Well Spring SOS in the Summer is in the books and it was great to see people out in the clubs again sharing in this music we all love! The bands were hot, the DJ's at all of the clubs kept the dance floors filled and it seemed like everyone had a great time! Seeing people out having fun and hanging out with their friends was a wonderful sight! Just think about where we were a year ago! It finally feels like things are returning to normal at the beach!
On a personal note, I had the opportunity to hang out with some awesome people and bands while in North Myrtle Beach. The Carolina Coast Band featuring Rhonda McDaniel put on a great show at Deckerz! I have never seen anyone play a keyboard and guitar at the same time but that's exactly what Rickey Godfrey did that night! What an amazing talent! Thanks to Joey Werner and Rhonda for the opportunity to come on stage and say a few words. Also the band had Russell Henry come up and do "Under The Boardwalk" and "My Girl" while I was there. What a treat to see this Beach Music legend in person! Russell was with The Drifters for 50 years folks; and at the young age of 81 is still getting it done!!
On Friday night I had the opportunity to see a band I had not seen before, The Pizazz Band out of Roxboro, N.C. All I can say is WOW! One of the more impressive bands I have ever seen to be quite honest! They put on a high energy show with a wide variety of music; everything from The Tams to Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"! They also performed Theodis Ealey's "Stand Up In It"! LOL. I have never witnessed a band perform that song! Front man Kent Zimmerman kept the crowd energized with his slick dance moves and wide vocal range. Roger Whistett kept the groove tight and precise on the skins, Don Valleraux offered up his smoking saxophone, and keyboardist Brooks Paul (who by the way started his own band when he was 10 years old!) was amazing on the keyboard and offered up his vocals on a wide variety of music. I was blown away by the quality of the sound in the Galleon that night! It was as good as I have ever witnessed! Sound technician Carlton Young has over 30 years experience and it showed that night. What a great job! I believe the Pizazz Band are a sleeping giant in this industry. If you ever have the opportunity to see this talented group don't miss it!
Saturday night it was off to see Cat 5 at Deckerz and boy did they deliver the goods to a packed parking lot! Chris Biehler posted on his Facebook page that he thought Cat 5 might be the most musically talented band in all of the Carolinas! I tend to agree Chris! A band that is right there with them is Too Much Sylvia; who I had the opportunity to see tear the roof off of The Spanish Galleon on Saturday night! What an amazing group! If you've never seen Too Much Sylvia, you are truly missing out! Don't miss the next opportunity to see this group!
Rounding out my band experience for the weekend was a chance to see The Castaways at the OD Pavilion on Sunday afternoon. I have to honestly say that I hadn't seen them perform live in probably fifteen years, but they have not missed a beat! Karen Clayton out front was her usual dynamic self; and with a blazing horn section and Guy Brooks providing the bass for the rhythm section, the band has never sounded better! I had the opportunity to speak with Guy during their break, and be on the look out for a new Castaways release in the very near future. I can't wait!
With all that being said, let's go Inside The Music!
KHP Music released their long awaited CD compilation during SOS entitled "Which Way To The Beach" , the title track coming from the legend himself Bo Schronce! KHP Music continues their standard of excellence with this new CD project which contains 17 smoking tunes, 13 of which are originals! Now that's getting it done folks! Executive Producer and Project Engineer Keith Houston, with assistance from Producers Julian B. Fowler and Jay Jenkins, continues to provide us with quality material that fill up the Beach Music charts!
The CD leads off with an original tune from Tim Cashion "Sho Nuf Do" which was a song Tim wrote during his Loving On Ocean Drive project. Tim shelved the song for many years but decided to bring it back out, add some bells and whistles, and release the song. Boy are we glad he did as this is Beach Music magic folks! This song is already storming up all of the Beach Music charts and is making a strong push for #1 on many charts! Tim Cashion has been the keyboard player for Grand Funk Railroad for many years, but when he dips his toes into the Beach Music market, magic happens! Sho Nuf does!
It takes a lot of confidence to attempt a Billy Stewart classic but Scott Fine is masterful in his interpretation of "Summertime". Just close your eyes and let your mind wander back to those good ole days of The Fat Boy and Summertime! You hardly even know this is a cover! Scott Fine has a been a mainstay on the Beach Music scene for many years including time with The Classics, The Attractions, and most recently The Band of Oz! Hope to hear more from this talented vocalist in the near future!
