The second Alive After Five concert brings “Too Much Sylvia” to the stage on Thursday. The band consists of Rick Lee, keyboard and vocals and a 2018 recipient of the Carolina Beach Music Association's Writer and Producer Award, Steve Long, guitar and vocals, Eddy Howie, bass guitar and vocals and Don Leonard, drums and vocals.
All four of the current members of Too Much Sylvia have played, sometimes together, in other bands in the past. These so-called “704 bands” are those that got their start in the Charlotte area. It seems, at least as far as some of the Too Much Sylvia members go, they’ve shared other things as well.
“We all played Myrtle Beach and there’s a girl down there named Sylvia,” Lee said. “She wound up going out with all the different guys but we didn’t know it until we started to put Too Much Sylvia together and we started to talk about people we used to know. We all knew Sylvia rather well. We haven’t seen her since, which might be a good thing.”
At one time, Howie played with the Fantastic Shakers. He’ll get a chance to play with Lincolnton native Bo Schronce once again on Thursday. Schronce has retired from the Shakers and spends much of his time fishing but has agreed to get together with Too Much Sylvia for this concert in Lincolnton to play a couple of numbers.
“Bo and I go back years,” Lee said. “There were so many bands when we were coming up in the 70s and so many of us were from the Charlotte area. Bo branched out and started the Fantastic Shakers and we had Sugarcreek. Some of the “919” guys are down here now and some of ours are there, but the 704 bands were unique and good groups. We were different from the 919 bands.”
In an interview with Schronce last July, he said Lincolnton was one of his favorite places to play every year and that the only time he gets nervous on stage is when he comes to Lincolnton because “I want to do well for my people, my friends and family” and that it’s like “coming back home.”
Too Much Sylvia has been together since 1991 and will have played more than 3,000 shows by the end of this year. They’ve won nine CAMY Awards, three were song of the year awards and were received in the past five years.
“The live show will have some of our originals, beach music and lots of funky music, 70s, 80s and some current songs,” Lee said. “It’s been a while since we’ve been to Lincolnton. Our band has three lead vocalists and the harmonies are really good. It’s an up tempo show. If you can’t dance to Too Much Sylvia, you haven’t got a pulse.”
The concert is free to attend. Streets in the first two blocks of East Main Street behind the courthouse will be shut down beginning at 4 p.m. DJ John Barkley will entertain concert goers from 6 - 7 p.m. when Too Much Sylvia will begin playing. They’ll play until 10 p.m. taking periodic breaks between sets. Vendors will be set up serving food and beverages and the Downtown Development Association will have a beer garden.
There’s no entry fee for the cruise-in and they can be old or new cars. The rain location is the Lincoln County Farmer’s Market. For more information, contact the Downtown Development Association at (704) 900-9659 or via their Facebook page.