Ramblin’ Rhodes: British Invasion Years will bring back hits

The British Invasion Years show is performed by Jeff Alai (drums), Jon Wolf (keyboard), Bobby M. (bass guitar) and Lee Scott Howard (guitarist). SPECIAL

The first British invasion in South Carolina lasted until the early 1780s when Patriot victories at Kings Mountain and Cowpens enabled Continental Army Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene to push British soldiers out of the colony.


There will be a different kind of British invasion in South Carolina this week when a four-member rock band invades the AECOM Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Aiken.

Bass player Robert Murdock (who goes by the stage name Bobby M), guitarist Lee Scott Howard, drummer Jeff Alai and keyboard player and guitarist Jon Wolf will perform their “British Invasion Years” touring show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 28-29.

According to the online seating charts only a few tickets remain at $40 adults or $20 students. Call (803) 648-1438 or buy online at apagonline.org.

This presentation really is three shows in one, according to co-founder Howard.

First comes the tribute to the British bands who revolutionized the American music scene in the mid-1960s including The Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, Zombies, The Dave Clark Five, Freddie & The Dreamers, The Animals, Herman’s Hermits, The Who, The Troggs and Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Next comes a salute to the American bands from the same period including The Monkees, Mamas &Papas, Lovin’ Spoonful, Jefferson Airplane, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Doors and Tommy James & the Shondells.

Finally comes the big wrap-up with who else but the “Fab Four” themselves (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison) best known as The Beatles.

“We have found that audiences who come to see our show go back in time,” said bassist Murdock in a recent television interview. “This is what they actually have said to us; that you brought me back to my teen years or my childhood or whatever the case may be and you made me remember a time in my life when thing were simpler.”


HOW LIFE CAN CHANGE IN A YEAR: It really makes you stop and think about how much you appreciate just being alive in realizing just one year ago this month rhythm and blues superstar Sharon Jones was performing the last concerts of her life. The Augusta native who had made North Augusta her home base for her world tours spent most of September 2016 with her band The Dap Kings opening shows on the west coast for Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Stops that month alone included Washington state, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, California and Nevada.

Even though she was less than two months from her death on Nov. 18, Jones still was at the top of her game in thrilling audiences with her soulful singing and onstage energy.

Throughout that summer, reviewers consistently praised Jones and another opening act, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue band, for stealing the evening away from multi-million selling duo Hall &Oates.

Geoff Carter wrote in the Las Vegas Weekly about what he didn’t realize would be Jones’ final performance, “Any act that follows the great Sharon Jones already has its work cut out for it: Even at age 60 and battling pancreatic cancer, Jones can still sing circles around performers one-third her age, which Hall &Oates are not.”

When the tour ended, Jones flew home to North Augusta where she planned to attend the Sept. 30 showing at the Imperial Theatre of the documentary film Miss Sharon Jones!, but she ended up watching the special evening via live stream from a bed at University Hospital.

Death would silence her amazing voice on Nov. 18 in a medical center in Cooperstown, N.Y. Her life was celebrated with music and eulogies on Dec. 17 at the Imperial with her ashes eventually buried in Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church graveyard in North Augusta.

What a difference a year makes.

Jones and New York singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten exchanged a series of emails published on thethread.com with Jones candidly writing, “You asked how having cancer changed me. It made me realize that life is short, and you got to enjoy life while it’s here. The cancer made me look inside myself and find strength. It made me stronger and wiser and more into life. It’s important to enjoy life while you have it.”

upcoming music

  • Old Dominion: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, Bell Auditorium, 2017 Academy of Country Music new group of the year, $27.50-$39.50; georgialinatix.com, (877) 428-4849, James Brown Arena box office
  • A Tribute To The King: 7:30 p.m. Thursday Oct. 5, Jabez S. Hardin Performing Arts Center, 7022 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans; Elvis Presley tribute with Travis LeDoyt; (706) 726-0366, augusta amusements.com
  • An Evening With Riders in the Sky: 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, Newberry, S.C., Opera House, $45, $40, $35; newberryoperahouse.com, (803) 276-6264
  • Guy Penrod: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, Newberry, S.C., Opera House, Gaither Homecoming TV series star; $35-$45
  • Under The Boardwalk: 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, The Discovery Center, 405 Main St., Edgefield, S.C., beach music, Motown and Golden Oldie hits featuring Jeff Barnes and Mike Johnson; $15, (803) 637-2233
  • The Becky Buller Band: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, Imperial Theatre; Morris Museum of Art’s Southern Soul &Song series with special guests Kenny and Amanda Smith; (706) 722-8341 or imperialtheatre.com