Al Jardine Emerges From Beach Boys' Shadow

By Winchester

I was a late-to-the-party Beach Boys fan. Sure, I loved all the classics, but when Brian Wilson dropped out, I somehow became more and more interested in that ensuing train wreck, than the group.

When Dennis Wilson released his amazing solo album Pacific Ocean Blue, I became quite enthralled; it quickly became the quintessential solo album. To me, it was right up there with McCartney’s first solo work.

When CBS re-released it late last year, I went on and on about it. It sounded better than ever. CBS even released it with his second solo album, delayed for years after Dennis untimely passing. It too, was fabulous.

When Tom Cuddy called with an invitation to joined him for a show by former Beach Boy Al Jardine at B.B. King, I was there in a flash.

Jardine, to me, never really stood out as a singular artist; he was always there with the Wilson Boys, Brian, Dennis and Carl. Now, seeing him front his own act, Al Jardine’s Endless Summer was one of the best shows I’ve seen this year.

His sons, Matt and Adam now handle the Brian-like vocals and boy, they are impressive. Also joining them was David Marks who was, one of the original Beach Boys, according to Cuddy, even replacing Jardine for a time. Boy, imagine having to live with that!

But tonight he was back and certainly impressive. Richie Cannata, late of the Billy Joel’s band was on horns, percussion and keyboards and was simply dazzling, adding a nice extra-texture to everything. Jardine will release his first solo album, A Postcard From California on Sept. 7, and on it he has guest spots from Brian, Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Glen Campbell, Flea and Steve Miller.

The three tracks he did this night were terrific, reminiscent of The Beach Boys in many ways. He serve up their hits, including “I Get Around,” “Sail On Sailor,” and, “God Only Knows.”

Those songs proved one thing for sure: Brian Wilson is an amazing writer! Cuddy said, the irony of Jardine, is that his group sounds more like the Beach Boys than Mike Love’s current touring entourage.

If Jardine comes to your town, definitely check him out.


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