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Urban Surf Kings 4 Eva

The Urban Surf Kings’ annual tribute to all that is stringed and twangy, Guitar-Fest IV, is taking place this Sat May 17 at the Seahorse Tavern (9:30pm). The Divorcees pay tribute to Willie Nelson, the Urban Surf Kings play a tribute to Spaghetti Western, Brad Conrad tips his hat to Johnny Guitar Watson, the Fabulous Venturamas pay tribute to the Ventures (featuring members of King Konqueror, the Mellotones and USK) and the All Star Surf & Roll Band do what comes naturally. DJ Mumps provides the tunes between sets and there will be special guests and prizes too. USK also have a new album to be excited about, mastered by surf legend Phil Dirt and distributed in Europe, the US and Canada, their album, Bang Howdy Partner, reflects their new focus on spaghetti western twang, mixed with their surf roots. “The album was recorded at our own Old Asylum Road studios in the lovely HRM. We decided to make it as simple as possible as far as gear goes. The drums were recorded with just two mics to capture that vintage surf sound in mono,” says Mike Diabo (aka Rev Hank, guitar). “I got tired of hearing a drum set spread all over the stereo spectrum. The approach for this CD was to make us sound like you were in the room or club with us. I think we were successful.” Phil Dirt’s golden mastering touch gives the album it’s polish, and considerable clout in the surf community. “I've kept in touch with Phil Dirt since he reviewed our The Man From S.U.R.F. release in 1997. As the years passed, he has always been very encouraging. It was great to work with him on this album. He's a wealth of surf and recording knowledge,” says Diabo. “Phil is lucky enough (or smart enough) to live in California where the whole surf sound originated. He is the go to guy for anything surf related. The fact that he only works with bands he likes a lot, we were flattered!” Diabo, along with Crash Flagg on bass and Inky on the drums, make up the group, a Halifax staple since 1995. Diabo admits to their 13-year longevity being “hard to believe,” but their consistently awesome instrumental tracks and prolific nature of the band has held strong. “We have a really great sounding four song 45rpm (featuring the baritone guitar) recorded by Hayward Parrot that should be out in the early fall, as well as tracks on several compilations around the world.” USK don’t show any signs of slowing down anytime soon, and finding those of like minds proves that surf music is a timeless classic. “The surf community is a really supportive and non-competitive bunch. Because there are bands spread all over the world, we tend to look for like minded people to hang-out with, and talk about this great music. Aside from the newer bands, I've been able to hook up (at least on-line) with the originators like Davie Allan, Dick Dale, and Canada's own the Esquires. David Britten, who wrote the Esquires early 1960's hit ‘Man From Adano,’ wrote a song for this new CD, the closing track ‘Renegade.’ Also, we've been around so long that you get to know a lot of cool people involved in surf music.”

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