Slapwater, the heavy-weight champion of Peninsula area dance bands, has been entertaining local crowds with funk, soul and rock for four decades. The band will perform for free on Friday Oct. 14 at the Poquoson Seafood Festival. Showtime is 6 p.m.
The show will be a warm up for the group's 40th anniversary party happening Saturday Oct. 22 at the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton. As of earlier this week, a handful of tickets to that were still available. If you want to buy, call 369-0977 or send an email email@example.com.
I wrote a story for Sunday's Good Life section about the Newport News band's long, successful journey. In reporting for it, I interviewed Carl Hunt, one of the founding members of the band.
He explained that music has always been his main priority even though he's worked day jobs all his life.
"I’ve done everything," said the 61-year-old singer and sax player. "I’ve turned down good jobs, too. When Anheuser-Busch offered me a job, they said, 'You gotta do shift work.' I couldn’t do that. I need my nights. My dad said, 'You’re crazy.' I said, 'But Dad, I wouldn’t be happy. I love to play music.' That’s what I’ve always done."
Is playing in Slapwater as much fun as it was in the beginning?
"No. The [original] boys … they were a different breed," Hunt said. "We were like brothers. These guys, they know what I expect and they strive to do it. They’re talented musicians in their own way. Sometimes, I have to fuss. I tell them, 'This is how this band is going to sound. If you don’t want to go along with it, you’re free to go somewhere else. This is how this band has to sound.'
"If I don’t see people dancing, I’m worried. That’s when it’s time for me to stop. I’m done."
Hunt said he offers advice to younger musicians coming up.
"I’m happy for them, but longevity is the key," he said. "If you can stay there and maintain that sound, then you’ve done good. You’ve done something to be proud of."
Go here to listen to "Southern Skies," a recording by Slapwater.