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Beach Buzz September

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It's That Time Again:  SOS Fall Migration time for North Myrtle Beach is here once again. The official dates are September 14th – 23rd, although there will be pre-SOS activities going on at some of the clubs during the days prior to the actual start date.  Don't let it be said that there is nowhere to dance and party at Ocean Drive.  The logos above represent no less than eight outstanding venues that are all geared to make the ten plus days of Fall SOS more enjoyable. And if you want to catch a break by heading down to Cherry Grove, HOTOs is right there in the mix as well.                    

 No doubt two of the most outstanding highlights of every Fall SOS are the Fun Sunday and Fun Monday events, and this year is no exception. On Sunday September 16th, the stage will be set for great entertainment from the Craig Woolard Band as well as the Mojo Blues Band, all the way from Austria. The Monday September 17th lineup has Jim Quick & Coastline, Andy King and the Mojo Blues Band. A return appearance is also scheduled for the legendary Iceman himself, Mr. Jerry Butler. Hope to see you there!                           

One added feature of SOS this year will be the early announcement of the 2012 Carolina Beach Music Academy Award nominees in all categories on Friday, September 21st. The November Awards show and overall weekend is shaping up to be one of the best to date with more artists than ever before in attendance. There is still time to join the Academy, vote for your favorite in each category and support Beach music. To find out more about the CBMA and how to become a member, go to the following website:  www.cammy.org.

 

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Club News: The Alamance County, N.C. Area has been a hotbed of Beach music bands since the early '60's. From the Monzas, Alpacas and Attractions to Holiday Band and the Magnificents, that area of central North Carolina has produced some of the finest in our history. There has always been several club venues in Alamance to support the bands and music. The newest of those hot spots is The Pit Pass Lounge located on Highway 54 in Graham. The Lounge has been featuring Beach bands every other Wednesday and some special events on weekends as well. The club is a cozy setting that brings back another vintage throwback tradition – brown bagging! Party At The Pass on Sunday, October 7th will feature three great bands: Holiday, Magnificents and Castaways on an outdoor stage. This should be a great event with several celebrity guests planning to attend as well!

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What's Brand Spanking New: The latest compilation from KHP Productions out of Dunn, North Carolina is, for my money, one of their best ever. The continuing series (this may be the final volume) of Coast To Coast comes together this time with The Music Lives On, in conjunction once again with The National Association of Rhythm & Blues DJs. This volume is a special tribute to the late Tom Polzin, past President of the Association and tireless worker for the preservation and promotion of the music.

Sea Cruz with Think It Over, Fantastic Shakers with Jelly Belly and Martin Davis Band with Take My Love are three tunes that, having had advance single releases to the DJs, are already making big noise on the Beach charts. Kenny 'Blues Boss' Wayne's Wild Turkey 101 Proof has been a chart staple of late as well. The lead off track on this production is an absolute killer – Portland, Oregon native and veteran bluesman Lloyd Jones' I'll Be Right On Down is definitely headed for chart stardom. Donnie Ray, one of the hottest Southern Soul and Beach music artists of the last two years, is back again with a dynamite shag remix of his previously released I'm Gonna Try Again. Rhonda McDaniel absolutely nails it on the upbeat bluesy Shut Your Mouth. A song Tom always wanted to see someone in our market take on, Dr. Hook's Better Love Next Time, is covered nicely here by The Carolina Breakers. 

Barry Herndon's musical resume includes being a member of Cream of Soul and Sleeping Booty as well as a booking agent for East Coast Entertainment for many years. His current band, The Party Nuts, checks in here with Don't Play That Song, a tune that has had more than its share of covers. I'll have to say, however, the strong instrumentation combined with soulful vocals on this rendition is outstanding!  Two Beach music legends, Gary Brown and North Tower, collaborate on the smooth Philly sound of Family Reunion.  The Virginia Beach All Stars, which features Steve Bassett, jump in with a line dance ditty appropriately titled Dancing Man. The Tim Clark Band demonstrate their boogie side and versatility with What's Up With That.

Outstanding music from outside the normal realm of  what we are familiar with: Florida based David Shelly & Bluestone's Too Far Gone is a true  Blues shuffle.  Lamont Gillespie & 100 Proof Blues creates a smokey barroom flavor on I Don't Need Another Heartache. Early indications on this one is that it will fill up the dance floor. A song that I pushed in the last edition of Beach Buzz, Mingo Fishtrap's Back It On Up, is in the lineup here as well. Who is this group called Super Blues Explosion on Tired Of Talkin', produced by the Shakers Chris Jennings? The lead singer sounds somewhat familiar .....

Sixteen resounding tracks in all, this compilation is simply great stuff, both for dancing and for your listening pleasure!

                                

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A Story Of Music Evolution: Did you know that the first significant horn band in the history of Rock music is also the second largest selling group in American Rock history, trailing only The Beach Boys in combined album and singles sales? Originally called Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago debuted in 1969 with what was referred to as 'Rock with Jazz fusion', combining the traditional group instrumentation of guitars, drums and keyboards with a powerful three piece brass section. Their first album went platinum and they were off and running, influencing arrangements and creative mix that was to be emulated by many for years to come. At roughly the same point in time, a group of musicians in the San Francisco / Oakland Bay area were pulling together a horn driven funky outfit that would be known as Tower of Power. Often utilizing as many as five horns in their performances, some forty plus years and twenty five albums later, they are still going strong. 

