Band of Oz

The beach-music group, playing at Kuru Beach Klub in Avon, first came on the scene when Lyndon B. Johnson sat in the White House.

Members have come and gone since then, but to quote Led Zeppelin, “the songs remain the same.”

The Raleigh-based octet is known for such classics as “Shaggin’,” “Ocean Boulevard” and “Shama Lama Ding Dong.”

Band of Oz is the Beach Music Hall of Fame, and several of their songs have won Cammy Awards, the highest honor in the shag world.

On stage, the group also remakes soul, disco and funk tunes.

The Ocracoke-based singer-songwriter spends a lot of time on the road, averaging 200 shows a year on a circuit from Maryland to Florida.

This week, he’s doing five gigs on the Outer Banks.

On stage, Wade, 37, plays electric and acoustic guitars and basses, drums, percussion, ukelele and the Theremin, an electronic instrument that produces eerie, ethereal sounds.

For the uninitiated, the latter was used to great effect on the Beach Boys’ classic “Good Vibrations.”

Wade uses a “looping machine” which allows him to layer the instruments on audio tracks in real-time, making him a one-man band.

I recently caught up with Wade for a chat.

Q: I know you’re a struggling artist, but you can’t afford shoes?

I didn’t like shoes as a kid. So, I started performing barefoot in 2004 and the name just stuck. I’ve probably done 2,600 shows since then.

Q: What about off-stage?

I wore boots in the Idaho last year and moccasins in New York City a few years ago. That’s about it. I have about one-inch calluses on my feet, so I can walk around anywhere.

Q: Describe your repertoire.

It’s about 50-50 originals and covers.”

Q: What are a few of your favorite originals?

“The Hurricane Party,” which is sort of a mid-tempo songs; “the reggae song “The Great Adventure” and “Strawberry Ice Cream Bubbles,” which is just a fun, upbeat song.

Q: How about cover tunes?

I’m all over the place: Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, The Beatles, Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead and Ween. I probably have a list of 350 songs.

John Harper has been covering the local entertainment scene for The Coast and Virginian-Pilot since 1994. Harper also is longtime radio broadcaster and program director on the Outer Banks and can be heard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday on the local Triple A outlet WVOD-99.1-The Sound, where Harper serves as music director. In addition, Harper can be heard on Classic Rock 104.9 and 92.3 and is an award-winning wedding DJ.

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