ASHEVILLE — Beach music doesn’t get a lot of play in the mountains, but nine-time Carolina Music Awards Entertainer of the Year Jim Quick doesn’t consider the music he makes exclusively a soundtrack for summertime shag dances.
“What I do is really better described as good-time music,” Quick said in a phone interview from his home base of Wilmington. “There’s some rhythm and blues, soul and southern rock all in there, but to me beach music is more than just music. It’s a lifestyle.” Quick and his band Coastline play Saturday night at The Orange Peel.
Quick grew up in Laurinburg, listening to and later making a living as an AM radio disc jockey before banding together with some high school friends to form The Coastline Band in the early 1990s. Beach music and white soul cover versions of popular dance hits were mainstays of their initial regional tours and seven albums before they hooked up with the late General Johnson and The Chairmen of the Board and found their own niche.
“The General told me, ‘As long as you play other people’s songs, it’s always gonna be other people’s songs,’” Quick said. “We love the legendary songs that Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson and so many other great artists shared with us and they are still fun to perform, but that advice made us become more of a live venue act and less of a wedding cover band.”
There are no covers on Quick’s latest album “Down South,” but he does get some heavyweight help from fellow musician Delbert McClinton who plays harmonica on the song “Barking (I’m a Dog).”
“I had played a few shows where Delbert performed too and got to know him a little, but we weren’t really close friends or anything,” Quick explained. “When I started working on material for the new record, I knew I wanted him to be part of it but didn’t have a way to get in touch with him. I went to his web site and saw a place where you can fill out a form to send him an email and I wrote ‘I’ve got some of your money’ and didn’t offer any explanation.
“A few days later, I got a personal email from him asking what that was about and I gave him my cell number. He invited me to come by his house the next time I was in Tennessee and when I did we spent a whole night playing songs and singing together. Now we’re good friends and I’m grateful to him for being part of this record.”
Quick and his band play more than 300 shows in the Southeast a year, including recent dates with former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker and suggests that anyone wanting to have some fun come to The Orange Peel to see him do his thing.
“There are five guys in my band and they are all great musicians,” he said. “The energy level is not over the top, but it’s reminiscent of that old school 60’s and classic R&B groove where it’s a show you can’t help but sing along and dance to. We have a lot of fans in Asheville and everywhere between Johnson City to Greenville, but those people know we are not just hard core beach music. Come on out, see the show and you’ll get the connection.”
Jonathan Rich writes about entertainment for take5. Email him at jonathan