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Little River Band flowing along

Even though the group is approaching its fifth decade, the Little River Band is no nostalgia act, says lead singer Wayne Nelson, who wants to build on the group's legacy.

"We're not like most vintage bands that show up and take it for granted," says Nelson, who lives in Delray Beach. "We've injected new stuff in the set so people can sing along and get energized with us and have some fun."

The pop band will play Tuesday in Delray Beach at a benefit for the Florida Fishing Academy, a nonprofit that uses fishing to teach at-risk children life skills, alternatives to destructive behavior and a sense of responsibility for shaping the world around them. The Florida Fishing Academy is an after-school program offered in Palm Beach County public schools.

The Little River Band formed in Australia in 1975, and drew attention in the United States a couple of years later with such songs as "Help Is on Its Way," "Reminiscing," "Happy Anniversary" and "Cool Change."

Nelson, 63, joined the band in 1980, while touring with Jim Messina, who was opening for the Little River Band. The group's members said they were looking for a bassist with strong vocals, and Nelson was in some ways participating in a two-week audition. He was part of the group when "Take It Easy on Me" reached No. 11 on the charts in 1981.

Nelson became the lead singer in 2000, and the band has experienced several lineup changes since.

"The main criteria for someone to join is they have to respect the history and the depth and the connection the fans have to our music," Nelson says. "We have the utmost respect for the history of the band, and for what Little River Band songs mean to our fans. We're also very vocal-heavy and guitar-harmony heavy. Those are signatures of the sound."

The band has released six albums since 2000, including last year's "Cuts Like a Diamond."

Nelson moved to Delray Beach from Fort Myers in June 2011, after visiting his booking agent, who lives here, and "falling in love with the place," he says. His wife, Rhonda, is on the fishing academy's board.

The benefit concert, titled Cool Change, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, at the Crest Theatre at Old School Square, 51 N. Swinton Ave., in Delray Beach. Tickets cost $50 via FloridaFishingAcademy.com.

Nsortal@SouthFlorida.com

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