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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Videos »

Permalink Ivan Pongracic Sr. and Jr. playing some Shadows chestnuts for Christmas

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That’s a fun tune, Ivan. Hank really has a sense of how to choose a song, how to package it and how to deliver it. That’s a simple song, but makes for a perfect Shadows tune.

Great work on your part.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

That's again, synchro! The song was written by the whole band, one of their many originals. Pretty unique, and definitely fun!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

IvanP wrote:

That's again, synchro! The song was written by the whole band, one of their many originals. Pretty unique, and definitely fun!

They captured the emerging sound made possible by the guitars and amps of the late fifties in a very pleasing way. It’s music that is just as appealing now as it was back when it was produced. There an element of fun, but it’s obviously the product of serious musicians. Of course, it’s music that must be played on a red Strat. Smile

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Here comes another one!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Another great tune and well performed. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the tune, but it’s a perfect example of the Shadows’ charm. A pleasing melody with some Rock n’ Roll licks and a lovely twang.

Thanks for posting that, Ivan.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Thanks very much, synchro! Yes, you've described it well, I think. It was their November '64 single, and the beginning of the slide in their commercial fortunes. Beatlemania and Merseybeat began to take their toll on the boys. They were still hanging in there all through '63 and the first half of '64, had some pretty big hits in that period, but it was not to last. Still, the band's musicianship at that time was just incredible, and I love the songs from that era, with their music from 1965 being possibly my all-time favorite by the them. Anyway, thanks for listening!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

IvanP wrote:

Thanks very much, synchro! Yes, you've described it well, I think. It was their November '64 single, and the beginning of the slide in their commercial fortunes. Beatlemania and Merseybeat began to take their toll on the boys. They were still hanging in there all through '63 and the first half of '64, had some pretty big hits in that period, but it was not to last. Still, the band's musicianship at that time was just incredible, and I love the songs from that era, with their music from 1965 being possibly my all-time favorite by the them. Anyway, thanks for listening!

I remember this one and probably most of the other singles dating back a few years earlier, I would be about 9 years old, aware of it through TV and radio but also at funfair/Butlins Summer holiday camp where you'd get to hear chart music intensely loud! You're right pop music was moving forward at break neck speed. One of the great things about the Beatles was (from a pre-teen perspective) the horrible adult programme they called the 5 o'clock news suddenly became interesting and along with Beatles news Cliff Richard and Shadows were also news worthy, two bulletins I remember which may come from the 1964 period was Hank being interviewed on his own - the announcement that Cliff and Shadows were going separate ways and Cliff's announcement regarding his faith (although musically it would be business as usual) The interview ended with footage of Cliff singing on an outdoor stage in a field with a few hundred fans.

National Provincial Samba I've never heard before. It's the kind of Instrumental I seek these days - like it a lot.

IvanP wrote:

Thanks very much, synchro! Yes, you've described it well, I think. It was their November '64 single, and the beginning of the slide in their commercial fortunes. Beatlemania and Merseybeat began to take their toll on the boys. They were still hanging in there all through '63 and the first half of '64, had some pretty big hits in that period, but it was not to last. Still, the band's musicianship at that time was just incredible, and I love the songs from that era, with their music from 1965 being possibly my all-time favorite by the them. Anyway, thanks for listening!

One thing about being a full time musician is that your skills are honed to a very fine edge. By ‘64 - ‘65, the Shadows had been playing for a living for quite a while and undoubtedly were living and breathing their music. They were truly at the top of their game by the time the Beatles came along and changed everything.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

synchro wrote:

One thing about being a full time musician is that your skills are honed to a very fine edge. By ‘64 - ‘65, the Shadows had been playing for a living for quite a while and undoubtedly were living and breathing their music. They were truly at the top of their game by the time the Beatles came along and changed everything.

Yes, I agree 100%! I think you've absolutely hit the nail on the head here.

crumble wrote:

I remember this one and probably most of the other singles dating back a few years earlier, I would be about 9 years old, aware of it through TV and radio but also at funfair/Butlins Summer holiday camp where you'd get to hear chart music intensely loud! You're right pop music was moving forward at break neck speed. One of the great things about the Beatles was (from a pre-teen perspective) the horrible adult programme they called the 5 o'clock news suddenly became interesting and along with Beatles news Cliff Richard and Shadows were also news worthy, two bulletins I remember which may come from the 1964 period was Hank being interviewed on his own - the announcement that Cliff and Shadows were going separate ways and Cliff's announcement regarding his faith (although musically it would be business as usual) The interview ended with footage of Cliff singing on an outdoor stage in a field with a few hundred fans.

Very interesting! Thanks for adding that perspective, so very cool!

National Provincial Samba I've never heard before. It's the kind of Instrumental I seek these days - like it a lot.

