fun.  Jim Quick & The Coastline Band introduces a new song on the album named Cleaning Windows, as does Tim Cashion and Craig Woolard with their collaboration, Everything.  Terri Gore teams with The Sweet T's giving us an updated version of Mary Wells' mid-sixties hit, Dear Lover.  And there is more.  Never Throw Your Dreams Away also bares charted hits from others, Won't Give You Up by Andre' Lee, Justify by Steve Owens & Summertime and Kiss Me (Like They Do In The Movies) by Envision.  The late Chocolate Thunder, aka Linda Rodney, is billed as "The Sweetheart of the Carolina Blues".  She was also known as "The Southern Wonder".  Her song, Run Run Run was featured in the charts for a number of weeks and is part of this record.  Look for Paul Craver's latest, Running Back To You, to gain momentum during the coming weeks for an appearance on the charts.  Never Throw Your Dreams Away can easily be found at your favorite provider of Beach Music.

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Slice Of Life, which also broke out during Spring SOS, carries eight songs that are listed on the charts at the time the CD was released.  Hearts, by J.D. Cash, leads the pack of charted songs that appear on the new album.  J.D. Cash first achieved national attention in 1976 when he released his take on The Skyliners' biggest hit, Since I Don't Have You.  This was around the time he recorded his biggest hit in the twentieth century, Triple Shot Of Rhythm & Blues..  The Night Move Band's new Six Pack is a part of Slice Of Life.  Until now, The Catawba Valley-based North Carolina band was best-known for the group's original hit, Smooth Stepping Papa.     One of most played songs along the Carolina Coast during the Winter and Spring was Love's Gonna Come My Way by The Mason Lovette, a new comer to the Beach Music scene.  The right Reverand is back!  Rev. Budda D. Liverence & The Cornhole Prophets has scored again with Be My Sugar.  Other charted hits on the KHP release are Your Love by The James Michael Brown, the title track Slice Of Life by The Randy Clay Band, Kiss On My List by Gary Lowder of Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot and Steve Edmunds of The Steve Edmunds Band and Whiskey Man Blues by The Delta Riders featuring Joe Graziano.  Gary Brown is back with us with a soon-to-be charted number, Third Rate Romance.  The song was originally recorded in 1974 and became a hit for Jesse Winchester and his band, The Amazing Rhythm Aces.  The song was written by original band member Russell Smith, who sang and was guitarist for the band.  Scott Fine of The Band of Oz and Jim Quick of Jim Quick & The Coastline Band teamed together for No Religion.  Look for this one to break inot the charts in short order.  The Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band are back with us with There's No Stopping.  Blackwater, based Clarkton, North Carolina, which is a little over an hour's drive from the mecca of Beach Music, has had a number of huge hits in our genre of music.  Other songs on Slice Of Life include Keeping In The Ground by British crooner Roy Hamilton, Loving Cup by Greenville, North Carolina's Nicky Harris and More Of That by The Recollections Band, which is based out of Florence, South Carolina.

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Tom Hambridge is one of Blues most sought after drummers in the recording and concert arenas, having played with numerous notable artists and being featured in movie productions, commercials and television programs.  Rock Hall of Fame inductee Buddy Guy refers to him as "The White Willie Dixon".  He is also referred to as Blues songstress Susan Tedeshi's "Secret Weapon", having played drums and producing her platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated sophomore album which carried two Top 10 hits that he wrote.  Tom Hambridge recently released his latest album, The NOLA Sessions.  The NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) Sessions is inspired by the beauty and originality of New Orleans music.  Tom uses local artists and musicians for the album, including the late, great Allen Toussaint.  The album also features Eric Clapton's favorite slide guitarist, Sonny Landreth, who brings his signature "Slydeco" electric guitar to the session for the song, Bluz Crazy.  This up-tempo number fits right in to our genre of music.  It may just have to be toned down a little.  However, my favorite on the album is I Love Everything.  It most likely will be yours and the dance crowd's, also.  This selection features alumni of the Loyola University Jazz Band.  Another tune of interest is Save Me.  It may not work to your taste, but I felt it to be should of interest with it featuring The McClary Sisters Gospel Quartet and The Naughty Horns.  The Naughty Horns consists of Nick Ellis on alto and baritone saxophone, James Culbreth on trumpet and Jan Bowmont on tenor sax.  The trio has been playing together since their college days at Loyola University New Orleans.  The three are also memberds of The Naughty Professor, a Jazz-Funk sextet that Nick formed.  Tom Hambridge is a two-time Grammy Award winner as a producer and has been nominated seven times.  Tom was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, receiving his first set of drums at the age of five.  After graduating from Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, he was tapped to become lead vocalist and drummer by the late Virginia-based guitarist Roy Buchannan.    In the nineties, Hambridge formed his own band and moved to Nashville, Tennessee.  Tom Hambridge:  The NOLA Sessions should be relatively easy to find