The title track "Which Way To The Beach" is up next and it is a collaboration from Jeffrey Lynn Reid and the legend himself, Bo Schronce. This fun tune was released last year as a teaser to the CD project and made it's way up and down all of the major Beach Music charts. I think Bo figured out the way to the beach as he was spotted at SOS making many appearances on stage with various groups. Great to see this Beach Music legend on stage again as we can never have enough Bo Schronce!
The Six Piece Suits burst on to the Beach Music scene this year with their interpretation of The Chairmen of The Board classic "(You Got Me) Dangling On A String". So on this CD we have a Billy Stewart cover and now a General Johnson cover! Indeed we do and The Six Piece Suits nail this version from start to finish! This party band out of Pensacola, Florida is led by Kyle Hooks, who just happens to be the nephew of our own Reverend Bubba D. Liverance! Great to see Kyle carrying on the family tradition started by the right Reverend! Hope to hear more from these guys in the future and someone needs to bring these boys to the beach! I hear they put on an amazing live show. I would be first in line!
Roger Smith, of The Poor Souls fame, lends his original tune "Sweet Summertime" to the project. Roger continues to get it done on this smooth shag groove. Man this song just makes me want to head to the beach and get my smooth shag groove on! But which way? Should I take 151 or Highway 9?? Roger Smith is a no doubt Beach Music legend and it is fantastic to see him still active and getting it done! Great job Roger with this original Summertime groove!
Jeff Ayers and Maggie Coble are up next with their smoking duet version of "This Ole Heart Of Mine". Now let me get this straight; first a Billy Stewart cover, then a Chairmen Of The Board cover, and now an Isley Brothers cover? Get out of town! But yes folks, Jeff and Maggie pull this off in stunning fashion, with Maggie complimenting Jeff perfectly! Throw in a smoking sax and you have a sure fire floor filler! Can't wait to hear more from the talented Jeff Ayers in the future!
R. Mark Black who made his mark (pun intended) in Beach Music history with his long run with The Embers contributes another original tune to the project with "What About Me". This song follows up his cover of "Whispers Getting Louder" which had a long run on the Beach Music charts and was included on The Party Of a Lifetime Tribute to Steve Hardy CD compilation. This song has everything we have come to expect from an R. Mark Black composition: Smooth groove, high energy vocals, smoking horns,, and top of the line production! Another fine effort from the studios of R. Mark Black! Look for this song to climb the Beach Music charts this summer!
Next up on the CD is another original tune written by Charlie Sattenfield (who also wrote "New Latitude" from Calypso Joe and The Coconuts and "Ocean Drive" by Archie Bell among others) and performed by Christina Cooper Black. "I Miss You Babe" was written by Charlie several years ago and was shelved until his family told him it was time to release it. Well he found the perfect outlet in Christina Cooper Black, who performs the song in memory of her late husband, the legendary Tommy Black, who gave us the Beach music classic "Shadow Shaggin'" among so many other classic Beach Music tunes. Check out the video on You Tube, but I warn you to have a tissue if you are a Beach Music lover as it includes so many of our Beach Music friends who are now in Beach Music heaven!
The Martin Davis Band, which consists of former Ember Durwood Martin and Tony Davis (formerly of Kruze Band and others), teams up with with long time friend Bill Lyerly on "Juke Joint Jimmy's", another original tune on the project written by Bill himself. This smokin blues number is worth the price of admission alone as it recently ascended to the top of John Hook's Beach Music Top 40! Hope to see another collaboration from these three in the near future!
A song that was released last year and hasn't received the recognition it deserves is "Dancin' By The Ocean" from the Uptown Boys. Who are The Uptown Boys? Well I'm glad you asked! The band is another in the long line of talented bands from Burlington, N.C. and includes Mike Foster, formerly of the band Punch and Clint Horton, the unmistakable voice of The Magnificents for decades. The band is also managed by Alan Brantley who had a long run with The Holiday Band. This original tune, penned by Mike Foster, deserves more chart action as it has only cracked The Smokin' 45 chart among the major Beach Music charts. Hopefully it's inclusion here will springboard this song to the chart attention it deserves! Perfect summer song as we all long to be Dancin' By The Ocean!
Joe Graziani and The Delta Riders offer up another original tune with their bluesy upbeat number "I Can't Satisfy You". This sure fire floor filler features Joe's grizzly vocals, a smokin' harmonica solo, an underlying baritone sax that just rocks from start to finish, and an in the pocket dance beat! This song is already making an assault on the Beach Music charts as it is currently #15 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40! Look for this bluesy number to make a push toward the top of the chart in the coming months!
