They love the idea of riding a wave of fortune, unsure of where it actually leads.

Because, no matter how you look at it, surf’s up for Sounds of Summer, an area Beach Boys tribute band about to perform for a national TV audience at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

The four-person group will harmonize through a one-hour live set tonight at Hollywood’s famed Whiskey A Go Go on AXS TV’s “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands.”

Make no mistake, they plan to have fun, fun, fun.

“I feel very excited and a little nervous,” bass guitarist Connor Ertel said.

Although he has played in bands for a decade in his hometown of North Vernon, Ertel works by day as a physical therapist at Columbus Regional Health’s rehabilitation facility on Marr Road. Group leader and guitarist Matt Thompson, also a North Vernon native and now a Nashville, Tennessee, musician, is a former instructor at Tom Pickett’s Music Center in Columbus.

The foursome — including drummer Eric Wernke and keyboardist David Ertel, the bassist’s cousin — made its debut with two sold-out shows in January 2015 at the Harlequin Theatre in FairOaks Mall in Columbus. Venue operator Robert Hay-Smith, who toured in the 1960s with the British pop group The New Vaudeville Band (“Winchester Cathedral”), was immediately impressed with the young men’s talent — and determination.

Sounds of Summer performed this summer at Seymour’s Cars and Guitars and last year at Seymour CityJam.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Tribune and online at

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.