Slapwater, the Peninsula's premier party band, has renamed itself in hopes of leaving behind a bitter fight over rights to its name. The group led by drummer George "Dody" Hunt III is now called Slapnation, according to its website.
"We’re sure many of our fans and clients who have dealt with us over the years are surprised to see a new name," reads a message on the band's new website.
"After a great 42-year run we have changed our name to the SLAPNATION band, formerly known as Kenny Hunt’s Slapwater Band. The name has changed but the mission is still the same -- to provide good music, and make sure everyone is having a great time and the client/audience is satisfied. We are the band that continues to honor the legacy and hard work of our legendary former leader Kenneth Hunt."
In addition to George Hunt, who is an employee of the Daily Press, the current band includes Kelly R. Jones on vocals, Lenny Epps on percussion and vocals, Clifford Clark on saxophone, Steve Ruckle on trumpet, Dave Kreiselman on saxophone, Brad Sindle on keyboards, Shelton Parson on bass and John McNeill on guitar.
Slapnation performed at the Hampton Block Party this past Saturday and is scheduled to play at the Paradise Ocean Club at Fort Monroe Saturday May 25. Another big upcoming gig is June 16, Father's Day, at Buckroe Beach Park.
Last year, a legal battle erupted after singer and sax player Carl Hunt was dismissed from the band. Hunt, one of the group's original members, argued that he owned rights to the Slapwater name.
Amy G. Marino, an attorney representing George Hunt, said that issue of name rights hasn't been settled. "The band changed the name solely as a means to avoid further dispute," Marino said Monday. "There's no settled issue on that and there won't be."