Ripped @ a slick 320
Biography by Richie Unterberger
Longtime session guitarist Al Casey is most noted for the records he made with producer Lee Hazlewood, with artists like Duane Eddy and Sanford Clark. He also has made numerous records on his own, reaching his commercial peak in the early 1960s, when a few of his instrumental (or mostly instrumental) surf and R&B-rock singles made the Top Hundred. In the 1960s and 1970s he worked often as a session player in Los Angeles, and was still putting out records under his own name in the 1990s.
Casey was still in his teens when he started working with Hazlewood in Phoenix, introducing Lee to Sanford Clark, whose hit "The Fool" was produced by Hazlewood. Casey's band backed Clark on the singer's records, as well as other discs cut by Hazlewood. Casey was in Eddy's band, the Rebels, in which he played the piano, although he's more known for his guitar playing. Casey also wrote one of Eddy's earliest hits, "Ramrod," as well as cowriting another Eddy hit, "Forty Miles of Bad Road," with Duane.
In the early 1960s Casey was dividing his time between sessions in L.A. and Phoenix, and working with his own group, the Al Casey Combo. Somewhat surprisingly, considering his twangy background with Eddy and the surf recordings in his near future, his first successes were with bluesy instrumental rock singles with a jazzy organ groove (played by Casey himself). "Cookin'" made #92 on the pop chart, while a similar follow-up, "Jivin' Around," did a little better, getting to #71 pop and #22 in the R&B listings. In 1963, however, he and Hazlewood rode the surf craze and cut an entire surf LP, much of which featured Hazlewood compositions, and all of which had respectably tough reverberant guitar by Casey. A single from the album, "Surfin' Hootenanny" (with almost incidental female vocals by the K-C-Ettes, aka the Blossoms), became Casey's biggest hit, making #48; top L.A. session dudes Leon Russell (organ) and Hal Blaine (drums) were present on many or all of the tracks.
Casey's solo career petered out when the small independent label he recorded for, Stacy, closed shop around the beginning of 1964. Casey found a lot of work, though, as a session man, on recordings by artists including the Beach Boys, Eddy Arnold, and Frank Sinatra. He also ran a music store in Hollywood in the late 1960s, and played as a member of the band on Dean Martin's television show. In the mid-'90s he made a solo recording for Bear Family, Sidewinder.
Review by Richie Unterberger
Casey made these 26 tracks -- most of which are instrumentals (the K-C-Ettes, actually the Blossoms, add vocals on three of the selections) -- for the Stacy label in the early '60s, a stint which represented his greatest success as a singles artist. Casey is a very good rock and surf guitarist, but the material is often average or boring period instrumental rock, and not so elevated by Casey's guitar licks and arrangements that they demand repeated listening. The most exciting cuts are the surf ones produced (and often written) by Lee Hazlewood, including "Surfin' Hootenanny," Casey's biggest hit. The more obscure "El Aguila (The Eagle)" and "The Hearse" show Casey's skill at dipping his axe in reverb to ride the surf wave, while "Thunder Beach" and "Baja" borrow, as a lot of surf did, from Latin melodies and rhythms. Casey also does his own version of "Ramrod," a Casey composition that colleague Duane Eddy had taken into the Top 30 a few years previously. Surf-heads should know, though, that much of this disc is not surf music, but bluesy early-'60s R&B-rock, on which the organ is sometimes as or more prominent than Casey's guitar. In fact, "Cookin'" and "Jivin' Around," which both lurched into the bottom of the Top 100, are a lot closer to Jimmy Smith than Dick Dale; those songs and "Doin' It" are actually pretty respectable as far as that genre goes. Two of the songs on the CD were previously unreleased.
