Those Guys
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Those Guys


Band Americana Folk


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The best kept secret in music


"Carolina Voices"

Another February, another visit with Those Guys

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — We never got to midnight at the Oasis, which means we didn’t get to "lay your camel to bed" (in the words of the old song), but we did uphold the rich tradition of hanging out with Those Guys.

The Oasis is a restaurant near the beach in St. Augustine. Those Guys is a band whose members include my friends Dave Besley and Walt Kulwicki. Dropping in on them is a habit born some years ago on a rainy Tuesday night in a little beachfront seafood joint called High Tides, just south of Flagler Beach.

After a day spent out front of Daytona International Speedway in a huge tent — in NASCAR-speak, they are referred to as "hospitality chalets" — three of us headed up to St. Augustine for an evening of revelry.

Our arrival — it was me, Mike Owens and Jim McLaurin — was unannounced, but it was no surprise. We always show up in February and July, when the NASCAR circuit visits Daytona.

"Well, look who’s here," said Kulwicki. "I mean … it’s February, isn’t it? "
The number of Those Guys varies. On this night, there were four: guitarist Kulwicki, lead singer Besley, bassist Chris McVey and drummer Woody Pernell. Sometimes Besley and Kulwicki play acoustic gigs. In fact, the reason I know those two the best is that they were the only guys present the first time I saw them.

It’s hard to categorize Those Guys. According to their Web site (, predictably), it’s "a unique mix of music that’s best described as Americana and roots with a touch of rock, folk and country."
The best part of watching Those Guys perform is the interaction with the crowd. On a whim or in response to a request, they may do anything from John Prine’s "Sam Stone" (one of the saddest songs ever written) to the song co-written by Prine and Steve Goodman (and most famously covered by David Allan Coe) called "You Never Even Called Me by My Name." To say the least, the latter song, which has the famous "perfect country song" ending, is quite a bit less sad than "Sam Stone."Offhand remarks from the crowd may draw incredible responses. The band will try almost anything. On our most recent visit, everyone got all sentimental about the impending war in Iraq, and the band broke out into a lovely treatment of the national anthem. It stirred me more than anything I ever heard from Whitney Houston, Bono or Celine Dion.
From Buddy Holly to the Traveling Wilburys, they’ve got something stored away from everybody, and if they don’t, they’re not averse to exploring new musical ground.Besley, by the way, is a great songwriter. From the whimsical ("It’s a Great Life If’n You Don’t Weaken") to the inspirational ("Smile for the Camera") to the historical ("Southern Cross"), the band’s original songs are all too often lost amidst the crowd-pleasing covers of Prine, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Kulwicki is a world-class guitarist. Over the years, his electrified acoustic has gradually become an extension of his body. He has a relaxed, disarming style and frequently launches little asides (often involving various incarnations of "The Beverly Hillbillies" theme song) between numbers.Over the years, Those Guys have opened for or played with the likes of Little Feat, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, the Allman Brothers Band, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Skynyrd.
They’re the best band you’ve never heard of, and, sadly, with a few exceptions, you’re going to have to travel to Florida to see them. - Monte Dutton

"St. Augustine Record"

