Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1978-80)

- Eddie Blair -- percussion, keyboards, sax, backing vocals

- Mark Downing -- lead guitar, slide guitar

- Tommy Redd -- lead vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals

- Kenny Soule -- drums, percussion

- Larry Uzzell -- lead vocals, bass, percussion, guitar, vocals, harp,


- Mike Uzzell - lead vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, backing vocals


  line up 2 (1980)

- Eddie Blair - - vocals, percussion, keyboards, sax

- Mark Downing - - guitar

NEW - Richard Gates -- drums (replaced Kenny Soule)

- Tommy Redd -- vocals, guitar

- Larry Uzzell - - bass, percussion, guitar, vocals, harp, trumpet

- Mike Uzzell - vocals, keyboards, synthesizers

NEW- Pee Wee Watson - bass (replaced Larry Uzzell)



  line up 3 (1980)

- Eddie Blair - - vocals, percussion, keyboards, sax

- Mark Downing - - guitar

- Richard Gates -- drums (replaced Kenny Soule)

NEW - Thumbs Johnson -- bass (replaced Pee Wee Watson)

- Tommy Redd -- vocals, guitar

- Larry Uzzell - - bass, percussion, guitar, vocals, harp, trumpet

- Mike Uzzell - vocals, keyboards, synthesizers






- PKM (Kenny Soule and Pee Wee Watson)

- Tommy Redd and the Soul Daddies





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Nantucket

Company: Epic

Catalog: JE 35353

Year: 1978

Country/State: --

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4344

Price: $10.00

Cost: $66.00


Based on the fact I had a college roommate who owned their debut album and played it quite a bit, my memories of this North Carolina-based outfit are they were more conventional than Cheap Trick, rocked harder than REO Speedwagon, had fewer chops than Boston, and didn't sound all that much like a Southern rock band.  Having listened to their self-titled 1978 debut for the first time in 25 years, those memories were pretty much confirmed ... 

These guys certainly paid their dues, before getting their late-1970s brush with fame.  Living in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Mark Downing, Tommy Redd and Larry Uzzell started their first cover band ('Stacks of Gold') while still in their teens.  By 1971 they were performing as 'Nantucket Sleighride' (borrowed from the title of a Mountain LP) and starting to incorporate original material into their performances.  Within a matter of months they trimmed the name down to Nantucket (great name for a Southern band).  Over the next eight years the group went through a string of personnel changes, while becoming regulars on the Southeastern club circuit.


Signing with Epic Records, the band finally scored a contract in 1978.  Unfortunately, Epic executives apparently had no idea what to do with these guys, ultimately deciding that the best marketing strategy was to dump them into the 'Southern rock' bin.  Needless to say  their debut "Nantucket"  wasn't really a Southern rock album.  Produced by Win Kutz, exemplified by tracks such as 'Heartbreaker' and 'Quite Like You' the set offered up a then-state-of-the-art set of material that was probably better described as falling under the AOR umbrella.  With guitarist Redd responsible for all ten tracks, the album was actually fairly diverse, taking stabs at boogie ('Real Romance'), top-40 pop ('Girl, You Blew a Good Thing'), and even some modest progressive moves ('What's the Matter with Loving You'). Having three decent lead singers certainly didn't hurt.  Larry Uzzell had the most commercial pop-oriented voice. Mike Uzzell had the "rock" voice, while Tommy Redd had the most southern sounding chops. Taken in small doses tracks like 'It's Getting Harder' weren't half bad (''), but overall there wasn't anything particularly impressive, or original here.  They may have been great in concert, but on the debut they were simply professional.  


Not sure why it took me years to appreciate Robert Grossman's funny cover art.


"Nantucket" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Heartbreaker   (Tommy Redd) - 3:53

I know.  I know.   'Heartbrealer' didn't have a single original thought or note stuffed into it's three plus minute running time.  It was corporate rock at it's most corporate ...  and yet the tune is a hoot.  Mindless fun that should have made these guys massive AOR stars.  Epic released it as the leadoff single:

- 1978's 'Heartbreaker' b/w 'She's No Good' (Epic catalog number 8-50556)  rating: **** stars

2.) Never Gonna Take Your Lies   (Tommy Redd) - 3:49

'Never Gonna Take Your Lies' was one of the few tunes where the band actually managed to carry Southern rocker flag with some conviction.  At the same time, their sweet harmonies bore an uncanny resemblance to the German band Lake.   rating: **** stars

3.) Real Romance   (Tommy Redd) - 4:08

The Downing, Redd, and Uzell triple lead guitar attack was nice, but otherwise this was bland and forgettable bar band fodder that you'll forget within seconds of the next song kicking in.   rating: ** stars

4.) She's No Good   (Tommy Redd) - 3:36

Quite commercial and some nice lead guitar, but ultimately a bit too cute for their own good ...  The hyper-drive speed closing section didn't exactly help this one.    rating: *** stars

5.) Born In a Honky Tonk   (Tommy Redd) - 3:21

I'm not a big fan of anything that has 'Honky Tonk' in the title, of lyrics, but this was one of those rare exception - nice "group" vocals and the song had an irresistible hook. Shoot, I could even put up with the Eddie Blair sax solo.     rating: **** stars


(side 2)
1.) It's Getting Harder   (Tommy Redd) - 3:33

They sure did have a knack for crafting sweet harmony vocals and 'It's Getting Harder' was probably the album's most pop-oriented performance.  rating: *** stars

2.) Girl, You Blew a Good Thing   (Tommy Redd) - 3:29

Redd had the most 'Southern' voice in the band and he put it to good used on the breezy 'Girl, You Blew a Good Thing'.  With the tasty refrain, this was tapped as the second single:

- 1978's 'Girl You Blew a Good Thing' b/w 'Quite Like You' (Epic catalog number 8-50622)

   rating: **** stars

3.) Spring Fever   (Tommy Redd) - 4:44

Larry Uzzell had the most pop-oriented voice and it showed on bland ballad 'Spring Fever'.   This one sounded like it could have been the theme song for some instantly obscure television sitcom.   rating: ** stars

4.) Quite Like You   (Tommy Redd) -2 :28

Wonderful slice of mindless boogie fun.   Might be worth the price of admission alone.   rating: **** stars

5.) What's the Matter with Loving You   (Tommy Redd) - 3:24

With Larry handling lead vocals, ' What's the Matter with Loving You' was another fun boogie rock tune with a great little refrain and some taste Southern rock guitar fills.  rating: *** stars