1 Surfin' Hootenanny
2 El Aguila (The Eagle)
3 Thunder Beach
5 Surfin' the Blues, Pt. 1
6 The Lonely Surfer
7 Guitars, Guitars, Guitars
8 The Hearse
11 Surfin' Blues, Pt. 2
12 Surfs You Right
14 Indian Love Call
15 Hot Foot
16 Jivin' Around
17 Doin' the Shotfish
18 Doin' It
19 The Hucklebuck
20 Full House
22 Monte Carlo
23 Theme from "Huckleberry Hound"
24 Chicken Feathers
25 Easy Pickin'
26 What Are We Gonn Do in '64?
Get it HERE
Friday, August 28, 2009
The Aqualads got together in 1997 under their original moniker of the Big Swinging Hammers while playing out their set of '60s surf rock instrumentals throughout their native of Charlotte, NC. With a live set that partially consists of covers and their backing go-go dancers the Aquanettes, the bands first official release was a 1998 Christmas 7" aptly titled Aqualads XMAS. After a slight lineup change that left guitarist Jimmy King as the only original Aqualads member, the rest of the quartet consisted of Greg Walsh (guitar), Colin LaRocque(drums), and Jeremy DeHart (bass). Soon after this settled lineup was complete, the band eventually released their debut album, entitled Hotbox, in 1999. Their second album, Revenge, quickly followed the next year.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
1 Sweet and Sour
01. 23 Hours Too Long
02. Out On The Water Coast
03. Five Long Years
04. I Aintt Got You
05. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
06. Little Red Rooster (Rehearsal)
07. Little Red Rooster
08. Highway 49
10. Im A Man
11. Jeffs Blues
12. I See A Man Downstairs
Get it HERE
The Rascals, along with the Righteous Brothers, Mitch Ryder, and precious few others, were the pinnacle of '60s blue-eyed soul. The Rascals' talents, however, would have to rate above their rivals, if for nothing else than the simple fact that they, unlike many other blue-eyed soulsters, penned much of their own material. They also proved more adept at changing with the fast-moving times, drawing much of their inspiration from British Invasion bands, psychedelic rock, gospel, and even a bit of jazz and Latin music. They were at their best on classic singles like "Good Lovin'," "How Can I Be Sure," "Groovin'," and "People Got to Be Free." When they tried to stretch their talents beyond the impositions of the three-minute 45, they couldn't pull it off, a failure which -- along with crucial personnel losses -- effectively finished the band as a major force by the 1970s.
The roots of the Rascals were in New York-area twist and bar bands. Keyboardist/singer Felix Cavaliere, the guiding force of the group, had played with Joey Dee & the Starliters, where he met Canadian guitarist Gene Cornish and singer Eddie Brigati. Brigati would split the lead vocals with Cavaliere and also write much of the band's material with him. With the addition of drummer Dino Danelli, they became the Rascals. Over their objections, manager Sid Bernstein (who had promoted the famous Beatles concerts at Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium) dubbed them the Young Rascals, although the "Young" was permanently dropped from the billing in a couple of years.
After a small hit with "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" in 1965, the group hit number one with "Good Lovin'," a cover of an R&B tune by the Olympics, in 1966. This was the model for the Rascals' early sound: a mixture of hard R&B and British Invasion energy, with tight harmony vocals and arrangements highlighting Cavaliere's Hammond organ. After several smaller hits in the same vein, the group began to mature at a rapid rate in 1967, particularly as songwriters. "Groovin'," "Beautiful Morning," "It's Wonderful," and "How Can I Be Sure?" married increasingly introspective and philosophical lyrics to increasingly sophisticated arrangements and production, without watering down the band's most soulful qualities. They were also big hits, providing some of the era's most satisfying blends of commercial and artistic appeal.
In 1968, almost as if to prove they could shake 'em down as hard as any soul revue, the Rascals made number one with one of their best songs, "People Got to Be Free." An infectious summons to unity and tolerance in the midst of a very turbulent year for American society, it also reflected the Rascals' own integrationist goals. Not only did they blend white and black in their music; they also, unlike many acts of the time, refused to tour on bills that weren't integrated as well.