Another former Ember (seems to be a recurring theme on this CD) Andy Swindell teams up with keyboardist Sylvia Johns Ritchie (who currently has the #2 song on John Hooks Beach Music Top 40 "Gonna Stop My Lookin') to offer up another original tune "I Must Be Dreamin". This song follows up a long line of solo releases from Andy and teaming up with Sylvia just creates Beach Music magic! This song is currently #24 on John Hooks Beach Music Top 40 and I expect this song to continue to climb the charts in the near future! I hope to hear more duets from this talented duo!
Tim Clark offers up his original tune "Been There Done That" to the project and it starts out with a guitar groove that has Tim himself saying "aww that's a groove right there"! Boy was he right! This song just grooves from start to finish, getting in your head and refusing to leave! This song is a reflection of Tim's 40 years in the music industry, including his time with the band Sugarcreek. His four leaf clover mentioned in the song? A random phone call to his start up agency in Louisville, Kentucky that led to him becoming the frontman for the legendary Sugarcreek! As the song mentions, Tim has been there and done that (and if you listen closely you can hear the backup singers say "got the T Shirt baby!), and he also has the T shirt! Lol! Tim Clark's place in Beach Music history is secure, but he adds to his legacy with this outstanding effort! I truly believe this will be one of the Super Summer hits and will ascend to the top of the Beach Music charts in short order. Well done Tim!
What happens when Carolina Beach Music legend Mike Taylor meets up with Virginia Soul Music legend Julius Pittman? A groove of epic proportion entitled "I'll Find A Love" that's what! As everyone knows, Mike Taylor fronts Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame group The Holiday Band, but you may not know that Julius Pittman fronts Virginia Soul Music Band Julius Pittman and The Revival. Get these two together and you surely have a Soul Music Revival! This smokin' original tune penned by Julius and Kelly Mose is starting to move up the Beach Music charts as it is currently #26 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40. It's inclusion here should propel the song to future chart action on all of the major Beach Music charts!
Yet another original tune on the CD is "Shimmy Shimmy" from Harold Smith and The Four Knights Orchestra. To be honest, I had not heard this song until receiving my copy of the CD. Man was I blown away! This may be the sleeper song on the CD. From the song title, I was expecting a blues song. Well folks I was wrong! This is a smooth shag groove that should fill the floor for those smooth steppers! Harold Smith has worked with Midnight Allie in the past and is currently working with Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot. Obviously he makes time for solo work as well and I hope we hear more of this in the future! Great job Harold!
Guess what folks? Track #16 is another original tune; this time from the pen of Robert Marion AKA Uncle Rob from Silk Groove Revue. "Last Chance" fits into the smooth shag groove that has been featured throughout this CD. Silk Groove Revue burst onto the Beach Music scene a couple of years ago with "Lovers Lullaby" and I feel this is their strongest effort to date. Give this smooth groove a spin. You will be glad you did! Also be sure to check out this talented group live if you ever have the chance. They put on a high energy show that is a must see! Hope to hear more from these guys in the future!
Well we are to the last track and boy do we go out with a bang! So far we've had a Billy Stewart cover, a Chairmen Of The Board cover, and an Isley Brother's cover. How do we end? With an O'Jay's cover! William Dell and The Wee Jams who hit the Beach Music charts with "Most Of The Pretty Young Girls" and "I Love Only You" give us their version of "Lonely Drifter". This classic tune which includes the unmistakable sound of waves crashing along the shore and seagulls in the air just makes you long for the beach!! Also recorded by The Pieces Of Eight in 1967, this song is given new life by The Wee Jams! What a great way to close out this amazing compilation of songs!
So folks there you have it! I don't know what more can be said about this outstanding compilation of material. With an incredible mix of thirteen original tunes and four covers that leave you asking "are these really covers?", "Which Way To The Beach" is an absolute must for your Beach Music collection! This CD was a long time coming, and boy was it worth the wait! Hats off to Keith Houston, Julian B. Fowler, and Jay Jenkins for the amazing job on this CD! "Which Way To The Beach?" My route is I 385 to I 26, I 26 to I 20, I 20 to I 95, Hwy 327 to Hwy 22, Hwy 31 to Robert Edge Parkway straight into Main Street Ocean Drive North Myrtle Beach, S.C.! All the while blasting "Which Way To The Beach" along the way!!
