Buzzed into Kinston last evening to catch Maurice Williams at the summer concert series. I hadn’t seen Maurice in probably 40+ years. Think it was on the Grand Strand at Myrtle Beach. The Pavilion. We were packing up to bus back North to Washington and Ocean City. I walked over and caught a set. Anyway, a long time ago. Playing on the road is a tough life but the years have been kind to Maurice. Still has that Million Dollar Smile Maurice and his band, The Zodiacs, were riding high in the 60’s. He was coming off a sizeable hit with “May I” and the nationwide slam “Stay”. He had had penned and had some success with “Little Darlin” but it had been covered by the Diamonds who had the Nationwide hit. I always thought Maurice had the better version. I felt the same about Andy Williams Cover of Jerry Butler’s Moon River. Butler’s had more soul. That’s just me.
Of course the current version of the Zodiacs is composed of musicians, many of whom probably were not even born when Maurice was having his way with the charts. Some seasoned talent in the current group though. Missed the name of the guy on the soprano sax but he was brilliant. I love that sound. So was the Tenor Sax.
I’m lousy remembering names. Sorry Guys. Also the dude on the trumpet hitting those doubl hi “c’s. Good Lip. One of my favorite instruments is the trombone and Maurice had himself a good bone man last night. The lead guitar really had some good licks on the doobies hit Long Train Running but mostly I like the stuff with the caribbean flavor. Hot Hot Hot etc…. I don’t think the drummer missed a rim shot all evening….and he was chewing up some wood. Check out this left hand.Pick up some steel drums Maurice. They’d work for you big time. It was a big time. The band wasn’t as tight as I remember but hey, its been more than 40 years. I walked over backstage before Maurice came on for his set and we reminisced a bit about those hot times at the beach joints in the 60’s when the world was different.
See you next time on most of this same blog!