Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Slackmates

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When I first signed on Comboland Radio almost 2 years ago one of my best friends, Jimmy Knight (drummer in a couple of bands I played in a LOOOONNNG time ago) asked me if I was playing any "Slackmates". I had to claim ignorance as I didn't know anything about them. I SHOULD have but, as has been chronicled many times with various bands, they came and went after I left the Triangle to seek my radio fame and fortune... which I am still seeking.

Old friend, former fishing buddy and guitarist extraordinaire Rod Abernethy teamed up with some of the Triangle's elite musicians to form "The Slackmates". Dave Adams, Jack Cornell, Jeff Anderson and Whit Helton recorded some of the coolest surf inspired tunes this side of Waiamea Bay. Venture-esque but not a rip-off at all. There are some great tunes on their lone (I think) CD.

It is not surprising to me that Rod would be involved in such a project. One of the aspects of his style that I have always enjoyed was his subtle incorporation of that "surf guitar" sound in his playing. I remember after the Ventures show at "The Pier" several of us hung around hoping to meet them, which we did. Rod had a guitar with him for the band members to sign (3 original members played at that gig as I recall). I hope he still has the guitar! I believe it was an SG with a hand painted front.

The Slackmates "Hot Car Girls" was released on a German label, Gee-Dee Music, which seems to concentrate on "surf" inspired artists. The cool cover art was designed by Jack Cornell. I got the CD on eBay from a seller in Germany. It took my quite a bit of time to actually find a copy but it is not impossible. Also occasionally available is a tribute to Herb Alpert, "Surfin' Senorita" on which The Slackmates surf through the "Third Man Theme". It is one of the strongest tracks on the CD.

Maybe others can post other information on this band. Did they every play gigs? Man I would to see them play now!!

Speaking of Rod his self titled solo LP from 1975 just sold on eBay last week for $147.50. It was a "still sealed" copy and still had a "Record Bar" sticker on the front. I have a mint copy of this LP (no... I ain't sellin') and a couple of cuts, "Bossa Nova Baby" and "eggplant Comes To The Party", play regularly on Comboland Radio.

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