Given that and that you don't know, may I VERY strongly recommend that you check out the Shadows' fourth album, "Sound of the Shadows" from '65, in full? It's actually my favorite album by them. "National Provincial Sambe" is the closing track on the album. I think you will greatly enjoy it.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Two more:

First, "Brazil", the opening track of their '65 album (their fourth), "Sound of the Shadows" - my favorite. The song itself is possibly the most popular Brazilian songs ever, dating back to '39 and recorded often by samba, jazz and big band artists (including Xavier Cugat, Django, Sinatra, Jobim, etc.) (The volume of the video fluctuates a bit in a few parts, not sure why.) Middle pickup for the whole song.

Second, "The Lost City", the second track on their '65 album "Sound of the Shadows". DeArmond 610 Volume/Tone pedal on the second verse. Bridge pickup for the whole track. (The treble got a bit bite-y in a few places, sorry about that).

The gear on both: a bit of echo by Catalinbread Echorec; Vox AC15C1-TV; and my SG101-awarded 2012 Dakota Red '65 reissue Strat (with Eddie Bertrand's 1986 '62 reissue neck).

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

I just bought a copy of the album. Great, great stuff. I remember Hank being interviewed and mentioning that he used first position a lot because the strings sounded better near their full length. I notice that you stuck with these fingerings.

As usual, you played these well,Ivan. Your respect for this music comes through. For those of us that spent our entire lives on this side of the pond, the Shadows are a bit of a discovery. I’ve been aware of them for many years. Over 40 years ago, one of my students recorded an album u dear the name The Shadows, but they were a regional band and there was no great concern about conflict. But at least that far back, I was aware of the British Shadows, but knew very little about their music.

Like most American boys, I knew about the Ventures, and even my father, whose tastes tended to peter out at the end of the Big Band era, still liked the Ventures (and also introduced me to Chet’s music). There’s no knocking the Ventures, they earned a great deal of respect by doing some great work.

The Shadows were the same, except for the fact that they were different. Smile The broad concept was very similar, well crafted instrumentals with a bit of twang, but the execution differed. For one thing, Hank used delay like a finely crafted tool. He got the same openness as reverb would offer, but he could do a lot more than simply to simulate ambience. One beautiful thing with delay, is that you can dramatically alter the overall effect by either damping notes or letting them ring out. Hank’s use of compound delays made things even more interesting. What a master he was, even at an early age.

Once again, great work Ivan. I really enjoy your videos.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Thanks for all those comments again, synchro. I think your experience is shared by many other American musicians, but it seems that finally in this internet age many Americans are starting to realize about the importance of the Shadows to British music.

Along those lines, have you seen the recent 1-hour BBC documentary on the Shadows? It premiered only about 2-3 weeks ago, and it's fantastic. The Shadows FINALLY got a documentary that they deserved! (I am not aware of a single one on them prior to this.) Check it out.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Meanwhile, my videos are coming fast and furious!! Here's "Granada" from the Shadows' '63 EP "Los Shadows", recorded in Barcelona, Spain on April 27th, 1963. The theme of the EP is Spain and it is one of my very favorite things the Shadows had ever done.

imageimage

I decided to learn three of the four songs and have been practicing them since spring break, more than two months ago - it turned out that these songs are HARD to play right! I had no idea. Hank gives a masterclass in phrasing here, with every note absolutely perfectly crafted and placed. His tone was about a good as it gets at that point, too - a white '62 Strat with rosewood neck, a Meazzi echo unit and a Vox AC30TB. Here he is at EMI Barcelona on April 27th, 1963, recording these tracks:

image

I'm playing my faithful, heavily-modded '87 Fiesta Red Strat Plus with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups. Bridge pickup on the intro, the middle pickup on the rest. Catalinbread Echorec into a Vox AC15C1-TV. Hope you like!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Darn it all Ivan!
I poked into SG101 on a quick break from work, watch and listen to you doing what you do SO well and you make me want to pick up my guitar and play..but I'm supposed to be working!
THEN, I scroll up and see you post this amazing new documentary on the Shads.....
If you didn't just make my day then you certainly distracted me from my work cave in the best of ways.
So thankful you share your talent and insight with us all.

Cheers,
Jeff

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

IvanP wrote:

Thanks for all those comments again, synchro. I think your experience is shared by many other American musicians, but it seems that finally in this internet age many Americans are starting to realize about the importance of the Shadows to British music.

Along those lines, have you seen the recent 1-hour BBC documentary on the Shadows? It premiered only about 2-3 weeks ago, and it's fantastic. The Shadows FINALLY got a documentary that they deserved! (I am not aware of a single one on them prior to this.) Check it out.

It’s like finding another Ventures. Both were great bands, both had their own unique charm and both covered a lot of ground. I wouldn’t presume to make a comparative judgment regarding them. Both had a lot to offer the listener.

I saw the Shadows at Sixty about ten minutes after hearing of its existence. It was quite interesting.

