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Welcome to SurfGuitar101!

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Since February 26, 2006, SurfGuitar101.com has been the premier home on the web for friends and fans of the world-wide phenomenon known as surf music! Created in Southern California in the early 1960's, surf music is very much alive today and has spread around the globe. Join us in our forums to discuss surf music, past and present. Meet new friends and discover new bands. Want to play surf music? We have lots of forums devoted to playing, performing, and writing surf music. We have lots of discussions on gear: guitars, amps, and drums. Check out our podcasts and hear some really great tunes! Finally, we feature news and articles on the surf scene, and you'll always know where you can catch some live surf music!

Latest Forum Posts

Join us in our forums for some lively discussions. Here are the forum topics with new posts.

Current News Stories

BAJA SURF STOMP : SURF MUSIC FESTIVAL (2017)

What is "Baja Surf Stomp"?

"Baja Surf Stomp" is an annual event dedicated to the promotion and showcasing of the national and international Instrumental Surf Music scene in Mexico; organized by "Planeta Reverb" & "Barracuda Production" since 2015. La Paz, La Ventana and Todos Santos (Baja California Sur) are the "hot spots" of the mini tour through the Baja Peninsula. The 5th edition (BSS-V) will take place from December 6th to 9th, 2018. Go to www.facebook.com/bajasurfstomp and find out more!

BAJA SURF STOMP IV (VIDEO RESUME)

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DAIKAIJU DELUXE ELECTRIC DISTRESS NORTH AMERICA-EUROPE TOUR 2018

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05.16 - White Swan - Houston, TX
05.17 - Snuff Film District - El Paso, TX
05.18 - Sky Bar - Tucson, AZ
05.19 - Quail Lounge - Phoenix, AZ
05.20 - Moustache Bar - Tijuana, MX
05.21 - Galería Arma - Mexicali, MX
05.22 - Phosphorus Bar - Ensenada, MX
05.23 - Tower Bar - San Diego, CA
05.24 - 1720 - Los Angeles, CA
05.25 - Mission Tobacco Lounge - Riverside, CA
05.26 - Evel Pie (6PM) - Las Vegas, NV
05.26 - The Garth (9PM) - Las Vegas, NV
05.27 - Flagstaff Brewing Company - Flagstaff, AZ
05.28 - Moonlight Lounge - Albuquerque, NM
05.29 - ??? - Santa Fe, NM
05.30 - The Deli - Norman, OK
05.31 - Trax 66 Collective - Tulsa, OK
06.01 - Backspace - Fayetteville, AR
06.02 - EJ’s Eats and Drinks - Little Rock, AR
06.03 - Smoke N Barrel - Fayetteville, AR
06.04 - Riot Room - Kansas City, MO
06.05 - Barley Street Tavern - Omaha, NE
06.06 - ??? - NE/KS
06.07 - Barleycorn’s - Wichita, KS
06.08 - Pondstock - Trenton, NE
06.09 - ??? - CO/WY
06.10 - Three Kings - Denver, CO
13.06 - De Bakkerij - Castricum, Netherlands
14.06 - Brigant - Arnhem, Netherlands
15.06 - Kultura - Liege, Belgium
16.06 - Marina Bar - Basel, Switzerland
17.06 - Urgence Disk - Geneva, Switzerland
18.06 - 19.06 - ??? - Italy
20.06 - Prodotto Non Conforme - Lucca
21.06 - Surfer Joe Festival - Livorno
22.06 - ??? - Italy
23.06 - Honky Tonky - Seregno, Italy
24.06 - GOB Ganz Of Bicchio Circolo ARCI - Viareggio, Italy
25.06 - ??? - Italy
26.06 - Taverna Tortuga - Turin, Italy
27.06 - L'Engrenage - Grenoble, France
28.06 - Thunderbird Lounge - Saint Etienne, France
29.06 - Skatepark Des Pont Jumeaux - Toulouse, France
30.06 - Olympic Cafe - Paris, France
01.07 - Kinky Star - Ghent, Belgium
02.07 - Kultuurkaffee Twee Poorten - Ghent, Belgium
03.07 - ??? - Germany
04.07 - Pumpehuset - Copenhagen, Denmark
05.07 - Stellwerk - Hamburg, Germany
06.07 - Ilses Erika - Leipzig, Germany
07.07 - Dorffest - Fieberbrunn, Austria
08.07 - ??? - Slovenia
09.07 - 13.07 - ??? - Croatia
14.07 - Hangar Bar - Izola, Slovenia
15.07 - 17.07 - ??? - Slovenia/Slovakia/Czechia
18.07 - Toast Hawaii - Berlin, Germany
19.07 - ??? - Germany/Belgium/NL
20.07 - Kefee Hatseflats - Venlo, NL
21.07 - Jetlag Festival @ ADM - Amsterdam
24.07 - ??? - Boise, ID
25.07 - Twilight Cafe - Portland, OR
26.07 - Highline Bar - Seattle, WA
27.07 - The Wild Buffalo - Bellingham, WA


Center of the Surf Review

Center of the Surf

Calling The Madeira a Surf Band is like calling the Boston Pops a municipal orchestra, it’s true, but doesn’t really tell the whole story. One of the great things about the Boston Pops is that they could play familiar songs, and make them sound recognizable, yet include complexity that was there for the taking if you cared to give it second, deeper listen.

