The Next Move
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I love to be surprised when I’m putting these showcases together and this one was very special for me. How I missed this band playing out I will never know, they opened for the Producers at a time when I never missed a Producers show so go figure! One thing is for sure, if I had heard them back then they would have been up there alongside the Producers as a favorite band of mine. These guys wrote my kind of power pop, tight harmonies, catchy melodies with hooks, popping rhythm section, and tons of chorus pedal.
With only one CD out of three overall releases I’m working hard to find myself a copy to have. The CD release is available on YouTube as a playlist and from that I have been able to study that material and I honestly can’t find a bad song – it’s all good, follow this LINK to that YouTube playlist and give it a listen. What a great band and they are also a great group of guys to get to know.
The Next Move formed in the spring of 1985 at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. The band started with six members: Steve Bomar (bass), Jimbo Chapman (guitar), Todd Hammer (guitar), Anthony Kelley (keyboards), Ray Keys (vocals) and Rick Reames (drums), and their first gig was for the Betas at Clemson, Todd’s fraternity. Todd’s fraternity brothers jokingly called the band, Todd Hammer and the Nails. The band’s early set lists included songs by REM, INXS, The Fixx, The Producers, Journey, The Outfield, U2, Level 42 and other popular bands of the 1980s. Gigs came fast and the band booked many fraternity and sorority parties at Clemson as well as other area colleges, like USC, Wofford, and Georgia. After a short tenure with the band, Todd Hammer graduated and the band continued on as a 5 piece.
In the summer of 1986, the band recorded two original songs, “She’s All I Need” and “New Girl” at Marshall Tucker’s old studio in Spartanburg, SC. In the fall of 1986, Ray Keys went to Italy as part of his architecture master’s degree and the band again continued on but as a four piece with all four remaining members sharing vocal duties. In the spring of 1987, Steve Bomar left the band and Ray Keys, back from Italy, eventually took over on bass. This led to Jimbo Chapman becoming the lead singer for most of the band’s original compositions. The summer of 1987 found the band playing for 6 weeks at a club on St. Croix. This was a perfect chance for Ray to hone his skills on bass and the band to write more songs.
Through the end of the 80s and early 90s, the band continued to play a variety of cover songs and slowly added more and more originals to their shows. They released two 5 songs cassette tapes – Face the Sun in 1990, The Art of Life in 1991 and a full length CD, Whirled Concern, in 1992. Both tapes and CD were recorded at EBS Studios (Marshall Tucker’s old studio) and were co-produced by the band and Duane Evans. With songs like “Wishing to Hold”, “Kaja”, “What I Wouldn’t Do”, “Too Many Ways”, and “Swagger and Sway”, the band appeared on a number of regional and national compilation CDs and played several record company showcases. During this time the band opened for a number of larger bands – the Psychedelic Furs, the Producers, Love Tractor, Dillon Fence, Jonny Quest, The Connells, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Smithereens, Cheap Trick, and Wide Spread Panic to name a few. In the early 90s, the band started playing more club shows becoming a large draw at many of the clubs and concert halls in the Southeast.
In 1993, with no serious record company interest, the band decided to call it quits and played its last gig on New Year’s Eve of 1993. Jimbo Chapman and Rick Reames went on to start Cravin’ Melon and found success with that band signing with Mercury Records in 1996. In 1999, The Next Move played reunion shows at the Windjammer in Isle of Palms, SC, and at Clancy’s in Spartanburg, SC. They reformed again in 2002 and played a handful of shows each year from 2002 to 2006 before Reames left and was replaced by friend and fellow Clemson grad, Tim Newman, for a couple of final gigs.
In February of 2020 The Next Move played a reunion show at WPAC upstate SC and currently they have show dates booked for this year. Check with their official Facebook page to learn more about upcoming shows at this LINK.
Jimbo Chapman – Vocals, Guitars
Anthony Kelley - Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Ray Keys – Bass, Vocals
Rick Reames - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Stever Bomar – Bass, Vocals
Todd Hammer - Guitar
Tim Newman - Drums