"People Got to Be Free," surprisingly, was the group's last Top 20 hit, although they would have several other small chart entries over the next few years, often in a more explicitly gospel-influenced style. The problem wasn't bad timing or shifting commercial taste; the problem was the material itself, which wasn't up to the level of their best smashes. More worrisome were their increasingly ambitious albums, which found Cavaliere in particular trying to expand into jazz, instrumentals, and Eastern philosophy. Not that this couldn't have worked well, but it didn't. They had never been an album-oriented group, but unlike other some other great mid-'60s bands, they were unable to satisfactorily expand their talents into full-length formats.
A more serious problem was the departure of Brigati, the band's primary lyricist, in 1970. Cornish was also gone a year later, although Cavaliere and Dinelli kept the Rascals going a little longer with other musicians. The band broke up in 1972, with none of the members going on to notable commercial or artistic success on their own, though Cavaliere remained the most active.
Arguably the greatest greatest-hits album of the '60s. A White-soul classic.
Following a year of Utopia and the completion of The Hermit of Mink Hollow, Todd Rundgren hit the road with a musical retrospective on the advice of Bearsville president Paul Fishkin, who wanted a live greatest-hits record to plug. Ever perverse, that's not exactly what Rundgren delivered. Culled from three shows -- where he was supported by both Utopia and a carefully assembled band at New York's Bottom Line, one at L.A.'s the Roxy, one at Cleveland's the Agora -- the resulting double album Back to the Bars was an idiosyncratic collection of hits and personal favorites, covering many (but not all) of his best songs, from "I Saw the Light," "Couldn't I Just Tell You," "Hello It's Me" and "Real Man" to "The Range War," "Sometimes I Don't Know What to Feel" and "The Verb 'To Love.'" All of the performances are tough and persuasive -- enough so that the songs that sounded like production numbers on record, such as large stretches of A Wizard, A True Star, reveal themselves as effective compositions and often sound a great deal more accessible here. That said, Back to the Bars isn't an ideal introduction to Rundgren, simply because his studio wizardry is one of the main reasons his records are so interesting, yet it is true that the record has enough great songs and quirks to paint an effective portrait of Rundgren's music. As such, it's the rare live album that caters to both the casual and hardcore fan and should be equally enjoyable to either audience.
Get some HERE
Friday, August 21, 2009
Apparently continuing their willful re-creation of the career path of their beloved MC5 (all of the Spanish four-piece's members adopted the surname Sinclair in honor of MC5 manager/polemicist John Sinclair), Black Noise Is the New Sound! is Back in the USA to Tokyo Sex Destruction's Kick Out the Jams, the raucous and scathingly political Le Red Soul Comunnitte. The songs are more in thrall to MC5's garage rock forebears like the Sonics and the Chocolate Watchband, much as MC5 looked back to '50s rock & roll on their second album. (Actually, the freakbeat homage "Birds on the Velvet Roof" sounds more like an early Move B-side.) And the band's unapologetically leftist politics, though still present on songs like "New Magazines" and "Modern Education," are dialed back considerably from the first album's polemics. This makes Black Noise Is the New Sound! a somewhat more accessible, but no less passionate, piece of garage rock agit-prop.
Sass Jordan joined her first band, the News, after she learned to play bass at the age of 17. Four years later, she left the band and, by 1985, had begun a solo career. After two singles ("Steel on Steel" and "No More"), Jordan's debut album, Tell Somebody, appeared in 1988. The Montreal native became a national success with the album-titled single and released Racine in 1992 and Rats two years later.
