Big Time Party in White Lake this weekend

By: Chrysta Carroll - Bladen Journal

ELIZABETHTOWN — There’s going to be a big time party in White Lake this week, when a North Carolina band takes the stage for the second installment of the Summer Jams Concert Series.

Founded in 2003, Big Time Party Band plays a variety of traditional beach music, Motown, rhythm and blues, southern and classic rock and a wide mix of party favorites in clubs, community festivals, weddings and corporate events all across the Southeast.

March of 2009 witnessed the group’s debut album, Footprints in the Sand, a mix of some original tunes with well-loved classic covers. Self-described as a “party band for the party people,” the band caught the attention of the music industry, and, shortly after the launch of their first album, was named “Best New Artist” by the Carolina Beach Music Association.

The group would go on to receive more recognition by the music industry. In 2012, its single “Cherry Groove” won songwriters John Wilson and Barry Briggs a nomination for Songwriter of the Year, followed by nominations for Collaboration of the Year and Producer of the year in 2013 for the song “Four O’clock in the Morning,” a tune recorded with R&B legend and special guest vocalist Clifford Curry.

Music audiences have lauded the band’s work, as well, with seven songs catapulting to the Top 10 in different states. Two songs have reached number one. Their popular hits “Drink Up” and “Do Ya’ Like” were recently inducted into the Surf 94.9 Hall of Fame, and, in 2016, voters in Grand Strand Happening Magazine’s poll voted Big Time Party Band the “Best Beach Music Band in Myrtle Beach.”

“What can I say?” questioned Gary L. from Pinehurst, reviewing the band on “Guests were pleased, walking around saying “best band we’ve had”, the Country Club staff told me it was the best band that had played the club …”

The eight-member group out of Pittsboro is comprised of longtime members Mike Harris on drums, Craig Saunders on bass guitar, and Tracy King on trumpet and vocals. Charismatic front man John Wilson provides a tenor for the vocals, as well as lead guitar, while Brittany Davis rounds out the sound with vocals and rhythm guitar. The smooth sounds of Mile Griffiths come through on saxophone, and Gary Strange is no stranger to precise keyboarding and vocals. Founder and owner Johnny Wilson manages the band and engineers sound.

The band records with Fine Groove Records.

Big Time Party Band will be playing from 6-9 at Goldston’s Beach at White Lake on Thursday, July 19 as part of the Elizabethtown/White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summer Jams Concert Series.

Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing

Chrysta Carroll

Bladen Journal