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The Embers are celebrating the group's 60th anniversary by releasing the long-awaited album, Together.  How appropriate the title is, as Craig Woolard, Andy Swindell, Gerald Davis reunited with founding member and band leader Bobby Tomlinson, long-time member Jeff Grimes and others to release the group's first full studio album in sixteen years.  Together features the  band's hit song, Be With The One You Love, which was first released as a single by The Embers and was featured on the KHP compilation, Summertime Fun.  Another highlight on the album comes as a bonus track, which is Beach Vacation provided by Archie Bell, of Archie Bell & The Drells notoriety, and Craig Woolard.  Another bonus added is the current hot hit, Everything.  The song was written and performed by Tim Cashion and Craig Woolard.  Tim Cashion is no stranger to the Beach Music world, having had a number of hits presented to us.  His fulltime job is with Grand Funk Railroad.  Together also carries a number of popular and favorite songs that have been performed in concert such as I'll Always Love You, I'm Gonna Miss You, Some Bridges Need Burning, When She Is My Girl and 634-5789.  Also included are The Los Lonely Boys' So Sensual, Lisa Stansfield's 8-3-1 and Tower of Power's So Very Hard To Go.  In addition, several live recordings are added.  The Embers featuring Craig Woolard is made up by drummer Bobby Tomlinson, lead vocalist and frontman Craig Woolard on saxophones and flute,  lead vocalist Andy Swindell on keyboards, lead vocalist Bobby Nantz on trumpet and trombone, vocalist Jeff Grimes on guitar and saxophone, vocalist Gerald Davis on bass guitar and  vocalist Stephen Pachuta on trumpet.  Stephen also plays the flugar horn, organ and percussions.  In addition to the many music awards The Embers have accumulated over the years, the band's highlights came when they were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame and the South Carolina Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.  The Embors are honored to carry the moniker, North Carolina's Official Ambassadors of Music.  The band was also awarded the Military Coins of Excellance for their distinguished service, having played their Christmas concert on military bases throughout South Korea for American Troops in 2007 and 2008.  Don't miss out on Together by The Embers featuring Craig Woolard.

 

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J.P. Soars has hit the high road with his new release under his own Soars High Productions label.  The new CD is called Southbound I-95, as he heads some coastal area in the Sunshine State.  J.P. and his band come on strong with Shining Through The Dark.  This one has the right beat and the right words as the sun beats down shining through the dark.  The up-tempo played at  -4 or -5 should get some attention.  It's somewhat like Rockin' Pneumonia with a temperature.  Try Deep Down In Florida.  It has somewhat of a Latin beat to it with Dr. John-style vocals.  The song is a little long at five-plus minutes, but that can be edited.  Southbound I-95 has a host of guest musicians and singers.  Teresa James provides background vocals on several songs including Shing Through The Dark.  Other notable guests include Jimmy Thackery, Albert Castiglia, Tom Hanck and Sax Gordon.  In 2009, J.P. was the winner, along with his band The Red Hots, of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee.  Accompanied by Red Hot bassist Cleveland Frederick and his longtime drummer Christ Peet, the trio has an extensive tour schedule.  J.P. Soars, an Arkansas native, now resides in South Florida.  Southbound I-95 by J.P. Soars is red hot.  You should be able to find this one at any location that caters to the Blues.   