Sass Jordan never sounded more focused, confident and inspired than she does on Rats, which is undeniably her finest album. Some of Jordan's '80s efforts didn't fully illustrate just how compelling a singer she can be, but that's no problem on Rats. This CD finds the whiskey-voiced Canadian doing what she does best: tough, gritty, no-nonsense rock & roll with soul/R&B overtones and a heavy dose of blues feeling. Although Jordan is very much her own person, there's no denying the strong influence Tina Turner has had on her singing -- and Turner's influence serves Jordan impressively well on such gutsy, down-and-dirty offerings as "Ugly," "Damaged" and "Pissin' Down." If fact, this is the sort of rockin' album one wishes Turner would have recorded in 1994 (which isn't to say that the slick, glossy pop/rock and pop/R&B Turner provided in the 1990s wasn't enjoyable). With Jordan, Steve Salas and Nick Didia handling the production and studio ace Michael Wagener doing most of the mixing, all of the pieces fit together perfectly on Rats. This album was definitely Jordan's crowning achievement.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For Brandonio, the biggest Ventures fan I know.
Don Wilson - Rhythm Guitar
Bob Bogle - Bass
Nokie Edwards - Lead Guitar
Leon Taylor - Drum
1. Walk Don't Run - Perfidia - Walk Don't Run
3. I Got a Woman
6. Johnny B. Goode
7. Slaughter on 10th Avenue
8. Ame-no-Midosuji/Kyoto Bojo
9. Kyoto-no-koi/Paint It Black
10. Walk Don’t Run ‘64
11. Wipe Out
13. Sleep Walk
14. Bumble Bee Rock
15. Out Of Limits
16. Driving Guitars
17. Black Sand Beach
18. House Of The Rising Sun
19. Hawaii Five-O
20. Diamond Head
22. Drum Solo
23. Bass Solo
24. Drum Solo
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Never released on VHS or DVD. This is not the cleanest recording but it is the only way you will be able to see this until the follow-up ("Surfers - The Movie Now and Then") gets picked up. Pics are of original handbills for the show in 1990 at Newport Beach Pavillion.
Review by Tom Parker
1989/90 was a bizarre time period for surfers as the day-glo excess of the 80's prepared to hit a wall of hardcore black and white backlash that would ultimately define the next decade. Surfers: The Movie was the perfect capper to the 80's. Stylistically based on the 1987 Rolling Stone documentary, "20 Years of Rock and Roll", it was a wonderful encapsulation of the professional slickness we'd gorged on for 10 years. 4 generations of pro surfers - everyone from Kelly Slater (who had not yet begun his incredible domination of pro surfing) to the late Micky Dora - were interviewed in front of painted backdrops, with their soundbites interspersed throughout the usual medley of great surfing action. The soundtrack also featured an unprecedented lineup of major label music, which included U2, Neil Young and many others. Highlights of the film included an exciting recap of the current pro scene scored by U2's "Out of Control", an emotional powerhouse of a medley glimpsing hundreds of beloved faces from surfing's history, and arguably the film's most amazing segment - Micky Dora (making his first film appearance in over 20 years) and the then current world champ, Martin Potter surfing together down in Baja. Not only was it incredible to see Da Cat after so many years of hiding, but to listen to him praising Pottz - "He sure looks unique to me" (the ultimate compliment from the original king of style) - combined with Potter's tail-sliding power session...well, let's just say that any surfer worth his wax was blown away. I actually saw the film 3 times in 3 different cities (Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara and Dana Point), and there was only one scene that had people going more apeshit than Potter putting on his preview of the new school style - and that was Tom Curren's slow motion barrel at the beginning of the movie. Never have I seen an audience hoot the way they hooted that tube...he just got TUBED, and just when you thought he couldn't get any deeper in the tube, he fell of his board and preceded to bodysurf that tube 'til the end. Every person in the audience hooted himself hoarse for the duration of that wave. So strip away the gloss and it was still a great surf flick. It was also the end of an era in surf film-making style, as just a year later Taylor Steele released "Momentum", the official passing of the baton to the new school generation of tail slides, big airs, black wetsuits, white boards and stripped down punk rock. Because of that Surfers: The Movie has been largely forgotten. But for those of us that were there, it was a lot of fun and a rejuvenation of the surf movie as an "event". As Neil Young sang at the end, "Long may you run."
Thursday, August 13, 2009
According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died at White Plains Hospital. His family and friends were by his side.
