Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA John Blakeley and Jeff Larson - Daytrips
|John Blakeley was an original member of the Sandals, who made their mark on American culture with the soundtrack to The Endless Summer and a handful of less known surf/sports films. There are glimpses of his surf roots in the Sandals, but this is a long way from there. The music is polished and well written soft rock with country sounds, all pleasant listening, and all fit for a relaxed afternoon. Vocals like "Gray Wave" are softly interesting and well written. The shimmering vibrato lead guitar of "The Way Outside" suggests surf roots in a softer version of the images created by Max Buda and Chris Darrow on their collaboration on the Takoma label of 20 years ago. The cover art tells much of the tale.|
Picks: Something Aqua, The Way Outside, Road 101
Track by Track Review
Soft Jazz (Instrumental)
"Something Aqua" plays gently on a lazy afternoon expanse like a drifting tumbleweed rolling across a coastal desert expanse. Vibes-like keys lead this moment of softness. It's a hundred miles from the surf sound, near an outpost of soft jazz, yet is quite a pleasant experience.
Near Surf (Instrumental)
The shimmering vibrato lead guitar posts surf credentials amid a soft rock format often focusing on a slide guitar. In some ways, it's a little like the Max Buda - Chris Darrow album, but significantly less edgy. Narrated bridges add an ethereal dream like quality.
Country Rock (Instrumental)
"Road 101" is a warm country flavored traveling ode to surf route 101, where the afternoon sun warms the air and the wind blows through the woody's open window. Very nice, but more like Austin than the surf.