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  Jim Quick & Coastline performed in concert at an entertainment complex just outside of Rocky Mount, North Carolina called MNO.  The event, held on September 29, 2017, was hosted by deejay Fred Rouse and concert was recorded live.  The results?  The album, Jim Quick And Coastline Live At MNO!  The album carries an array of Coastline hits such as Late At Night, Turn Me Over, My Little Lucy and Callin'.  Jim Quick & Coastline aka King Tyrone & The Graveyard Ramblers also performed The Driver and Bad Magic during the concert.  Two new songs broke out during the event, Cleaning Windows, which also appears on the new KHP release, Never Throw Your Dreams Away, and the ballad, At This Moment.  This song was first recorded in 1981 by Billy Vera & The Beaters on the band's self-titled live album.  The song was released as a single but stalled on Billboard's Hot 100 chart at #79.  The song was later re-released as a result of it being used in the soundtrack of the popular NBC television show, Family Ties.  The song re-entered the charts, becoming #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary chart.  The song also crossed over into the Rhythm & Blues chart and the Country chart, which boosted the classic to gold.  I'm not too much on live albums, but Jim Quick & Coastline's Live At MNO is an exception.  By the way, MNO stands for Men's Night Out, which is a popular venue in the Atlantic coastal plain region of North Carolina, just outside of Rocky Mount.  Visitors are greeted by the Uniroyal Gal which was used as a promotion for Uniroyal Tire in the 1960's.  The gal sports a huge beach ball that came from Mosely's Shady Lake Motel, that was also located outside of Rocky Mount.          

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Rev. Bubba D. Liverence & The Cornhole Prophets hit song, Be My Sugar, not only appears of the KHP compilation, Spice Of Life, but also is the key song on the group's new release, Chicks Dig Me.  The release is not a one-song album by far.  Get Right could easily be the followup hit.  Or maybe Higher will be the followup hit.  Both have the potential to enter into the charts.  Other tunes you will want to check out are Let Me Break It Down For You and The Girl Ain't Right.  One other that could make it to chartland is Carolina Blue.  The song has a great beat.  It reminds me somewhat of The Swingin' Medallions back in their earlier days.  Rev. Bubba D. Liverence & The Cornhole Prophets is based out of the Auburn, Alabama.  The group has gained a tremendous amount of followers over the past years due to hits such as If You Can't Shag, A Night Like This and Cool With Me.  A prolific songwriter, Bubba, aka Mike Hooks, wrote all of the songs on Chicks Dig Me.  The right reverend is a huge Auburn fan.  He wrote the song, Let The Eagle Fly, that has been played prior to the War Eagles' home games at the Auburn University stadium.

Kwik Kuts

 

  Here are some cuts from various artists' new or relatively new releases that should attract steppers out to the hardwoods.

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Rise Above It by Eugene Hideaway Bridges.  The song is part of the new Live In Tallahassee release from Blue Armadillo Records.  This album is dedicated to the memory of his father, bluesman Othineil Bridges, Sr., better known as "Hideaway Slim".  The album features an array of Eugene Hideaway Bridges's notables, such as How Long Will It Take, I Can't Wait, I'm Holding On and I Can't Stop Loving You Baby.

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  Sexy And You Know It by David Brinston.  There are several good songs on David's new album, Kitty Whipped, from Echo Records.  It was a chore on this one, choosing between Sexy And You Know It and Club Booty.  I felt that Sexy And You Know It may be better suited.  Check out the Zydeco remix of Club Booty.  It rocks.  David Brinston, as you may know, gave us the huge hit back in the mid to late nineties with Hit & Run. 

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Guilty As Charged by Buddy Guy.  This one appears on the newly recorded album, The Blues Is Alive And Well, from Station House Records.  George "Buddy" Guy just celebrated his 82nd birthday on July 30.  Born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, he moved to Chicago in the mid-fifties.  In the 1960's, he played with Muddy Waters and began a musical partnership with the harmonica player Junior Wells.  Over the years, Buddy Guy has influenced distinguished guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan and numerous others.  Over the years, Buddy Guy has won seven Grammy Awards, 23 W.C. Handy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

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Back To The River by Dany Franchi.  The song comes from the Swiss native singer's debut album, Problem Child.  Dany is joined on the song by Texas Blues legend Anson Funderburch, who co-produced the album with Don Ritter.  Other songs of note are Big Town Playboy, Big Kind Hearted Man and You Don't Want Me.  The latter is a slow song that will pack the dance floor.

 

 I'm Gone, But I'll Be Back - Buster Brown, 1961; Mike Little, 2018.

 

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