The dynamic show band — specializing in beach, soul and Motown — gets its shot to make a good first impression when it takes the stage Sunday at Heritage Green.
“We are really looking forward to it,” said saxophonist Donny Whitehead. “It’s a new gig for us and we’re all excited about it.”
Whitehead, along with trumpet player Scotty Piotrowski, are cornerstones of the seven-piece outfit hailing from northeast Georgia.
The pair has performed together for 45-plus years as part of The Jesters, yet another well-known Athens-based band. During that time, they have shared the stage with luminaries like Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, The Platters and Jerry Butler.
The remaining members of the group have paid their dues en route to establishing their own stellar reputations: Jody Worrell (lead guitar), Greg Veale (bass guitar). Ed Magruder (drums), Randy Peterman (tenor sax), Phil Boleman (trumpet) and Clarence Young (lead singer; keyboard).
“We’ve got some really good musicians and good chemistry — both on and off stage,” said Whitehead. “Some [acts] just play the music. … We live it.”
Grains of Sand Band isn’t your ordinary group. Case-in-point: all band members share lead vocal duties.
That last attribute will come in handy come Sunday as Young will not make the trip with his band mates. Jimmy Weaver, keyboard/lead with North Carolina-based group The Embers, is scheduled to perform in his stead.
Despite the lineup change, attendees Sunday can anticipate the same type of quality show the band has made its name on delivering, Whitehead said.
“They should expect a real good time and a lot of energy,” he said. “We’ve got a four-piece horn section to go along with a little bit of choreography and good, strong vocals.
“We’re glad to have Jimmy on board with us — his [presence] gives us a lot of depth and a lot of experience as well.”
Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early and picnic. In other words, they can settle in and kick back until the night’s attraction starts up its smooth-sounding playlist.
“We’re going to have a ball,” said Whitehead.
Sunday’s show is part of the 18th season of the outdoor performances sponsored by Heritage Sandy Springs.
Gates open at 5 p.m.