Dance To The Radio – Band of Oz
North Carolina based Band of Oz has just recently released their first album
in over eight years. Dance To The Radio has certainly been awhile in the making
for a band who has spent much of that time honing their craft as one of the finest beach, dance and show bands to be found
anywhere. The quality of this album absolutely proves that point – the production, instrumentation and vocals on these
twelve tracks is nothing short of outstanding. Combining four horns (Scott Fine,
Tim Morris, Daniel Morris, Chuck French) in play at any one time, lead and bass guitar work handled by Jerry West and Keith
Houston, David Franks providing keyboards and David Hicks on drums, this finely tuned outfit has taken their music production
to another level. With as many as five different individuals capable of assuming lead vocal duties, the band’s versatility
in style and delivery is unmatched in the genre. I am ready to tag them as the ‘East Coast version of Tower of Power’.
One advance track from Dance To The Radio has already found its way
to becoming a beach music standard. The strong vocals of Jerry West, 2009’s Carolina
Beach Music Awards Best Male Vocalist, propelled Build Me Up to win Song of the Year as well. The CD title track with Scott Fine singing lead was released just
a few short weeks ago and is already climbing the charts. Scott also does a great job with the lead on This Heart and ratchets up the energy a notch with the frenetic Jim Quick written Are You Ready To Party.
The Steelers, a group that goes back to the ‘60’s and
are still active, wrote and recorded I
Can’t Think in 1998. The Oz re-arrangement here along with Tim Morris’
smooth vocals removes the rough edges that were present in the original song to make it another potential hit maker.
If I had to pick my personal all time Top 25 set of songs, two
tunes featured here (She’s Still In Love and Heaven) might very well make the cut. Oz nailed them both with tremendous horn segmentation and right on time
vocal harmonization that fully supports the outstanding lead vocals that Scott and Tim provide.
The track on the CD that is most representative of the band bringing
the total package together may very well be Gonna Win You Back. The combination
of drums, keyboard, syncopated horns and background harmonies together with killer lead vocals from Jerry make this song stronger
than battery acid!! Jerry also does a bang up job with the ‘60’s classics This
Love Is Real and Girl Like You. Veteran soul belter Chuck French closes out
the album in fine style with a fitting tribute to the legendary Clifford Curry with She
Shot A Hole In My Soul.
more can I say guys, just an incredible job front to back….and well worth the wait!!