As an inventor, Paul also helped bring about the rise of rock 'n' roll with multitrack recording, which enables artists to record different instruments at different times, sing harmony with themselves, and then carefully balance the tracks in the finished recording.
The use of electric guitar gained popularity in the mid-to-late 1940s, and then exploded with the advent of rock in the mid-'50s.
"Suddenly, it was recognized that power was a very important part of music," Paul once said. "To have the dynamics, to have the way of expressing yourself beyond the normal limits of an unamplified instrument, was incredible. Today a guy wouldn't think of singing a song on a stage without a microphone and a sound system."
A tinkerer and musician since childhood, he experimented with guitar amplification for years before coming up in 1941 with what he called "The Log," a four-by-four piece of wood strung with steel strings.
"I went into a nightclub and played it. Of course, everybody had me labeled as a nut." He later put the wooden wings onto the body to give it a tradition guitar shape.
In 1952, Gibson Guitars began production on the Les Paul guitar.
Pete Townsend of the Who, Steve Howe of Yes, jazz great Al DiMeola and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page all made the Gibson Les Paul their trademark six-string.
Over the years, the Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry. In 2005, Christie's auction house sold a 1955 Gibson Les Paul for $45,600.
In the late 1960s, Paul retired from music to concentrate on his inventions. His interest in country music was rekindled in the mid-'70s and he teamed up with Chet Atkins for two albums. The duo were awarded a Grammy for best country instrumental performance of 1976 for their "Chester and Lester" album.
With Mary Ford, his wife from 1949 to 1962, he earned 36 gold records for hits including "Vaya Con Dios" and "How High the Moon," which both hit No. 1. Many of their songs used overdubbing techniques that Paul had helped develop.
"I could take my Mary and make her three, six, nine, 12, as many voices as I wished," he recalled. "This is quite an asset." The overdubbing technique was highly influential on later recording artists such as the Carpenters.
Released in 2005, "Les Paul & Friends: American Made, World Played" was his first album of new material since those 1970s recordings. Among those playing with him: Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Richie Sambora.
"They're not only my friends, but they're great players," Paul told The Associated Press. "I never stop being amazed by all the different ways of playing the guitar and making it deliver a message."
Two cuts from the album won Grammys, "Caravan" for best pop instrumental performance and "69 Freedom Special" for best rock instrumental performance. (He had also been awarded a technical Grammy in 2001.)
Paul was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2005.
Paul was born Lester William Polfus, in Waukseha, Wis., on June 9, 1915. He began his career as a musician, billing himself as Red Hot Red or Rhubarb Red. He toured with the popular Chicago band Rube Tronson and His Texas Cowboys and led the house band on WJJD radio in Chicago.
In the mid-1930s he joined Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians and soon moved to New York to form the Les Paul Trio, with Jim Atkins and bassist Ernie Newton.
Meanwhile, he had made his first attempt at audio amplification at age 13. Unhappy with the amount of volume produced by his acoustic guitar, Paul tried placing a telephone receiver under the strings. Although this worked to some extent, only two strings were amplified and the volume level was still too low.
By placing a phonograph needle in the guitar, all six strings were amplified, which proved to be much louder. Paul was playing a working prototype of the electric guitar in 1929.
His work on taping techniques began in the years after World War II, when Bing Crosby gave him a tape recorder. Drawing on his earlier experimentation with his homemade record-cutting machines, Paul added an additional playback head to the recorder. The result was a delayed effect that became known as tape echo.
Tape echo gave the recording a more "live" feel and enabled the user to simulate different playing environments.
Paul's next "crazy idea" was to stack together eight mono tape machines and send their outputs to one piece of tape, stacking the recording heads on top of each other. The resulting machine served as the forerunner to today's multitrack recorders.
In 1954, Paul commissioned Ampex to build the first eight-track tape recorder, later known as "Sel-Sync," in which a recording head could simultaneously record a new track and play back previous ones.
