I was drawn to this artist and label (Ecko) several years ago when on eMusic I was attempting to track down what remains to me the ever-mysterious "beach" music, a mid-century rhythm and blues variation of some kind out of North and South Carolina oceanfront dance clubs. Every example I've heard has been smooth, slick, and sweet. Some vinyl anthologies I owned now 20 years ago and more were marketed as "beach" and I loved them. You know how Internet searches go: try this, try that, up and down and off on tangents, and the next thing I was confronting these vaguely (and explicitly) bawdy offerings from a dozen or more Ecko anthologies with artists I barely knew: Ollie Nightingale, Barbara Carr, Sheba Potts-Wright, Chuck Roberson—and Bill Coday. Not much in the way of Major Lance, Tyrone Davis, or Billy Butler & the Enchanters, landmark beach artists I knew. But I was emboldened when I saw one of the Ecko series of anthologies traveling under the name It's a Beach Thang! Net net, I don't really know what to call someone like Bill Coday, for example—above and beyond a rhythm and blues variation of some kind, in this case fronted by a barrel-chested singer with a band with a way with the guitar. It feels older than it is. It feels ever so slightly pro forma. But somehow 1968 was the first date I had for this, and I believed it until I started to notice all the keyboard sweetening and the generally buffed production values. I still hear threads of gutbucket in it (maybe a result of the "chitlin' circuit" reference?), but all cleaned up too, like Times Square. So there's an ineffable element of danger that is missing from it in this day and age. But, geez, I swear, some days I could listen to stuff like this by the hour.