Surfer Joe has been involved in the surf music scene since the middle of the 90s, building up his name worldwide as musician and organiser of events. By currently playing more than a hundred concerts a year around the world, Surfer Joe is the most active artist in modern surf music. He has participated in most surf related events and he is mentioned or interviewed in books and movies. His frenetic touring activity shows that this small genre deserves attention because it is still very alive and interesting, with many records released and new bands forming every year.
Surfer Joe represents the true, authentic side of surf music, carrying on the legacy of the original Californian bands of the early 60s with their sound and energy, but of course showcasing his own style. The compositions of Surfer Joe are generally very melodic, appealing to attentive listeners, but also easily recognisable, memorable and accessible to any kind of audience, so that someone defined his records as “instant classics”. The live show is loaded with great energy, it’s extremely dynamic, but also powerful when necessary, featuring the most typical reverb-drenched surf sounds.
On stage, Surfer Joe likes to tell stories and anecdotes, keeps the interaction with the audience personal and funny, and he certainly has a lot to say since he has collaborated in many occasions with legends of the genre and played in all the original locations and venues. All this, together with being the co-organiser of the Surfer Joe Summer Festival – the greatest surf music event of the world – gained Surfer Joe the unofficial title of “international surf music ambassador”.
The Surf Guitar 101 Convention show comes at the tail end of an extensive West Coast tour that followed runs in Europe and the US East Coast.
The current internationally touring lineup of the Surfer Joe band is Lorenzo Valdambrini, guitar, Pieter Dedoncker, drums, and Jonpaul Balak, bass.
The Nebulas are the result of a powerful chemical reaction that occurred when elements of a highly-developed west coast guitar sound fused with a thunderous East Coast rhythm section in the early months of 2001. They have released 3 studio albums, a live CD, one 7″ and a 10″ vinyl. Their corresponding West Coast tour marks the 20th anniversary of when they did it back in 2003. The band consists of lead guitarist Mike Dominquez, (formerly of The Sand Dunes), rhythm guitarist Dan Ware, bassist Eric Grammar and drummer Jim Nichols.
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY, SO CAL
The Volcanics are a high energy, “dance and show combo” from the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. Their dynamic sound (along with their ever present blue sweaters), draws from a wide variety of influences, including the frenzied double picking sounds of 1960’s Surf, as well as the stompin’ energy of early frat rock and roll.
Cutting their teeth on the live circuit for over 15 years, these men have become fan favorites at any surf stomp. With four albums and multiple EPs under their belt, they’ve won over hot-rodders, shimmy shakers, and teen twisters around the world. The Volcanic’s 7″ release, FREAKOUT finds the gang yet again firing up their frantic instruments for another round of their boss signature sound! And they are just about to release a brand-new full length called CONCRETE CARVER on Hi-Tide Recordings, just in time for the Convention!
Squares beware, if you hang ten on their nose they’ll hang five in your face!
Get ready to SHAKE IT with the band of boys that you love best,THE VOLCANICS.
THE MACH IV
The Mach IV were a surf music supergroup formed in the summer of 2001 by S.F. Bay Area surf guitarists Mel Waldorf (Los Meltones) and Ferenc Dobronyi (Pollo Del Mar), with bassist Johnny Hamilton (The Berzerkers) and beloved songwriter and drummer Shigemi Komiyama, aka “Shig 33” (The Shi-Tones).
At that time Mel was playing with The Alvarados, and itching to get back into surf music. Ferenc was playing progressive instrumentals with Pollo Del Mar and aching to get back to trad. Johhny Hamilton’s reputation as a rock solid bass player made him someone that everybody wanted to play with. Multi-instrumentalist Shigemi Komiyama had toured with Hot Tuna and El Destroyo, and had recorded an album of his original instrumentals under the name Shig and Buzz. Needless to say, Mel, Ferenc and Johnny were thrilled when Shig agreed to join them.
The agreed goal of the Mach IV was to focus on playing surf music in a trad style, and really focus on melodic songs, both covers and originals. Also, the band wanted to look sharp, and wore matching teal tuxedo jackets and practiced dance steps. The earliest sets featured obscure SoCal surf, Shadows from England, Les Jaguares from Canada and eleki from Japan. Recorded live at The Beach Chalet, The “Road Test” CD of covers was released in 2002.
Of course, with three songwriters, the band focused on originals, and 16 songs came together for the “Eleki” album, released in 2003. Reaction was positive, and the run of 500 quickly sold out. The band continued playing at San Francisco clubs and took a long weekend in SoCal, perhaps playing 50 shows in their short career.
By late 2005, the band had broken up. Mel moved on to form the Meshugga Beach Party, adding a keyboard player and beards to the Mach IV lineup, before finding permanent members. Playing in the trad style would inspire Ferenc to form Frankie & the Pool Boys. Johhny continued to play with everyone. Shig played regularly in the Shi-tones with Jim Thomas from The Mermen, and also formed Shig and the Buzz, featuring Johnny Hamilton and guitarist Roger Rocha (of Four Non Blondes.)
After 2005, the band brought out the teal tuxedos for only a handful of reunion shows. Shigemi Komiyama passed away in 2014.
Mel, Ferenc and Johnny will be joined by drummer Tony Bald (The TomorrowMen) for a series of shows in 2022 including the 13th SG101 Convention at the historic Hollywood American Legion Post 43. Their set will feature tasty covers and their originals, especially the songs of Shig 33. The Mach IV’s albums are completely gone, but can be found for download from Russian websites. However! Just in time for the Convention, Greece’s Green Cookie Records will release a deluxe re-issue version of ELEKI! featuring 8 extra tracks!
The Scimitars finally saw the light of day in 2018, after 10+ years of conversations about the vision and desire to create a more authentic and intense Middle Eastern inspired traditional surf project. Old friends and surf fanatics Ran Mosessco, formerly of The Astroglides and The Sand Devils, and Jonpaul Balak, bassist, DJ and surf historian, made the concept a reality by adding a percussionist, drummer and second guitarist, and have been gathering momentum ever since. Their sound is truly unique, combining the dark and cavernous traditional surf guitar tones Ran is known for with the mystery and exoticism of the Middle East. Plans are currently underway to release a debut 7″ and play regularly throughout their Southern California base and beyond.
A very special all-star tribute to Richard Podolor, AKA Richie Allen, whose contributions to the classic surf music canon and stellar releases is immeasurable. Some of the most infamous tunes he was involved with include “Casbah,” “Quiet Surf,” “Free Fall,” “Teen Beat,” “Let There Be Drums,” “The Rising Surf,” “Surfer’s Slide,” “Stranger From Durango,” “Coffin Nails,” VooDoo Juice,” “Haulin’ Honda,” “Black Boots and Bikes,” “Midnight Run,” “Lonely Surfer,” “Weird Wolf,” “Dark Side Of The Mushroom” and so many more.