Local band, 'Those Guys,' release fifth CD

Those Guys are a hard-rocking St. Augustine-based bar band with a blistering lead guitar, dozens of original songs, a trio of strong voices and probably 100 years of combined touring experience.
They're household words in St. Aug and dozens of other venues in the South, but the band hasn't yet hit the charts.
That may change.
This weekend, Those Guys release their fifth compact disc, "Electrafied," a live album of seven original and seven cover songs.
Lead guitarist Walt Kulwicki says the album name is a tribute to the Electraglide, a big Harley-Davidson motorcycle ridden by many of their fans.
"This album is an eclectic mix," Kulwicki said. "It was recorded at the L&M Bar in Cedar Key over two days. That bar has turned into a little blues hot spot on the West Coast and seemed the perfect place."
Accordingly, their album release party will be held at L&M on Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 2 p.m.
But folks in St. Augustine will also be able to party with the boys at their second release party, set from 3-7 p.m. Sunday, at Sunset Grille on St. Augustine Beach, their musical home for 11 years.
"(Bass guitarist and vocalist) Dave Besley has been writing up a storm," Kulwicki said. "And we sometimes have guest musicians join us at the Sunset Grille."
Kulwicki and guitarist Chris McVey formed Those Guys on Labor Day, 1991, after a few drinks at a Jacksonville Beach bar. Within a week, they'd met Besley and played Mill Top Tavern and Sunset Grille.
Woody Parnell joined the group recently as drummer to replace John McGee, who left two years ago to do more studio work.
Drummer Artemis Pyle, formerly of Lynyrd Skynyrd, was drummer for Those Guys for a while.
Co-founder McVey left the band for years and was replaced by bassist Banner Thomas, formerly of the Jacksonville-based blues-boogie-metal band Molly Hatchett. He's now with "Big Engine" in Jacksonville.
McVey returned not long ago, adding his writing skills to Besleys means that now the band has more than 500 songs in its repertoire, and a new take on every one.
"We never play the same song twice the same way," Kulwicki said.
Their first album, "Those Guys," was cut in 1995. "Those Guys II" in 1998, and "Those Guys Live at the Sunset Grille" in January 2000.
"Those Guys III: Smile For The Camera" was out in March 2000.
With "Electrafied," they've created a mixed bag -- originals and spot-on covers.
Originals include "Cuervo Serenade," a love song somewhat like Elvis Costello singing country, "Smile For The Camera," a reprise of the third album's cover song and "Don't Ever Let It Get You Down," a bluesy anthem for anyone who has ever lost a loved one. "Dance With Me" and "Fernando" you've heard before, probably on 88.5 FM, WFCF radio.
"All Night Survivor" may be the one going farthest. It's a kicking rock song and, if it doesn't make the charts, it will be covered by other bands eventually.
Also on the disc are "A Whiter Shade of Pale," the 1967 smash by Procol Harem -- "a combination of mystical lyrics, a somber tempo and an organ line lifted directly from Bach's Suite No. 3 in D Major," according to Rolling Stone.
The "Taxman" and "Come Together" medley -- by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, of course -- are good as the originals, maybe better. And the raucous "Helter Skelter" is there too, with the tough but precise job of singing done by McVey.
Jim Stafford, of Eclipse Recording Studios, St. Augustine, recorded, engineered and mastered the disc this week.
"Those Guys generate quite a bit of sales because they've recorded so much," Stafford said. "Most artists don't have the confidence to do a live CD. This is their second. That says a lot about the quality of their live performances."
Stafford said many musicians rely on the magic of the studio.
"Not Those Guys. The crowd's energy really propels the group," he said.
After this album is released and selling, the group will either release a second live CD from the massive amount of material they recorded from this one, or they'll finish an album of all-original tunes they've already got half-done.
Kulwicki said one thing they'll continue to do is write songs.
"If we wrote a hit song for somebody else, that would also be successful for us too," he said.
- Peter Guinta, Senior Writer

"First Coast Entertainer"

Those Guys have been playing St. Augustine gigs like the Oasis, Tradewinds, Sunset Grille and Creekside Dinery since they became a band a few years back. Five CDs later, Those Guys Electrified Live at L and M, a bar in Cedar Key, is their best work yet. Listen for a few surprises such as a few bars from the Girl from Ipanema and Dave quoting Ringo Starr.
Dave Besley's voice has never been so tuned and refined - not bad for a country boy - as it is on the CD. Vocal harmony is great. Repeat chords will fascinate you.
The mix is outstanding, thanks to Jim Stafford from Eclipse Recording Studio in St. Augustine who took the mobile unit to Cedar Key to record Those Guys live in the middle of January.
Dave Besley and Walt Kulwicki co-write their songs. You'll hear favorites recorded on previous CDs like "Missin' You" and "Fernando". Chris McVey is back with Those Guys adding guitar and vocals. Drummer Woody Pernell makes up the quartet.
There are also covers on this CD. You'll want to hold your sweetie tight when listening to Those Guys' interpretation of "Whiter Shade of Pale" by Reid/Brooker (Procol Harum) and then rock a lot with "I Know A Little" attributed to Steve Gaines (Lynyrd Skynyrd). You won't sit this one out, "oh, yeah!" Rock n roll and pay attention to the guitars going wild towards the end.
Those Guys do two Beatles (Harrison/Lennon/McCartney) songs back to back. "Taxman/Come Together" brings light rock dancing to the floor in the best of Besley/Kulwicki/McVey. I was caught in the middle - not a bad place to be - listening to "come together right now over me." Vocal harmony is outstanding, slide guitar is awesome, percussion is definitely worth mentioning and drums should be noted here as well.
Lennon & McCartney's "Helter Skelter" is the last song on the CD with their own hard rock version that makes you beg for more.
Those Guys songs tell stories. Never at a loss for words, Besley makes this comment about their song "Cuervo Serenade". "It doesn't say anything about Cuervo in it buy Cuervo had a whole lot to do about writing it." Besley has never been more expressive in his vocals than in this number.
"Come on Walt, I'm sad." Walt Kulwicki makes that guitar cry, before he reverts back to chords, soft and steady, then picks up the tempo. There is a lot more vocal harmony on this CD. Dave, Walt and Chris chime in and it's a great addition to the song. The fact they were recorded live, you can hear the applause and cheers from the crowd. "The crowd definitely drive me," says Kulwicki. "I'd rather play for 20 people who care than 20,000 that don't."
Kulwicki, a founding member of Those Guys, especially enjoys harmonizing during the band's performances. "I like the way we play as a duo acoustic, as a trio, and as a quartet acoustic, but also electric too," he said. "It's like playing in two or three different bands."
Drummer Woody Pernell really gets it going in "Salisbury Hill" which is dedicated to Walt's wife Jill. Chris McVey actually croons in "What is and What Should Never Be."
I have every one of their CDs because I love Those Guys. Their music is honest and makes me feel alive.
I do want to make a comparison between "Missin' You" acoustic compared to electric. Electric is dreamier, not as much guitar lead in. Dave, on vocals, is more expressive, going right for the punch line, after a few short introductory bars. The instrumental part comes after that with more rhythm guitar than the acoustic version.
Dave gets to play mandolin in "Fernando." They're not a "hey, hey" band, according to Dave, but in "Fernando" they make an exception. This on is sheer fun with a south of the border beat and the guys shouting "Hey."
Party down with the music of Those Guys at L and M in Cedar Key August 2 and 3. They will be at the Sunset Grille in St. Augustine Beach on Sunday, August 4 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. You passed the audition, guys! Check their website at
- Carol Elliott