The sound of brass had already infiltrated R&B and  Soul music, particularly the infusion of saxophonists like King Curtis at the Atlantic and Capitol Records studios and Junior Walker at Motown. James Brown's traveling band was a large troupe complete with the JB Horns, producing some famous players over the years such as Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley. New Orleans R&B had been heavily influenced by horn play for years, evolving from their fundamental use in Jazz and Blues. Full horn sections became more popular in the mid to late '60's, used in house bands like The Funk Brothers in the Motor City and The Mar-Keys (aka Memphis Horns) at the Stax Recording studio in Memphis. Session musician brass players at the legendary Fame Studios in Alabama became known as the Muscle Shoals Horns.

The desire for brass further expanded in the mainstream in the early '70's as horn sections became an integral part of big name groups like Blood, Sweat & Tears, Kool & The Gang, Average White Band, Earth, Wind & Fire,  Commodores, Parliament-Funkadelic and Ohio Players. Other bands later 'borrowed' horn sections at times when heading into the studio to record. The legendary Tower of Power horn section has been part of dozens of studio recordings, including multiple albums for Little Feat, Huey Lewis and Santana.

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Regional bands with big horn sections have become almost cult status among their most devoted fans. In Los Angeles, there's Jack Mack & The Heart Attack, a band that has had several Beach music hits over the years. From the eclectic music land of Texas, there is the funky soulful stylings of Mingo Fishtrap. In New Jersey one of the long time fan faves' complete with multiple horns is Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes (one of my favorites as well, see the What's Not So Way Old article below). Remember several years ago when a group known as Tyn Tymes from Alabama came to the CBMAs and opened the Sunday show? They performed complete with at least five horns in the band if I remember correctly. Then there is a group called Here Come The Mummies from Nashville (or maybe Mars!!). Six horns in the band with some crazy live performances (all members completely wrapped in mummy outfits) and jammin' songs. Check out the sounds of Big Mouth & The Power Tool Horns, getting it done up in Wisconsin for many years. 

Beach music bands have evolved over the years with a realization that the sound of a brass section certainly enhances live performances as well as studio recordings. Band of Oz, Swingin' Medallions, North Tower, Part Time Party Time Band, Holiday Band, Craig Woolard Band, Out of Towners, Embers, Men of Distinction, Castaways, Attractions, Sensational Epics including newer bands like Atlantic Groove and Steve Owens & Summertime - what the heck, practically all of them out there are using multiple horns as part of their overall presentation and have found that this is the way to go.

 I believe it would be safe to say that a horn section is a definite enhancement for almost all types of music – whether it be Pop, Rock, Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk or Beach!

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What’s Not So Way Old:  A friend and work colleague of mine (yes, I did once work!) moved South from his native New Jersey in 1995. Upon realizing we had a mutual love of certain types of recordings, I tried a few times to explain Carolina Beach music to him. Finally he said “Oh, I got it, it's like when we used to spend summers at Cape May listening to Southside Johnny performing covers of old Kinks tunes”.  LOL, uh no, that's not quite it......

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes is a horn driven Rock band with a whole lot of Blues, R&B and Soul.  The band was formed by Johnny Lyon and Steven Van Zandt in 1974. Although Van Zandt left the group shortly thereafter to join fellow New Jerseyite Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, he continued to be involved with the Jukes as their manager, key songwriter (along with Lyon) and producer. The original horn section became known as The Miami Horns, touring not only with the Jukes but also with The E Street Band, Little Steven, The Max Weinberg 7 as well as a host of additional guest appearances with other noted musicians. The Jukes signed with Epic Records in 1976, releasing three albums over the next two years. Each recording was heavily influenced by R&B predecessors, with artists Lee Dorsey, The Coasters, The Drifters, Ronnie Spector and The Five Satins contributing their vocals on several of the songs.

Over the years, Johnny and The Jukes have recorded on major labels like Mercury, Capital and Sony as well as smaller entities and their own Leroy Records. Although eleven of their albums have made the Billboard charts, The Jukes have seldom been considered a 'major' player in the music business. If you listen to signature tunes such as I Don't Want To Go Home, Sweeter Than Honey, Little Girl So Fine, Love On The Wrong Side Of Town, Trapped Again, It's Been A Long Time, Tell 'Em I'm Broke, Dancing On The Edge Of The World, Baby Don't Lie and Without Love you really wonder why their star didn't rise to the top. Along the way, stand up covers of tunes such as Nothing But A Heartache, Having A Party, Ain't That Peculiar, Fannie Mae, Hootchie Cootchie Man, Walk Away Renee, Lovey Dovey, Got To Get You Off My Mind and Snatchin' It Back further demonstrate the influence Soul and Blues music had on the band.

Fessa John Hook's Beach Music Guide recognizes The Jukes 1976 version of It Ain't The Meat (It's The Motion) as being shag worthy. It is also interesting that the Craig Woolard Band covered Southside Johnny's I Can't Dance on their 2007 Come Get To This album, injecting some good local references along the way! Ditto for Band of Oz, with their rendition of The Jukes monster horn tune She's Still In Love on their 2010 Dance To The Radio release. I believe you will find even more of the music of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes to be beach environmentally friendly and Ocean Drive relevant if you listen carefully!

Artists, DJ’s, Club owners etc. send me your latest news for potential inclusion in Beach Buzz at nealfur@aol.com.

 

 

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