Guitarist Bob Keefe gives Christmas music a surf kick on new album
(Published: December 10, 2010)
(Lansing, NY) - Written by Robert Sutton. The snow is just beginning to fall but guitarist Bob Keefe (http://www.bobkeefe.com) is already melting the ice.
While many artists release Christmas albums with Frosty the Snowman and the North Pole in mind, Keefe is running to the beach with Surfin' with Santa, a collection of holiday instrumentals propelled by rolling waves of reverb-doused guitar. Keefe has taken immortal Christmas classics like "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" and given them a ‘60s rock twist, conveying his lifelong affection for surf-music hipsters such as the Astronauts, the Chantays, and the Ventures. It's like celebrating the holidays with spiked eggnog, delivering well-worn Yuletide staples a kick in the rear.
Born in Los Angeles, Surfin' with Santa reflects Keefe's Southern California roots. Keefe played with a surf band in his youth, still proudly cranking the 1965 Fender Stratocaster that he owned back then. A former student of jazz instructor Jack Petersen, Keefe has performed with such prominent artists as Clark Terry, Phil Woods, Steve Morse, Eugene Friesen, and Lou Marini. Keefe teaches at McNeil Music in Lansing, New York and gigs regularly with the Backtalk Band.
Despite the clever additions he has injected into Christmas songs, like introducing "Jingle Bells" with the indelible riffs from the Champs' "Tequila," they remain true to their roots, recognizable yet thrillingly new in their execution. The humorous title suggests a tongue-in-cheek tone, but Keefe's craftsmanship is serious business, offering dagger-sharp technique as well as jubilant emotion. The self-released album is available via CDBaby.
Although not well-known in the national jazz scene, Keefe has over fifty works to his credit. Surfin' with Santa, though, stands alone in its high-flying and colorful take on traditional Christmas music.
More Information: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/BobKeefe1