Thursday, May 2, 2013
The Local Motion Party Band has had people dancing to their blend of mostly beach music for the past three years. They recently headlined the second annual Goose Creek Beach and BBQ Festival.
Guitarist and bandleader Mike Wilson said the Charleston band is looking to gain exposure and mostly plays at private parties throughout the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia.
“We’re working on an album,” Wilson said. “It’s modern beach music originals. We’re talking to a couple of labels. There’s a new label being formed in Arizona. He’s talking to us and a zydeco band from New Orleans.
“We’ve got four songs in the can for this CD. Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have it. The songs are written mostly.”
Wilson said the band has a heavy Motown influence and also plays some newer material.
“We do a lot of stuff with the Summerville Shaggers Club. They’re the only ones in the area that use live bands for their events. We’re not strictly beach music, we extend out a bit, but that is our basis.
“There’s many definitions of what beach music is nowadays, we just say dance music.”
He said the band plays some originals and each member is an accomplished musician. Genine Petit is the lead vocalist.
“She’s done a lot of background work in Nashville,” Wilson said. She had an album with Edwin McCain on it. South Carolina people always help each other out.”
She sings a rendition of “At Last” by Etta James, Wilson noted.
“Daniel Walker is the keyboard player and vocalist. He’s the pup in this group, he’s the youngest. His mother used to write music. He was weaned on old rock ‘n’ roll and soul. He writes really melodically. He studied at College of Charleston.”
Greg Myers, originally from Ohio, holds down the bass guitar. Wilson said he has a good ear, is a natural musician and played in the U.S. Navy traveling band.
Our saxophone Laurin McGee is the saxophone player with† a symphony background. She’s originally from Charleston but went to school in Washington, D.C.
“She’s a heck of a sax player. She’s been with me the longest.
“Hopefully in 2014 we’re supposed to go to England. Northern Soul is really similar to beach music over there. We’re only talking about 10 days in the early Fall.
“I’m really proud of my band. They’re all better than me. But I crack the whip. I mostly play a Fender Strat, Vox amp. In this kind of music I'm mainly a rhythm player.”
Dan Stacy, of Charleston, is the drummer. Stacy played in New Orleans a long time and studied the city’s various beats.
“It’s difficult. He’s extremely well versed in those styles. He can play a pocket shuffle like nobody’s business. He lost all his instruments in Hurricane Katrina.”
Wilson said John Dixon of Kirkman Broadcasting was instrumental in getting the band going. He said Dixon is a walking encyclopedia of music.
“He gave us playlists. I wanted to know what was popular. When you start up a band you’re just trying to survive.”
Wilson said a book by Louisiana Tech University Dr. Rick Simmons called “Carolina Beach Music: The Classic Years” was helpful in hearing the stories of the real McCoys of beach music.
“We just love to play this stuff and be able to be alive and do it. It’s from the heart. We recorded four songs. All are very different. It’s bubblegum beach, there’s a bluesy one, an odd one a funny one. We’re looking forward to finishing it when that day comes.”