Likewise, The Madeira operates on more than one level. At first listen, it is Surf music, well performed and accessible, but there is more to it than that. Going past a casual listen you can hear a complex harmonic concept and some devices not commonly heard, such as Hungarian minor scales which add a refreshing element which set this band apart from many of their peers.

In this day of low cost home recording, it is possible to have nearly infinite takes and each member can contribute parts recorded in the comfort of their own home, but live recordings are another matter altogether. There’s nothing to hide behind in a live setting, which brings us to their latest offering. Together, let us Journey to the Center of the Surf, which coincidentally, is the title of the first track.

Journey to the Center of the Surf starts off with an energetic introduction gives way to a melody with depth and then refrains which return to the energy of the intro. The bridge breaks the tension and returns us to a variation on the melody with the high energy refrain shortly thereafter. One never quite knows what to expect next in Journey to the Center of the Surf.

Hail, Poseidon! starts off sounding a bit like an ‘80s Pop tune, think U2 or The Police, but then goes into a clear minor key melody with an ascending motif which builds tension until it cascades back to the starting point of the melody. Somewhere around the 60% mark the intro is repeated and while the timbre is quite different from the body of the song, it fits perfectly.

Ancient Winds is mellow, but still energetic. To my ear, the harmonic structure is what stands out the most. Descending chords resolve in interesting ways. Once again, this is a song full of surprises.

The Argonaut starts with classic high energy drums followed by a flurry of energy from the lead Guitar which then builds to the melody. The energy and feel are reminiscent of Dick Dale while the melody sounds like it could easily fit a SciFi theme. Behind all of this, the rhythm guitar drives on providing a very solid sonic backdrop.

Leviathan fits its name well. There is little consensus about what a Leviathan actually is, a sea monster, crocodile or some other kind of frightening beast from the deep, but this song contains more than enough drama to cover all of the above. It is the feel of classic Surf at its best. A key change a little past the halfway point boosts things slightly along the way, but the song hardly needs it.

Into the Deep is more introspective and provides a change of pace. One could easily imagine this song in the background of a quiet interlude in a James Bond movie. Of everything on the album, this strikes me as the most evocative. Could this represent the thoughtful period one would feel after surviving an encounter with a Leviathan? Whether intentional or not, the order of these two songs, Leviathan and Into the Deep, is perfect.

Dilmohammed sounds very much a part of the Middle East. The mind is drawn to visions of ancient marketplaces, tents and camels. Starting somewhat softly the body of the song comes on strong. The Surf drums work beautifully against the melodic motifs. The sound is exceptionally simple and straightforward, contributing to the impression of the ancient bazaar. It is appropriate that this song was first recorded on an EP entitled Ruins, it sounds like it should accompany a movie scene set in a place that was very busy, and filled with intrigue, long, long ago.

Undercurrents is a song with a strong melodic element, supported by a solid clean sound which harkens to early Surf and even before. This melodic element does not, however, restrict the harmonic motion in any way. There’s a lot going on in this relatively short song.

Ricochet is originally from the Sandstorm CD. While the speed is right up there, the energy level is a bit more relaxed. A Shadows device of repeated ending to a phrase is employed at the end of the first verse and as rapidly as the notes come along, the timbre of the lead guitar is bright but nowhere near harsh. I hear a lot of Shadows in this track.

From this point on, the quartet becomes a sextet with the additions of John Blair on guitar and Johnpaul Balak on bass. The power increases noticeably with these additions and a powerful band becomes a sonic juggernaut, without resorting to heavy distortion. Never does the sound use definition.

Tribal Fury has a power that is reminiscent of Link Wray. While nothing on this album could be described as languid, this track is like a string of powerful locomotives moving a heavy line of cars up a mountain pass. “This ain’t your pappy’s surf music” is spoken at the end and indeed, it is so.

Sandstorm starts off twangy, a la Duane Eddy but then the Surf feel comes to the fore. After the bridge the song mixes it up, returning to the Duane feel at times but never straying too far from the less laconic feel of Surf as opposed to the twangy vibe of Instrumental Rock’s first guitar hero.

