Labor Day is just around the corner, so perhaps an end to the summer of 2016’s sticky, sweltering weather may be in sight at last. But it wouldn’t do to let the season slip away without a wallow in the ultimate panoply of summer sounds: early-’60s surf music! Slip on your loudest Hawaiian shirt and show your dance moves this Friday evening at the Poughkeepsie Tennis Club, where Hudson Valley Community Dances (HVCD) will play host to Big Fez and the Surfmatics.
Dressed for the stage in black suits, dark glasses and fezzes, the band members go incognito when they’re cranking out the beach tunes – possibly because they all have reputations to protect in other, arguably more respectable groups that specialize in country, classic rock and Irish music. In real life, Johnny Fez (six- and 12-string electric guitar, vocals) is John Haggerty; Donny Fez (vocals, lead guitar, guit-organ) is Don Young; J. B. Fez (drums, vocals) is John “J. B.” Guay; and Mikey Fez (bass) is Mike McLean.
Big Fez and the Surfmatics’ repertoire includes the great instrumental hits of the surf scene, including songs by the Ventures, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, the Trashmen, the Chantays, the Surfaris and Duane Eddy. Big Fez performs many of the great vocal hits of the era as well, popularized by such artists as the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the Challengers and the Rivieras.
This event being HVCD’s monthly Swing Dance for August, attendees will be invited to boogie as well as listen. Big Fez’s music is perfectly suited to dusting off the great dance crazes of the ’60s, such as the Twist, the Mashed Potato, the Bird, the Monkey, the Watusi, the Fly, the Swim, the Pony and the Limbo.
Big Fez and the Surfmatics’ Celebrate Summer show goes on from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. this Friday, August 26 at the Poughkeepsie Tennis Club, located at 135 South Hamilton Street in Poughkeepsie. Entry costs $15 general admission, $10 for full-time students with ID. There will be a free beginners’ lesson from 8 to 8:30 p.m. For more info, visit https://hudsonvalleydance.org or call (845) 454-2571.