As 2019 comes to a close and we look forward to an new year, let us take a moment to remember the country and roots music greats we lost in this past year, from bona fide legends like Earl Thomas Conley, to those who left us too soon like Neal Casal, to Hall of Famers like Harold Bradley, and major influencers like Dick Dale.
From country to punk, from rockabilly to blues, from pioneering some of the most important sounds and modes on the most influential instrument of the last century, Dick Dale was a guitar god, a cultural icon, the soundtrack to generations of fans, and a forger of the future of all American music art forms. And now the “King of the Surf Guitar” is gone.
Every once in a while, an album comes along that changes everything. It’s an album that inspires other albums, and dynamic shifts in tastes and approach throughout a sector of music. Slackeye Slim’s El Santo Grial, La Pistola Piadosa is one of those albums. It is a masterpiece, exquisitely produced, arranged, and performed.