The Intruder (Listed as Intruder #1 & Intruder on the Ruins EP) starts off almost softly (in a loud sort of way due to the live setting) and proceeds along the lines of a modified Andalusian Cadence which brings to mind Flamenco Music. About a minute and a half in the pace becomes considerably less laid back and the energy of the song goes off-scale, complete with power chords, as Intruder #1 gives way to Intruder. Having two basses and two rhythm guitars on this track redefines the term “Wall of Sound”. About halfway through there is a lull which then slowly builds back to a much higher level of energy. The bass plays arpeggiated figures which contribute to the melodic interest of the tune as it reaches a climatic, and sudden end.

One thing that strikes me is the quality of the writing. Patrick O’Connor wrote five of the songs, Ivan Pongracic wrote or co-wrote five songs with the two remaining songs apparently having come from outside of the band. None of the songs are predictable, most of them are harmonically rich, even complex. None of the songs are particularly laid back, with the exception of Into the Deep, but the overall level of energy and excitement varies greatly, even in different passages within the same song.

I will add only this, from my perspective as a player. Playing Surf without sounding shrill is far from an assured outcome. It takes skill and experience to find the balance. Well played Surf music is a technique-intensive exercise for all musicians. In many ways, the songs on this album are probably as challenging as many classical pieces. The right-hand tremolos involved amaze me. What I hear on this live recording stands up well to the standards of speed set by Dick Dale himself. The sound of the band avoids the all-too-common mistake some Surf bands make of too much reverb. (All banter aside, it is possible to have too much reverb on a Surf recording and it can really detract when overused.)

The live performance is solid, the songs well-written and imaginative. This may be one for the record books.


"Spin The Bottle" - Frankie and the Pool Boys

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Frankie and the Pool Boys announce the release of their third full length album, "Spin the Bottle" with a release date of May 8 on Double Crown Records. Produced by Dusty Watson.

Spin The Bottle defines the free ranging Pool Boys approach to songwriting. Like the best mix tapes, the music on this album is all over the map. Just hit the shuffle button and you get fast ones, slow ones, some groovers, some art, some dopey stuff, and some vocals. Vocals? (Yes, and with apologies to our “instro only” fans!) Drift back to the loose radio days of the 60s when you might have a vocal and an instrumental version of the same song racing up the charts at the same time – think “Grazin’ in the Grass, “In With The In Crowd,” “Ghost Riders,” “Born Free” and many more. It was huge fun to hear how the same song can be rearranged in different ways, and it gave the Pool Boys a chance to work with some talented Bay Area vocalists.

Spin The Bottle, take a chance and embrace change— and the biggest change on this album is that the Pool Boys line-up solidified into a tight, consistent unit. So, rather than every song featuring guest artists sending in tracks from around the world like on the first two Pool Boys albums, the whole CD was recorded in one weekend with the dedicated band of five. Dusty Watson (drummer for The Sonics, Dick Dale, Agent Orange, Slacktone) was brought in as chief ass-kicker (Producer). Ass-kick he did, whipping the Pool Boys into a tight unit, streamlining arrangements, encouraging dynamics, all with attention to sonic detail.

Spin The Bottle is Frankie & Pool Boys third full length album on the Double Crown Records label and features 20 songs. That’s 14 new originals, 2 covers (Booker T and the MGs, The Surf Coasters) and 4 vocal versions. Every effort was made to use vintage instruments, recording equipment and techniques. The album cover art was created by legendary Oslo artist Fred Lammers.

Coming soon- videos, tour dates, free stuff, complete chord charts and tablature


Robotron (Norway) releases their new album: Gorgonzolah's Revenge

Hello everybody!

It is with great pleasure that I present the new album from Robotron: Gorgonzolah's Revenge.

For those who don't know who Robotron is, here is a little explanation:

Robotron an intergalactic instrumental music project based in Bergen / Norway. The brain behind Robotron is known as Bjørn Hovland, half Norwegian and half Brazilian who was raised in Rio de Janeiro / Brazil and moved to Norway not long ago.

In 2016 Robotron released their first album: Robotron Vs. the invincible and indestructible Reptilicus. Two years after, Robotron comes with the second part of the trilogy: Gorgonzolah's Revenge. The album is being released by a brazilian label Morcego Records.

That's it, enough of that. The link to listen to the album is below. Grab a beer, put the headphones on and enjoy.

Facebook page: Link

First album: Link

second album: Link

Cheers,
Bjørn Hovland


SWELL OF DWELL - The new Surfer Joe album on Dionysus Records - June 15th, 2018

It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of my new full album on June 15th 2018.

SWELL OF DWELL
(Dionysus Records, Surfer Joe Music)

The album includes 10 new tracks of pure instrumental music and comes out on 12" black vinyl and digital.
The CD version is also scheduled to be available shortly after.