He had met Ford, then known as Colleen Summers, in the 1940s while working as a studio musician in Los Angeles. For seven years in the 1950s, Paul and Ford broadcast a TV show from their home in Mahwah, N.J. Ford died in 1977, 15 years after they divorced.
In recent years, even after his illness in early 2006, Paul played Monday nights at New York night spots. Such stars as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, Bruce Springsteen and Eddie Van Halen came to pay tribute and sit in with him.
"It's where we were the happiest, in a `joint,'" he said in a 2000 interview with the AP. "It was not being on top. The fun was getting there, not staying there — that's hard work."
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Hundreds of fans swarmed the site Saturday morning, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Abbey Road cuts through the swish north London neighborhood of St. John's Wood and is where the Fab Four recorded much of their work.
It became a part of music history after the Beatles were featured on the cover of the eponymous album walking on the street's crosswalk.
Tourists flock to the site every day to recreate the iconic scene, much to the annoyance of locals.
Councillors say tourists flocking to be snapped on the road are causing crashes, with the accident rate on the rise.
There have been four more this decade than during the 80s and 90s.
Last weekend marked the 40th anniversary of the photo taken outside the Abbey Road recording studio in St John's Wood, North West London.
Hundreds of fans gathered there on Saturday as Sgt Pepper's Only Dartboard Band, dressed in replica clothing, played Beatles hits.
But Lindsey Hall, a councillor in the Abbey Road ward, pointed out there had been 22 accidents there since 2000.
She said: "Maybe it's time to end this once and for all and move the zebra crossing. It may end up with that."
Colleague Judith Warner added: "I have asked our transport department if it is in the most appropriate place."
Fans vowed to fight any attempts to move the iconic crossing.
He said: "There is nothing to indicate any more cause for concern than on any other road."
Friday, August 07, 2009
It's unfortunate that the cultural value of Limp Bizkit's "Nookie," 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny," and Beyoncé's "Naughty Girl" seems lost to the generation graced with such rich music, but if there's one man who can point out the timelessness of these tunes it's Richard Cheese. After hearing songs like the Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" and Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice," lounge singer Richard Cheese realized he was living in what he likes to call "a Golden Age of songwriting." It seemed like only he was aware that Slipknot and the Beastie Boys were writing the future standards that were destined to become fixtures of American music, and seeing how cats like Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin were gone, it was up to him to point it out. He donned his tiger-striped tuxedo, rounded up some Vegas-minded musicians for his swanky swing band, and made his debut in 2000 with Lounge Against the Machine, released by the Oglio label.
Cheese's uncensored and "swankified" covers of Nine Inch Nails' "Closer" and Nirvana's "Rape Me" quickly found favor with morning shock jocks on the radio and novelty music fans in the record stores. The CNN cable network and The Los Angeles Times profiled him and he soon landed a gig as co-host and bandleader on MTV's Say What Karaoke series. His second album, Tuxicity, appeared in 2002 and featured swinging covers of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" and Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back," a favorite among Cheese's fans, who are known as "Dick-Heads."
He had made appearances on the Opie & Anthony and Howard Stern radio shows and led the house band for NBC television's Last Call with Carson Daly before he released I'd Like a Virgin (2004), which featured covers of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" and Michael Jackson's "Beat It," the latter accompanied by a children's choir. Aperitif for Destruction from 2005 featured the Beastie Boys' "Brass Monkey" and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle." The year 2006 was fan's dream, with both the compilation The Sunny Side of the Moon: The Best of Richard Cheese and the holiday album Silent Nightclub -- "a collection of happenin' holiday hits" -- landing in stores.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
More events Surfing >>
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Check out this video about this new rising star on the R&B/Soul scene. Very nice quality in his sound. I like it a lot.
