-- By Brett Stillo
Rock & Roll guitarist Lonnie Mack died the same day as Prince. Call it fate, call it show business... whatever, but the death of a big name celebrity will always overshadow the death of a lesser name. C.S. Lewis, Aldous Huxley, Farrah Fawcett, or Groucho Marx all were pushed to the back pages as well.
Lonnie Mack and Prince share a connection beyond a date in an obituary. Both of them played the electric guitar like proverbial bats out of hell. They were players among players with a command of the instrument beyond mere technique. Indeed, their fingers seemed electric, boosting the sound and texture of their guitar solos to stratospheric levels.
Mack, born in 1941, was a first generation Rock and Roller -- part of an echelon of pioneer guitar heroes of the early 1960s that included Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, and Link Wray. Among his peers, however, Mack was ahead of the curve with a cutting-edge guitar style born from the formative sounds of Blues, Gospel, and Bluegrass. Mack took these traditional elements and supercharged them to create a raw, electrifying sound that screamed from his trademark Gibson Flying V, “Number 7” (the seventh model to come out of the factory in the Flying V’s original run in 1958).
-- By Brett Stillo
There's not a lot of information out there about the Turnstyle but that probably has everything to do with the fact that this act didn't last long at all. The band formed in 1968 by 17-year-old drummer and songwriter Mark Ashton and went on to record the somewhat edgy, average pop-psych single "Riding A Wave" (b/w "Trot") for Pye Records. Within six months after the release of the 45, Turnstyle supported the Nice for a few live dates before calling it quits without issuing any further recordings. Ashton, his wave riding days behind him as it were, took to the sky with progressive rock unit Rare Bird.
As with my last Summer Jams post, spotlighting Nick Nicely's "On The Beach", some awesome kindred spirit in the universe has created a music video utilising some gnarly vintage film footage of surf, beaches, and bad boy surfers to accompany Turnstyle's "Ridging A Wave" in a such a way that I cannot help but fall in love with this addition to my Summer Jams 2013 mixtape all over again.
What is Carolina Beach Music?
Like other regional Oldies/Soul sub-genres, think Lowrider Oldies or Northern Soul, Carolina Beach Music (or just plain Beach Music if you're in Carolina, nothin' could be finer) developed from various musical styles of the 40's, 50's, and 60's that became closely associated with a fancy, footwork-heavy style of dance known as the shag, or the Carolina shag (which, fun fact, is also the official state dance of both North and South Carolina).
Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, white youth in the Jim Crow South could not easily access the compelling music of primarily black R&B artists in their home towns and, in some communities, this remained in effect even after racial integration was implemented in the region. But the kids, as kids are always wont to do, found ways of flocking to the bars and band shells of the Carolina beaches where the shag was the fad and R&B ruled the jukeboxes and R&B artists sometimes performed live (see: Bo Diddley's Live Beach Party Album, recorded live in concert in July 1963 at the Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). Those college students and vacationing teenagers of Beach Music's early years went on to ween their young'uns and their young'uns young'uns on the The Tams, The Embers, The Drifters, The Tymes, The Platters, Ernie K-Doe, Bob & Earl, General Johnson & The Chairmen of the Board, and Major Lance just to name a few.
In other words: Beach Music is a guaranteed party, people! So get to fixin' this Wednesday, July 11, by hittin' up your local S'leven, secure your Slurps and come on up to Amoeba Music SF from 6-9pm for Hold Back The Night 2012: a proper Beach Music get down spun by two genuine Carolina Girls, I suwannee!
Also, it must be said that this record rates high on the list of apropos album artwork in relation to the record's overall sound. But don't take my word for it, find out for yourself! Click play on the album's opening track below and have a long, lingering look at that cover photo. Careful now, overexposure might lead to excessive use of the word "vibe" as a verb and an unconscious referral to the word "energy" in the plural form.
Amoeba Berkeley recently bought a large LP collection from a Bay Area collector of mostly Rock and Oldies (with some Soul and Jazz) going back as much as 50 years. It includes many unusual titles and deep catalogue all brought at very fair prices. It's a collection for the imagination to run wild. These titles hit the floor for the first time on Black Friday (November 25) at Amoeba Berkeley!
"This collection is somewhat of a time capsule in nature. A mostly rock collection that I might have seen in the early '80s. Lots of interesting/unusual items that were probably passed by at that time, but now hold intrigue. Some wall items are mega-rare, mostly in the rock/psych rock arena." - Amoeba Kent