Myrtle Beach band is a live-action ‘90s jukebox

For Weekly SurgeJune 12, 2013 

Cover act Jukebox Elly, from Myrtle Beach, says “We love the 90s,” though the band’s repertoire goes in unusual places, including The Beatles’ “Come Together,” a decidedly un-‘90s tune. But this band is in an evolutionary mode, its members making decisions that they hope will lead to this being a lucrative side project (to their day jobs) in a town that can’t seem to get enough covers. Hear for yourself if Jukebox Elly has your favorites programmed into its play list as the band takes the stage at 9 p.m. Thursday at Hot Fish Club in Murrells Inlet.

Justin Jordan, 31, is a Conway native and veteran of a few local bands, including Crossface, of which he was a member while in college at Coastal Carolina University and later Charleston Southern University. Jordan plays guitar and handles most of the lead vocalist’s duties. This father of twin 3-year-olds has been the Community Relations Manager at Barnes & Noble at The Market Common for the past year-and-a-half. He says he loves his job, books and the non-profits and schools he reaches out to, but music and performance have been with him since he was a teenager. “Crossface was a hardcore metal band,” said Jordan, “and I played in church bands, but I always loved rock ‘n’ roll, especially ‘90s rock.”

Jukebox Elly existed before Jordan joined, and is named for an Elly, of sorts. “Before I was even in the band the guys who started it came up with the name Jukebox Elly. ‘Elly’ comes from one of the guys driving a Honda Element – I have one too, and the ‘Jukebox’ part comes from playing a different mix of music.”

The four-piece act also includes Sean Johansen (lead guitar), Grant Nesmith (bass), and drummer Ty Potter. In its evolution over the past two years, Juke Box Elly moved into its current line up last summer after original vocalist Jamin Ortiz and bassist Matt Gleason left the act. “I first filled in on bass,” said Jordan, “and we were a three-piece for awhile, but then developed into what we are now. I’d played with all the guys in the band before in some form or fashion and have known them for years. We feel like we have a good grove.”

“We’ve tried adding different styles into our show,” continued Jordan, “but we’ve found our spot. Our style [is best suited] to rock. We play “Hard to Handle” by the Black Crowes, “Shine” by Collective Soul, we do a killer electric version of “Wagon Wheel.” We play “Come Together,” by the Beatles, Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” that kind of material.”

While primarily a harder-edged cover act (no acoustic guitars in this line up), Jordan says among the goals for the band, one is to “branch out” to prove its versatility and viability in a competitive Grand Strand marketplace. So far the band has scored gigs in some of the most sought-after venues in town; Wahoo’s, The Hot Fish Club, Bubba’s Love Shak, Wild Wing Café, Pirate’s Cove, Nacho Hippo, the Causeway Bar & Grill, and others.

In addition to this Thursday’s Hot Fish Club performance, Jukebox Elly is slated to perform 5 – 9 p.m. Friday at Wild Water & Wheels for the water park’s Live After Five event. (A $10 dollar cover charged for an all-evening park pass beginning at 5 p.m.). The band performs again at 9 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at Bubba’s Love Shak. A complete schedule may be found on the band’s Facebook page.

“We haven’t jumped into originals yet,” said Jordan. “So far we’re exclusively doing covers. Our goal, honestly, is we want to be the best rock band in Myrtle Beach. We’d like to break into the weddings, private parties, and those kinds of functions. [We realize that means playing “Brown Eyed Girl”] but as we’re a rock band, we’ll rock [those songs] out as much as we can.”

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