Drew Weaver and the Alvarados | El Mirage

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Paniscus Revue Review by Reverb Central Surf Guitar 101 - Drew Weaver and the Alvarados Live Videos - Drew Weaver and the Alvarados (Summer 2000)

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United States - California

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Rock: Surf Rock Rock: Rockabilly Moods: Featuring Guitar
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El Mirage

by Drew Weaver and the Alvarados

Hop in the backseat of this Dodge 440 and fasten yo’ seatbelt for a moody, twangy tour around America's gritty back roads -- courtesy of your host and reckless wheel-man, Drew Weaver.
Genre: Rock: Surf Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Wake Up Screaming
2:50 album only
2. Drinking, Driving Fast, and Sleeping Around
3:12 album only
3. Little Lakeshia
3:14 album only
4. Darkness Comes Early
3:12 album only
5. Theme from Black Saddle
2:17 album only
6. Route 13
2:35 album only
7. My Baby
3:04 album only
8. Blue Dreams
3:06 album only
9. Dodge 440
2:21 album only
10. North of the Border
3:17 album only
11. The Enchanted Sea
4:32 album only
12. Misirlou
2:43 album only
13. Mellow Guitar Man
2:10 album only
14. Liquor Town
3:55 album only
15. El Mirage
9:15 album only


Album Notes
Many of the songs included on “El Mirage” were recorded in 1997-98 with the Delaware-based Alvarados – the first band that Drew Weaver had headed up since his five-man Drew Weaver and the Vibrabeams (of “Cannibal Holocaust” fame) took Paris, France by storm in the 1980’s. In fact three songs (including the haunting title cut) were culled from a late 1997 session with the reunited Vibrabeams in France.

These tunes feature of course the scintillating guitar conjurings of renowned, chain-smoking Basque musician Frederic Cormier. Longtime crony Buck Rock (an outspoken advocate of wife-swapping) is on hand as well, providing his usual, brooding Link Wray-esqe bass patterns and some fine and trashy, fist-in-the-air harmony singing on “Drinking, Driving Fast and Sleeping Around.” And a treat for fans of catchy, popular music is the melodic “Darkness Comes Early,” where Drew and the guys display a Kinks-like knack for hard-hitting social commentary on today’s harried upper-middle class; Mr. Cormier shines on a 12-string Mosrite.

But hey, let’s not forget the Delaware/Maryland side of this groovy scene! First Staters Brad Fish (drums) Tommy “Bravo” Bryden (Guitar) and bassist Jeff Murphy forge here a vaguely western WeaverSound, lending new meaning to the word “trouble.” It’s a dusty sound; menacing as the boots of a lean, unshaven stranger on your front porch….you know, the sand grating under his boots…and him just standing there…your fear, your uncertainty…that whole trip. Mark Foulsham lends his talents on keyboards.

Drew Weaver’s compositions all seem to be in a minor key, that’s a given---and even Mr. Fish’s sinister ride cymbal (witness the brutal “Dodge 440” or “LiquorTown”) seems to insinuate trouble and ill-will. Other songs included come from varied geographic sources. A good example is the late songwriter Joe Petrovich’s contribution “North of the Border,” which compassionately depicts the plight of Mexican laborers who are looking for a better life – or is that simply a Mirage? The tune was recorded at Hollywood’s famed Tiki Hut.

“El Mirage” challenges the listener with songs that tell a story. And as usual, Drew Weaver brings a lot of taboo subject matter to the table and addresses it forthrightly, and times even offhandedly and with humor, sometimes shockingly – always rockingly! This is a rhythm train where strange atmosphere reigns supreme and the unexpected is par for the course. We’re sure the result will please you!

Prospero Scipio-Garza
Radio XEDA
Piedras Negras
Coahuila, Mexico

Following on the heels of Drew Weaver's critically acclaimed "Unfaithful Kind" CD, this release steps back into his roots a bit, leaning on the entertaining sounds of his post Surf Piranhas band the Vibrabeams. In fact, three of these tracks were cut in Paris with the reunited Vibrabeams. The rest are from Drew's Delaware based version of the Alvarados. This fine CD includes Drew's amazing vocal cut of "Misirlou." The musicians here include Drew Weaver (El Caminos / Surf Piranhas / Vibrabeams) - guitar, vocals, Frederic Cormier - guitar, Buck Rock - bass, Mark Foulsham - organ, and Brad Fish - drums).

Phil Dirt

Fitting to its title, El Mirage is a smooth blend of surf and country all wrapped around a variety of outlaw themes. The cool paranoia of “I Wake Up Screaming,” “Liquor Town,” the eloquent sunset of “Theme from Black Saddle,” the murderous groove of “Route 13” and “Dodge 440,” and the classic “Misirlou” make this an undeniably good listen, and surprise tracks like the happily-ever-after “Little Lakeshia” and the vintage toe-tapping “Mellow Guitar Man” balance it all out nicely. The line-up of the Alvarados varies from song to song, providing a subtle interchange that allows a mournful ballad like “Darkness Comes Early” to stand side by side on the same album as the upbeat Mexican rhythm of “My Baby” and a dreamy cover of “The Enchanted Sea” and make you appreciate the richness of it all. There’s even a bitchin’ deep sea bonus track. As the song says, this is music ideally suited for “Drinking, Driving Fast & Sleeping Around.”

Tom Crites
Paniscus Revue



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