After talking, planning and working together for months, Andy Smith, Rick Lee and Jeff Scheible officially formed Green Dot Discs in March of this year.
Andy owns Green Dot Music, which until recently handled Wilmington band Jim Quick & Coastline. Rick Lee is a co-owner/keyboard player of Charlotte, N.C.-based Too Much Sylvia. Jeff Scheible owned Rock Bottom distributing company in Atlanta, Ga. until he closed the business last year.
According to Smith, the fledgling record label is currently focusing on three groups, all which he considers dance bands: Too Much Sylvia, Mark Roberts & Breeze and the Tim Clark Band.
“Our plan is to put out seven products this year,” he told me. “We’ll release a single for each group; a compilation CD that includes probably four tunes from each; and individual CDs for each band.
“The first CD release is Red Sunglasses from Too Much Sylvia during Myrtle Beach’s Sun Fun celebration in early June. The title track is the album’s first single. It’s a lot of fun.”
Mark Roberts & Breeze, formed in late 2007, is already a popular live act throughout the Carolinas. At the 2008 CBMA awards, the band was named New Group of the Year.
Formerly with 80s rock band Sugarcreek,which was owned by Rick Lee, Tim Clark is known throughout the southeast for his strong vocals and showmanship.
“We have three regional bands with marquee appeal … that are ‘in’ with the beach crowd, so we will definitely be catering to the shag market as well as west coast swing, bop in the north,” Smith says.
What about the future, I wanted to know. Will you be actively seeking to add artists and will they be dance bands?
Smith’s carefully worded answer was, “We’re not looking to sign great numbers of artists. We want to be selective and find the right ‘fit.’ Will they be dance bands? I expect so. At this point, I don’t see us venturing too far from our original idea.”
Next I asked about distribution. “We will be selling CDs from the stage, and all three bands are on the same page here. They’ll be promoting each other’s CDs. The music will also be in local stores and available for download from the Internet. And last, Green Dot Discs will be offering digital download cards.”
The website isn’t up yet, but will be shortly, so give them a little time and then log onto http://www.greendotdiscs.com. Look for more information about the new recording company to come out soon.
This will also be published in my Beach Newz column(May 21 – Jun 4, 2009, p. 24) in Coast and Alternatives magazines in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Ready To Party (2009)
Label: KHP Records
Ready To Party, the dance-driven offering from KHP Music features 14 tracks designed to get you on your feet and groovin’ to the music. This is the collection produced in conjunction with the National R&B DJ Association and released in time for Spring S.O.S., the ten-day shag extravaganza held in North Myrtle Beach every year. The compilation includes music for shag, line dancing, bop and swing.
Overall I like this disc a lot. The tunes are a nice mix of originals and covers, which happily, are sufficiently obscure that listeners won’t feel as though they’re sifting through the recycle bin. Plus, the production value is consistently good, which isn’t always the case with compilations.
Opening track is Chicago soulman Lonne Givens’ take on “I’m Ready To Party,” which was written by Sidney Bailey and John Ward in the 80s. You may remember versions by both Ollie Nightengale and Billy Scott. KHP has changed the tempo a bit and added instruments to the arrangement. A great opener, it sets the tone for the whole album.
Band of Oz is in the number two slot with an Al Green tune – “Build Me Up.” This is already a big hit with shaggers in the Carolinas.
Track number three, “Help Yourself To Me,” is written, produced and performed by Nashville soul-blues artist Rickey Godfrey. Backup vocals are handled by brother Ronnie Godfrey and sister-in-law Kim Morrison Godfrey. The guitar solo is classic Rickey Godfrey. With horns inspired, in part, by Willie Tee’s “Thank You John,” this one is also climbing the shag charts.
Vicki Skinner’s “See You Later” is track four. If it sounds familiar, Dee De Sharp recorded it in the eighties, but Skinner’s version is sultrier and sexier. A great slow shag.
“Doot Dootsie Wah” from Little Isadore & the Inquisitors is filling dance floors up and down the east coast. It’s doo wop with an edge, hard to resist.
Track six is another tune already shakin’ things up, “We’re Tight,” a duet by the bluesy Rhonda McDaniel and soulman from another planet, Angel Rissoff a.k.a Little Leopold, formerly with Little Isadore. This is a remake of a 1966 Rufus Thomas duet with daughter Carla, on the Stax label.
King Tyrone and the Graveyard Ramblers bring us “You Ain’t Got No Sense,” written by front man and prolific songwriter Jim Quick. KHP recut the original and added some big band sound that will be a surprise to anyone familiar with Quick’s unique brand of rock and soul.
Mark Roberts & Breeze covers the 1972 tune, “Don’t Ever Be Lonely,” by the Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose. It’s been rearranged very successfully with a shag beat. This is another tune that’s filling the dance floors.
“Mr. Zachary,” track nine, from the Taylor Manning Band, was written by Taylor Manning, who penned her first tune at 13 years old. Lead singer for the band, she follows her cover of “Mercy” last year with another hot dance tune.
The Magnificents cover the Aretha Franklin hit “‘Til You Come Back To Me,” which was co-written by Stevie Wonder and hit No. 1 on the R&B charts and No. 3 on Billboard in 1973. As usual, the Magnificents live up to their name.
Smoothie lovers, the Out-of-Towners bring you an old favorite, “I’ve Got the World On a String,” made famous by Ole Blue Eyes in 1954. This is dance music.
Track 12, “She Pulled the Trigger,” a kind of funny racy number about being shot in the patooty is by Bobby Smith, of the Poor Souls. FYI, this is the on air mix, no naughty language.
Kenny Vance and the Planotones are up next with “Miss Annie.” Originally performed by doo wop group, the Plurals, in the fifties, this is Kenny Vance’s second mix on this song. According to the record label, he’s fattened it up a bit.
The Fabulous Kays are the closers, with “10 Pounds of Party”, written by the band’s Tony Pace. This uptempo tune is sure to please swing dancers west of the Mississippi.
Ready to Party is a lot of fun and I like it more with each play.
This will also be published in the entertainment section of Coast and Alternatives magazines(May 21 – Jun 4, 2009, p. 26) in Myrtle Beach, S.C.