Thursday, 1 July 2010

A Postcard From California

Al Jardine's Endless Summer Is Underway With Today's Online Release Of "A Postcard From California"

BURBANK, California
June 29, 2010

Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine, who started the group in 1961 with the Wilson brothers (Brian, Carl, and Dennis) and their cousin Mike Love, released his new solo album, “A Postcard from California,” today, Tuesday, June 29th, 2010, through the iTunes music store.

The twelve-song collection includes four cuts that comprise what Jardine calls “the green side” of the new album, compositions that speak to the relationship of man and his environment. “Don't Fight the Sea,” “Tidepool Interlude” and “A California Saga” are songs that reflect this artist’s deep love for the California coastline and his concern for the ecological health of the planet. “I think this material defines the new project in these days of climate change,” he suggests. Unfortunately it also seems especially timely in view of current events in the Gulf of Mexico.

Al Jardine has always embodied that concern for the environment, and the coastline and ocean in particular. Previously, on the Beach Boys’ “Surf’s Up” album, he and Mike Love had written the song, “Don’t Go Near the Water.” The new album includes “Lookin’ Down the Coast,” a tale of the discovery of California by the Spanish, as seen through the eyes of its natural inhabitants, the California condor, the whale, the otter and the bear.

Jardine recently discussed how water, the environment, ecology, and a primary concern for nature are still predominant themes in his material:

“‘Don’t Fight the Sea’ started a long time ago with a Canadian friend of mine, Terry Jacks, who was kind enough to allow me to rewrite his song for a solo album that Mike Love and I were planning around an ecology theme. I always envisioned it to be the quintessential environmental song, a big statement, but I could never get all the guys together. I started with Carl, Bruce (Johnston) and myself on backgrounds, then years later Brian put on his falsetto, and just recently Mike recorded his baritone signature line. To top it all off, I added son Matt Jardine and friend Scott Mathews to the track, to give additional vocal support to the core group; all this over a period of thirty-plus years. I guess persistence pays off!

“The song evolved into a beautiful statement,” Jardine continues, “with some very passionate vocal work by Carl. And with the recent interest in global warming, I changed the last verse to reflect the plight of the polar bear. Living in Canada, Terry really has his finger on the pulse and has seen the situation first hand. The last verse of the song relates a dream in which we’re carried away to the Arctic Ocean and come face to face with a polar bear, who implores us, ‘Don't Fight the Sea.’ It’s an interesting twist. I may be ‘preaching environment’ on this album, with ‘Lookin’ Down the Coast’ and ‘Don’t Fight the Sea,’ but the latter is really about the futility of man’s efforts to tame the ocean.”

The track, “Tidepool Interlude” features a spoken word narrative from another special guest, actor Alec Baldwin, who is heard reading a poem written by Stephen John Kalinich, in a moving tribute to California and its natural beauty. In April, 2010, Baldwin co-hosted the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony (“The Oscars”) with Steve Martin, and he currently stars in NBC's Emmy award winning comedy series, “30 Rock.” He has also become a frequent and very popular host on “Saturday Night Live.”

A new version of the song, “California Saga/California,” first heard on the Beach Boys’ “Holland” album, is also on the CD. The new track is titled simply, “A California Saga.” “We were homesick as hell in Holland, and I needed to write some songs about California,” Jardine remembers. “It was tough to re-visit the song. We had to cut this one twice. In the new recording, Neil Young and I share lead vocals and have a duet together describing that wonderful west coast vibe we have when we’re driving Highway 1. If you listen closely, you can hear strains of CS&N in the backing vocals of David Crosby and Stephen Stills.”

The collection, “A Postcard from California,” was largely penned by Al Jardine and features a regular “who’s who” of classic rock and popular music royalty. Jardine was joined in the studio by a steady and willing stream of famous friends, including Brian Wilson, Glen Campbell, Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell of America, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Marks, Richie Cannata and John Stamos, in addition to those already noted elsewhere in this announcement. Completing the generational span, Jardine’s sons, Matt and Adam, are also heard on vocal harmonies.

Al Jardine’s 21st century take on “Help Me Rhonda” has a special place on the new album. “I wanted this version to feel like a blues classic,” Jardine says of the Brian Wilson-penned song, and to that end he was thrilled to share lead vocals on the track with rock legend Steve Miller, while also featuring harmonica virtuoso Norton Buffalo, from the Steve Miller Band, to achieve that authentic blues edge. Sadly, Buffalo passed away from cancer on October 30th, 2009 in Paradise, California. The Beach Boys’ original recording of “Help Me Rhonda,” on which Jardine sang the lead vocal, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965.

1 comment:

  1. I bought this C.D. a few weeks ago, and I just love it!
    It just went so well with the weather we are having at the moment!
    (Long may it last!)

    Now following to see where this journey takes me!