To get your copy of "Which Way To The Beach" visit http://www.buybeachmusic.com
Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot have been just THAT recently as they have been filling up the Beach Music charts with songs such as "Georgia", "Got To Be You", "Let's Go Round Again", and "Just Can't Get You Out Of My Mind". Let's also not forget the many other duets and songs that Gary and his band members are involved in such as "Kiss On My List" (with Steve Edmunds), "Two More Bottles Of Wine", "Turn Back The Clock" (with Harold Smith), "There's Still Music" (duet with Doyle Wood), and Gary and his band members being involved in Deb Browning's smash hit "Stop Messing With My Man", which has been atop the Riptide Radio Top 20 for the last six weeks!
Wow! If that wasn't enough, Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot just dropped their latest CD project "Change The World", which contains eight more original tunes! Does this guy ever sleep? It doesn't appear so as "Change The World" has come out of the gate strong with two songs that are already garnering major chart action!
"Just Like Falling In Love"; with Gary on the lead microphone surrounded by some of the most accomplished instrumentalists in the business, is already making it's assault on the Beach Music charts. The song is currently #27 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown and I expect it to make a major push up all of the Beach Music charts! Folks this is how music is supposed to be created: Top notch production, a leave no doubt vocal performance, and a horn section that just takes you back in time! This is the way music used to be created! Folks give me this song seven days a week and twice on Sunday!
"I Got The Feeling" is the other tune that is making noise on the Beach Music charts. The song is currently #25 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown and #34 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40. Again, this tune takes me back to the days when music was actually created live; not by a computer program! Look for this tune to push up the Beach Music charts this Summer as well as it again features a leave no doubt vocal performance from Gary as well as featuring the incredible array of talent in his band!
While the above two songs are getting the most chart attention, don't sleep on the two songs on the CD that feature the newest member of Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot; James Walsh. Yes that James Walsh, formally of James Walsh and The Gypsy Band! "Lie To Me" will be a favorite among the smooth shag steppers and features a blistering sax solo! "The Caves Of Altimara" is a Steely Dan cover and features the Tower Of Power horn section featuring Larry Pickett on the sax solo!
Gary Lowder is working to "Change The World" folks one song at a time. Any individual or group contemplating releasing music into this genre, or any other genre for that matter. should listen to this CD from start to finish. This is the way music should be created and produced today. If you are thinking of releasing it any other way, you should Change Your World!
To download "Change The World" and for for more information on Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot visit http://www.garylowdermusic.com
We reviewed the new Patman and Robin Records CD compilation "A Little More Love" last month but just wanted to remind you that if you haven't gotten your copy of this CD yet, don't hesitate and go to http://www.largetime.net to order your copy today!
Some updated highlights from this CD:
"A Little More Love" - The title track from Lesa Hudson and Mike Taylor is still being played on every Beach Music radio station and is still continuing to show up on all major Beach Music charts.
"Hello Stranger" - The Main Event Band featuring Sharon Hyler Woodruff's interpretation of the Barbara Lewis classic continues to be a mainstay on the Beach Music charts as it is currently #8 on Riptide Radio's Top 20, and #10 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music Countdown.
"Bluemonia" - The Carolina Coast Band featuring Rhonda McDaniel is currently #35 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40 and was #25 on The Smokin' 45 for June! Where will it end up for July? We shall see when Pat Patterson counts them down on July 5th!
"Where Are You Tonight" - The Magic Band out of Greenwood, S.C. currently hold the #37 position on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40. I expect this song to climb the charts in the coming months!
"Gonna Stop My Lookin'" - Sylvia Johns Ritchie's tune may be the sleeper song on this CD as it has quietly climbed to # 2 on John Hook's Beach Music Top 40!
Told you before but I will say it again, this CD is the best bargain in Beach Music today! Seventeen great songs for only $15! Order your copy today at http://www.largetime.net
Just about every single that was getting airplay during SOS has already been reviewed in my previous articles except for one blockbuster:
Lesa Hudson debuted her new single "Sunny Days" to a Facebook Live audience on June 18th and the results thus far have been Amazingly Amazing! (Ya'll get what I did there?), The song is being played by every major Beach Music Radio station and Lesa has done interviews on almost all of them. The song made it's debut at #24 on Eric Bowman's New Beach Music countdown this past week and folks if there is ever a sure fire #1 song this is it! Just give it time....This is the perfect song to kick off the Summer season and especially coming out of a pandemic, you couldn't ask for a better song to get you in that Summertime mood! Listen to the words, soak them all in, and thank GOD that Sunny Days are here again! Thank you Lesa for giving us a song that will go down into the annals of Beach Music history! I truly believe this song is that good!
Well folks that's it for this month! Here's wishing you s Summer filled with Sunny Days!!
Until next time when we go Inside The Music!
See ya at the beach!