Released by Dionysus Records and Surfer Joe Music, it will be distributed in USA and Europe and soon be available also on most online stores.

Pre-orders will begin in a few days and retailers can contact us anytime for more details (info@surferjoe.me).

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The Tommy Guns Record & Release New CD Single "Swooney"

The Tommy Guns Record & Release New CD Single "Swooney"
Recorded at the Grammy Winning Slack Key Studio's in Nashville,TN.
With Grammy Winning Producer/Engineer Randy Kohrs.

The Tommy Guns are an Instrumental Surf & Rock-A-Billy Band
Playing the Great Tunes of yesteryear - Link Wray, The Ventures, Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, Al Caiola, & more.
- Sweet Music to your ears.

~ To Order our New Cd Single " Swooney " Please e.mail: TheTommyGunsMusic@gmail.com ~

The Tommy Guns Are:
Tom Purcell - Guitar's
John McTigue lll - Drums
Steve Purcell - Guitar's
David "The Duke" Spicher - Bass

  • Please Help Us Spread the Word, & Check back with us soon, Our Website is new & we are just getting started.
    As Always, Thanks For Your Support.

" The Tommy Guns "
Nashville, Tn. USA 37212
Web: http://TheTommyGuns.site123.me
E.mail: TheTommyGunsMusic@gmail.com


Insect Surfers present their 'Datura Moon' vinyl Kickstarter project!

CDs aren't such a financial stretch, but vinyl sure is these days! To release our latest, 'Datura Moon', on clear purple wax, we are essentially using Kickstarter as a pre-order strategy here, PLUS we are releasing 'Living Fossils', a CD of all the studio tracks that we've put on various compilations over the past three decades (plus lotsa rare demos)....

See - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2117881320/datura-moonvinyl-project


Announcing the release of the Madeira's "Center of the Surf" CD

We are extremely excited to announce the release of "Center of the Surf" (Double Crown Records), the Madeira's second live album, this one recorded at the 10th Surf Guitar 101 Convention at the Alpine Village in Torrance, CA on August 5th, 2017. It was recorded and mixed by Mark Linett, triple-Grammy-winning producer and audio engineer who has worked with a long list of legendary artists, among them the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Frank Zappa, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul Simon, Los Lobos, Jane's Addiction, and Los Straitjackets. (See here for the full accounting of his many accomplishments). The tracklist is focused on the songs from our most recent studio album, "Ancient Winds", and we were also joined for the final three tracks of the set by John Blair on second rhythm guitar, as well as Jonpaul Balak on second bass guitar, making for an epic six-person line-up and a sound that can only be described as extraordinary in its scope! The cover and the CD package were designed by Stephen Blickenstaff, the well-known artist behind dozens of album covers (and many other artistic endeavors - as well as the theremin player in Atomic Mosquitos!), including most famously "Bad Music for Bad People" by the Cramps.

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The CD will be available for mail-order from Double Crown Records on April 24th, but we will have it available at our two CD-release shows next weekend, at Melody Inn in Indianapolis on Friday, 4/20, and the Player's Pub in Bloomington, IN on Saturday, 4/21 (as well as Southgate Revival in Cincinnati on Saturday, 5/5). We hope you can join us for these all-surf shows - see more details here and here.

Finally, we're also thrilled to announce that the compilation album of the 2017 Surf Guitar 101 Convention will be released by Sierra Records in July, and it will include two exclusive tracks by us, recorded at the convention but only available on this compilation. All the tracks on the compilation were again recorded and mixed by Mark Linett. Stay tuned for more info about this exciting release.

We hope you pick up and enjoy "Center of the Surf" and that we see you at one of our many upcoming shows in the next six months, whether in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, or Florida and New Jersey!

(Check out this brand new video, once again ably edited by Patrick, accompanying the live version of "Leviathan" from the "Center of the Surf" CD: https://youtu.be/UfOm_3UBKCw )


Surfer Joe Returns To Japan!

After the success of last year's inaugural Surfer Joe tour of Japan, the international Surf Music Ambassador continues to live up to his name and returns to Japan once again for an even longer tour! The 2018 tour will visit even more far-reaching locations including Kokura, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima and will be highlighted by performances from some amazing Surf colleagues including The Surf Coasters, The El Caminos, Lulufin The Woo Hoo, The WHYs, The Fuzziyama Surfers, The Surf Vader, The Palms, Switch Trout, BCV and more! In addition, on this tour Surfer Joe will be joined by a bi-coastal American rhythm section consisting of his longtime collaborator Jonpaul Balak (Insect Surfers, Tikiyaki Orchestra) on bass, and Vincent Minervino (Black Flamingos, Royal Pacifics) on drums!

Arigato! See you there!

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