Those Guys I
Those Guys II
Those Guys III (Smile for the Camera)
Those Guys Live at the Sunset Grille
Those Guys Electrafied - Live at the L&M in Cedar Key, Florida
St. Augustine Christmas


Feeling a bit camera shy


These days, the question everyone is asking is "Who are Those Guys?"

From the East and West Coasts of Florida and along the Eastern Seaboard, Those Guys are generating lots of excitement as a band with a unique mix of music that's best described as Americana and roots with a touch of rock, folk, and country. It's a harmonious and eclectic blend of original tunes and lyrics with a diversity that appeals to all ages.
Those Guys have opened for - or played with - such well-known and diverse bands as Little Feat, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, The Allman Brothers, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle also played with Those Guys in the mid-1990s and is featured on "Those Guys I" and "Those Guys II". In January 2001, "Those Guys Live From the Sunset Grille" was released, quickly followed by "Smile For The Camera" which was released in March of 2001. Those guys are currently in the studio recording their next album due to be released by the end of the year!

Experienced musicians Dave Besley and Walt Kulwicki are the nucleus of the band, which began in 1992 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and now plays about 300 performances a year.
The sounds and lyrics of Those Guys touch the emotions of music lovers. "It's a wide variety of songs that all have stories. There's not a lot of ya, ya, ya, hey, hey, hey," Besley said. "A lot of the songs are love stories, but others are about topics such as drought, refugees, and nostalgic memories."
Some are tunes with a slow rhythm and melodious harmony. Others are filled with a vibrant energy. To hear those songs performed and to be mesmerized by the stories - those are reasons critics and music lovers want to know: Who are Those Guys?
Light-hearted, fun, offbeat songs such as "It's a Great Life (If'n You Don't Weaken)" contrasts with the poignant and melodic sounds of "My Bird" and "Missing You." Fast-moving tunes such as "Carry On," "Out of Control," "Then and Now," and "Goose Creek" are spirited renditions that boost the energy level of the crowds.
Sometimes, performances are strictly by the talented duo of Besley and Kulwicki. Other times, the full band accompanies them. Besley writes most of the group's songs and is the lead vocalist. He also plays guitar, bass, and mandolin. Kulwicki is a co-writer and vocalist who plays guitar.
Other band members include Woody Pernell on drums and percussion; Chris McVey, a vocalist who plays guitar and bass; Brady Green, a vocalist who plays guitar and bass; and Gregg Chirico, a vocalist and bass player.
Former Molly Hatchet bass player, Banner Thomas, along with Jim Essery, who played with the Allman Brothers, have also performed in Those Guys band.
Those who appreciate a unique sound and original tunes and lyrics - and Those Guys' renditions of popular songs by such artists as John Prine, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Lynyrd Skynyrd - will want to visit one of the live performances of Those Guys.