by: Ellen Gurley
Photograph courtesy of John Koontz
In DC Comics, there is one Aqualad (well, two, if you count Kaldur'ahm). In Charlotte, NC, there are four Aqualads who have been making waves in regional music for decades. Jimmy King, Greg Walsh, Darrell Ussery, and Jeremy DeHart aren’t man-mermaids but they do love the water. So much so that they committed long ago to the salt life paying homage to the surf since 1996.
If it feels like they’ve retired to the coast sipping drinks and doing nothing, guess again. They have been working on their seventh album and have promised their biggest fan (me) that they will be playing more shows.
The music they play is not without its obvious influences and the sound truly is cross-generational - with the author’s parents in their late 70’s and kids under ten mutually enjoying it. Shuffle Magazine called them “tight”, a Punch The Floor writer called them “middle-aged”, they call themselves “Alads”, and I call them surf rock. Old or not, they’re not played out and sure are easy on the eyes.
Sometimes with background dancers and never with lyrics, these nautical nuts want to be taken seriously though they definitely know how to have a good time (letting me clown them all and give them Smurf names in our interview). My City Magazine has no idea why these guys aren’t playing all over the US, but with careers of their own (and some with families), Charlotte gets to keep them. We are willing to share them with other cities that want to host them, but you’ve got to send them back to us.
• Aqualads Xmas (1998)
• Hotbox (1999)
• Revenge (2000)
• Surf! Surf! Surf! (2004)
• Treasures (2011)
• Aqualads & Friends (an Oso Grande Christmas) (2012)
• @ PETRA'S ON FRIDAY, MAY 13TH and
• @ SNUG HARBOR ON FRIDAY, JULY 1ST
You can fish for videos and audio links of the Aqualads by googling but if you’re a bum, here are a few.
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyKgaeE0E5c (Washout)
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbqYGEHByAA&nohtml5=False (Vientos Del Sur)
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGuEZGhq0xw (Reef Rider & Snake Eyes)
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