SRP/Universal Motown artist HAL LINTON is a multi-talented 24-year-old R&B/soul singer-producer-songwriter sensation from Barbados who was discovered by Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken of SRP—the hit-making team that helped propel Rihanna and Shontelle up the charts. Drawing inspiration from Prince, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Bob Marley, and James Brown, HAL LINTON has crafted a unique blend of classic soul and modern R&B that ranks him alongside contemporary soul stirrers such as Maxwell, John Legend, Robin Thicke, Musiq Soulchild, and Anthony Hamilton. Now based in the New York City area, HAL LINTON’S debut album, Return From The Future, is due to be released in 2009, and will be preceded by the electrifying single “She’s Dangerous (Bang Bang).”
Stay tuned for more Hal Linton...
We like it too!
Tracklist in Google English
Tracklist in native tongue
Monday, August 03, 2009
Southern Rock Opera
Don't be deterred by the rather misleading title. Not a rock opera in the sense of Tommy or Jesus Christ Superstar, this sprawling double disc is more akin to a song cycle about Southern rock, in particular Lynyrd Skynyrd. Almost six years in the making, the Drive-By Truckers have created a startlingly intelligent work that proudly stands with the best music of their obvious inspiration. Largely written and conceived by lead trucker Patterson Hood (son of famed Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood), who sings the majority of the songs in a torn, ragged, but emotionally charged twangy voice somewhere between Tom Petty and Rod Stewart, these 20 literate tracks encapsulate a remarkably objective look at what Hood calls "the duality of the South." Rocking with a lean hardness, the story unfolds over 90 minutes, but the savvy lyrical observations never overburden the songs' clenched grip. While bands like the similarly styled Bottle Rockets have worked this territory before, never has a group created an opus that's thematically tied to this genre while objectively exploring its conceptual limitations. The two discs are divided into Acts I and II; the first sets the stage by exploring aspects of an unnamed Southern teen's background growing up as a music fan in an environment where sports stars, not rock stars, were idolized. The second follows him as he joins his Skynyrd-styled dream band, tours the world, and eventually crashes to his death in the same sort of airplane accident that claimed his heroes. The Drive-By Truckers proudly charge through these songs with their three guitars, grinding and soloing with a swampy intensity recalling a grittier, less commercially viable early version of Skynyrd. A potentially dodgy concept that's redeemed by magnificent songwriting, passionate singing, and ruggedly confident but far from over-the-top playing, Southern Rock Opera should be required listening not only for fans of the genre, but anyone interested in the history of '70s rock, or even the history of the South in that decade. More the story of Hood than Skynyrd, this is thought-provoking music that also slashes, burns, and kicks out the jams. Its narrative comes to life through these songs of alienation, excess, and, ultimately, salvation, as seen through the eyes of someone who lived and understands it better than most
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Re-inventing classic surf music for the modern era
When the modern SURF INSTRUMENTAL REVIVAL hit in 1980, the Packards, released their very first American album to come out of the new surf-instro scene!
That album was Pray For Surf, and this—its first release on CD—is long overdue. Perhaps even more important is the inclusion here of Beach City Bop—the fabled "lost" Packards’ album that was recorded in 1982 and never before released!
So here, for the first time, is the whole colorful story of the early Packards: a two-in-one CD that gets to the root of what modern surf-instrumental music is all about.
Pray for Surf
Lure of the Curl
Beach City Bop
Beach City Bop
Don’t Be Too Proud (To Be God’s Child)
Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord
Desert Madness (tango)
Get it HERE
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Twang - O - Matic
Served by the mysterious Charles Vine
Rock is reborn! Happy Times produce very well arranged and written psychedelic surf based music with a magnetic sound and liquid fury. Their Finish roots reinterpret the surf genre in wonderful, compelling ways. Rich, lush arranging and production takes this into the upper reaches of listenability. Recommended!
1. Lo-Fi Spy
2. Last Bullet
4. Lost Fiction
5. Full Gravity
6. Jack Carter´s Theme
7. Funeral in Berlin
8. All Quiet
9. Quantum of Solace
10. Our Man in Cuba
11. Viva! Laika
12. Taranaki Steam Surfers
13. Mission Possible
14. One for Danny
15. Crosstown Traffic
16. Bells of Konevitsa
Get it HERE