Friday and Saturday, July 19-20

The Phantom Playboys

Of all the artists a modern musician might name as a prime influence, Louis Prima (“Just a Gigolo” was his biggie) wouldn't leap to the top of the heap.

But that's the name that came up when talking to “Jungle” Jim Kaylis, the drummer and spiritual leader of the Wilmington, North Carolina-based Playboys.

“He combined a lot of different styles, blues, straight blues, jazz and swing,” says Kaylis of Prima, who was a prime mover from 1929 to 1975.

“We just add a little rockabilly and honky-tonk,” he says, adding, “we have a lot of dynamics in the band.”

The five-piece –— upright bass, saxophone, trombone, guitar and drums — plays no-cover gigs Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, at Fish Heads Bar and Grill in Nags Head.

Kaylis, who describes the group's sound as “exotic,” mixes originals and covers, “Trouble,” and “Twenty Flight Rock' among them.

Self-penned tunes include such jumpers as “Born to Booze,” “Hollywood,” and “Psyclone.”

The Playboys employ the old-school call-and-response style singing, which often brings the audience into the show.

“You won't get bored,” says Kaylis, a onetime member of the Richmond-based legends the Cashmere Jungle Lords.

  • When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
  • Cost: Free
  • Where: Fish Heads Bar and Grill (Outer Banks Fishing Pier), 8901 S. Oregon Inlet Road, milepost 18, S. Nags Head
  • Info: 252-441-5740, fishheadsobx.com

Friday, July 19

(Almost) Everything

“We never broke up, officially, we just took a long hiatus.”

That's guitarist-vocalist Craig Honeycutt talking about his alternative-soul-pop band Everything, which toured and recorded from 1989-2003.

Formed at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the group was the ultimate party band, playing more than 200 shows per year.

The group gave many get-down and lift-up performances on the Outer Banks, many at the now-defunct Pit nightclub in Kill Devil Hills.

On Friday, July 19, three original members — Honeycutt, drummer-vocalist Nate Brown and multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Steve Van Dam — of the sextet will play a no-cover show at the Tap Shack in Duck.

The group recorded seven albums, including the 1998 major-label release “Super Natural,” which spawned the impossibly catchy tune “Hooch.”

“Hooch” took on a life of its own, popping up in the 1998 Adam Sandler movie “The Waterboy,” and on a half-dozen TV shows, including “Scrubs,” and “My Name is Earl.”

For the “reunion” gig, the trio will “cherry-pick” tunes from the Everything catalog, among them, “South of the Border,” “People Are Moving,” and “Good Thing.”

“With just guitars and drums,” says Honeycutt, who lives in Nags Head and performs solo under the name Folkjet. “it will be direct and raw.”

And will the gig reignite the flame?

Honeycutt answered the question with a question.

“Is it the beginning of something?”

He left it there.

  • When: 6:30 p.m.
  • Cost: No cover
  • Where: Tap Shack, 1209 Duck Road (behind Coastal Cravings), Duck
  • Info: 252-480-0032, beardedfp.com

Thursday, July 25

The Embers

Mention the name the Embers to any beach-music fan, and watch a face light up.

For the more the five decades, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based septet has been helping shaggers put those flat feet on the ground.

The shag, for those who have been living in a cave, is a slow-downed version of the jitterbug and is considered the official dance of the Carolinas.

The Embers are members of both the South Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame, and the South Carolina Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.

Through there have been numerous lineup changes in the band over the years, but the songs and spirit remain the same.

The current incarnation of the Embers serves up such shag classics as “I Love Beach Music,” “I'm Gonna Do Beautiful Things for You,” and “Faraway Places” like they were written yesterday.

Also on the group's wide play list are remakes of tunes by, among others, Bruno Mars, Marvin Gaye, and the Commodores.

  • When: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $12 in advance, $15 at the door
  • Where: Beach Klub at Koru Village, 41027 Hwy. 12, Avon, on Hatteras Island
  • Info: 252-995-3125, koruvillage.com

 

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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