IvanP wrote:

Meanwhile, my videos are coming fast and furious!! Here's "Granada" from the Shadows' '63 EP "Los Shadows", recorded in Barcelona, Spain on April 27th, 1963. The theme of the EP is Spain and it is one of my very favorite things the Shadows had ever done.

imageimage

I decided to learn three of the four songs and have been practicing them since spring break, more than two months ago - it turned out that these songs are HARD to play right! I had no idea. Hank gives a masterclass in phrasing here, with every note absolutely perfectly crafted and placed. His tone was about a good as it gets at that point, too - a white '62 Strat with rosewood neck, a Meazzi echo unit and a Vox AC30TB. Here he is at EMI Barcelona on April 27th, 1963, recording these tracks:

image

I'm playing my faithful, heavily-modded '87 Fiesta Red Strat Plus with Seymour Duncan Alnico II Pro pickups. Bridge pickup on the intro, the middle pickup on the rest. Catalinbread Echorec into a Vox AC15C1-TV. Hope you like!

It would appear that Amazon can’t help me out in finding Los Shadows. It is nice work, however.

I liked your video of Granada. Once again, we’ll played and an entertaining presentation, to boot.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Thanks, again, synchro! Attached below is the entire Los Shadows EP on YouTube (might be available on some vinyl market websites, but it IS from '63 and pretty rare, I would think).

Jeff, thank you SO VERY MUCH for your kindness! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed my videos - and even more glad that I got you to discover that great new Shadows documentary! I absolutely love it! Sorry to have distracted you from work, but it was definitely for a very good cause! Big Grin I suspect you'll agree.

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Annnndddd….one more!! (I'll be winding this down soon....) Here's "Adios Muchachos" from the Shadows' '63 EP "Los Shadows", recorded in Barcelona, Spain on April 27th, 1963. I love this song so much, especially when it goes into the bridge and completely changes its whole vibe. The melody is pretty unusual and complex and it took me way too long to learn all the parts! I consider it an accomplishment that I did! —

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Another nice video Ivan.

I’m listening to the EP right now. All of the songs on it are well composed and pleasing. Frequently, outsider attempts at Spanish music don’t work out so well, Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain and this Shadows EP buck the trend.

Valencia is a great tune! I really like that. Las Tres Carabelas almost sounds like something you’d hear a Surf band doing as a slow number. It sounds like it would be perfect background music for a somewhat romantic scene in a Beach Movie.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

IvanP wrote:

I VERY strongly recommend that you check out the Shadows' fourth album, "Sound of the Shadows" from '65, in full? It's actually my favorite album by them. "National Provincial Sambe" is the closing track on the album. I think you will greatly enjoy it.

Hi Ivan. I finally got around to listening. Brazil, The Lost City and National Provincial Samba would be my picks, the rest are very varied with a few cover tunes I'm familiar with by other artists or flavours of older tunes from my long term memory. Brazil is a tune I've known a long time and a big favourite of mine from Los Twang! Marvels, It's interesting to compare with LTM being fairly smooth and Shadows quite raw and punchy, It's the opposite of what I'd expect! I forgot to mention how well you are playing last time so just take it as a compliment I wouldn't expect anything less for you!. Seriously I don't know you remember it all! Also I'm fascinated how AC amps changes the mid and bottom end, I can't find a word to describe.. tighten up?

Thanks very much, crumble and synchro! Really glad you guys went and checked out the original Shadows releases - the Los Shadows EP and the Sound of the Shadows album - and enjoyoed them so much! I agree on your takes on both. Crumble, I would just say that many of the instrumentals on the album will really grow on you if you give them a chance. My favorites outside of Brazil, The Lost City and National Provincial Samba are Blue Sky Blue Sea Blue Me, Deep Purple, Cotton Pickin', Santa Ana, The Windjammer, and the amazing Breakthru! This was the first album with the remarkable John Rostill on bass, and the combination of him with Brian Bennett of drums and Bruce on (mostly) acoustic rhythm guitar makes for a rhythm section beyond compare! There is just SO...MUCH..RHYTHM on this album, it's a sheer joy!

I know that Alex is a huge Shadows fan so I suspect he was well familiar with their version of Brazil, and probably where he got the song, but then decided to give it their own arrangement, which is VERY cool, I love it! But I think it's hard to challenge the Shadows' version. Big Grin

And thank you very much for your kind compliments, too! I do appreciate them very much! The AC30 definitely has a weaker bass response than a typical Fender amp. You can think of it as being much tighter, I think that's an accurate statement. The mids are more pronounced, but not in a honky, nasally way I think of the AC30 as having more "body" to the tone than a typical Fender, especially a blackface Fender. it's a richer sound because of those more abundant mids, less icepicky highs, and tighter bottom. I've actually been mostly using my AC30 for live Madeira shows for the past year. I do sometimes miss that strong bass response of a Fender, especially a piggyback one, so on those occasions I'll use my '62 Bandmaster. And they're both incredibly sounding amps that actually do have a lot in common tone-wise. But the AC30 gives a juicier sound at a slightly lower volume, and I've been really trying not to assault people with volume anymore! (Though it's still a VERY loud amp!)

synchro, since you liked "Valencia", here is my version of it! My third - and last - play-along track from the "Los Shadows" EP. That makes eight songs I've posted in the past four weeks, so it's probably time to wind it down. (I did get a request to play one particular song which I'll do when I learn it.) I hope you enjoyed it - I sure did! —

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

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