The Knights | Tiempos Malos

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Rock: 60's Rock Easy Listening: Instrumental Pop Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Tiempos Malos

by The Knights

Softening the hard times with laid-back melodious, mostly '60s style guitar instrumentals.
Genre: Rock: 60's Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Love Hurts
5:17 album only
2. Sleep Walk
2:49 album only
3. Walk Right Back
3:57 album only
4. My Way
2:12 album only
5. Bulldog
2:50 album only
6. Tiempos Malos
4:16 album only
7. Yellow Bird
3:25 album only
8. Walk Don't Run, Too
2:11 album only
9. Afterglow
3:22 album only
10. Soul Searching
3:41 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Lance Monthly Album Pick of the Month
(May 2010 Issue, by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck)

"Tiempos Malos" or "Hard Times" is the title of the most recent effort by the Albuquerque four-piece instrumental rock band, The Knights. The idea of this collection of ten tunes is to soften the blow of recent hard economical times and give you music to help you relax and produce a positive vibe that will turn all of that negativity and darkness into something brighter. There is light at the end of this tunnel; just listen to this music.

It all works very well for me. I am very familiar with some of these classic instrumental renderings. I also hold a special place in my heart for Dick Stewart (King Richard), who has been a true friend and a musician that has been consistent and true to his roots, regardless of what direction he has decided to take on projects.

“Tiempos Malos” is a page out of the 60s instrumental book; an amalgamation of what leader Dick Stewart has always loved, and a nod to all the bands that inspired him. You can hear bits and pieces of many of the instrumental classics all rolled into one package delivered by Dick and his sons, Jason (guitar) and Richard (bass). The drums are handled by a very capable Steve Hudgins, who has been part of the band for several years. ‘Walk Don’t Run, Too” is a slight variation of the original title with a message to us all, slow down! It is one of the most pleasant versions of the legendary Ventures tune I have ever heard. I am normally ready to rock when I hear that track, but The Knights make it a nice slow burn, something different for a change. Change is what we all need right now and that is the idea of this music, to create an ambiance and flow of change in the way you feel and think.

“Afterglow” is an original and one of the best recordings this band has ever done. I love the way they keep the solid foundation of that surf-instrumental feel with the added spice of the southwestern hot sauce for extra flavor. And most appropriately one of the younger Stewart’s, Jason takes center stage with his electric guitar and brings you back down to Earth and reality with some modern wailing of his own with “Soul Searching.” He is a great talent following right in his father’s footsteps and will carry on the Stewart tradition of guitar players for many years to come. Don’t worry, Dick will die first before he puts down that guitar for good; it is an extension of his soul that cannot and will not be denied. I look forward to the next “progression” of tunes from this unique band.

4.5/5 Stars
Key Tracks: Afterglow, Tiempos Malos, Soul Searching

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck


Review by Beverly Paterson (Chief Staff Writer - The Lance Monthly)

For our non-speaking Spanish friends out there, “Tiempos Malos” loosely translates as “Hard Times” in Spanish. Despite the handle of the latest Knights album, a tranquil mood penetrates the premises, which is actually intentional. Dick Stewart, lead and rhythm guitarist of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s premier surf combo (originally formed in 1961) explains his band’s mission in the liner notes to “Tiempos Malos” by stating he doesn’t have to remind anyone 2009 has been economically rough; but he is optimistic about the future and what we’re going through right now will soon be a thing of the past. To aid in softening the hard times, Dick picked the most laid back and melodious tunes from his band’s playlist, resulting in a smooth and easy exhibition of top-drawer instrumentals.

Original compositions like the title cut and “Afterglow,” which were both authored by Dick, sway with supple movements to the scent of a spicy, Southwestern air. Written by Dick’s son, Jason, who lends his guitar and keyboard prowess to the disc, “Soul Searching” projects a haunting yet beautiful tone. Also appearing on “Tiempos Malos” are Steve Hudgins on percussion; original Knights’ bassist, Gary Snow; and Dick’s eldest son, Rich, on bass. Continually in sync with one another, The Knights possess a natural instinct for the type of music they perform.

Covers of popular songs by Paul Anka (“My Way”), The Everly Brothers (“Walk Right Back”) and Roy Orbison (“Love Hurts”) additionally comprise the record. Though the arrangements of these tracks are instantly recognizable, The Knights slightly slow down the pace, providing them with a nice, mellow vibe. The Fireballs (“Bulldog”) and The Ventures (“Walk Don’t Run”) are further rendered with grace, class and style. Holding fast to their tradition of excellence, The Knights have once again produced a crackerjack collection of sounds that serve as the yardstick by which all guitar instrumentals should be measured.


I’ve always loved the outstanding melody of “Walk Right Back” made famous by the Everly Brothers, and I made a personal promise to composer and Crickets’ guitarist, Sonny Curtis, that The Knights would do an instrumental version of it. Then there’s my compadre, George Tomsco, who composed and recorded a feisty performance of “Bull Dog” with his band, The Fireballs, that put the group on the mainstream map in 1959, and The Ventures’ “Walk Don’t Run,” written by the late Johnny Smith that scored the number two spot on Billboard’s Top 100 chart in 1960; these two outstanding instrumentals inspired what I refer to as The Great Instrumental Rock-and-Roll Explosion of the Early ‘60s. Fender became the guitars of choice and vocals took a temporary backseat. You will note, however, that The Knights’ versions are much more relaxed and have added its own signature garage-band arrangements without compromising these great melodies.

So, while listening to these melodious unhurried tunes, block everything out and just think to yourself that the good times are on the horizon.

King Richard


Excerpts from "Jyckin' Around" by Chas Pike (October 2009 issue of "The Lance Monthly"t

So I got a couple more fish tacos and plugged in the last of the stack: "TIEMPOS MALOS" by The Knights. Okay, you all know I am goofy for The Knights. They are the surf Lords of the Southwest. I check my watch, calendar, and mailbox everyday hoping for just one more Knights CD. When Prince Dickie Stewart announced his retirement and shut down "The Lance Monthly," I was crushed. Years of publishing, recording, producing, writing, performing, and working had taken its toll. He was tired. His health was compromised. Now, two years later he is back in the box, a book on the verge of publication, another one in the works, and a brand new Knights CD of old standards, just to keep himself busy. This was his way of keeping off the ring rust while he awaited the forth-coming Knights collaboration with mythical songwriter, guitar gunsil, Sonny West.

I put “TIEMPOS MALOS” in and hit play, bracing myself for the sand, surf and circuitry to come barreling out of the speakers. Instead I was lulled by a kinder, gentler Knights.

Dick has taken some of his favorite old standards, waded into them knee deep, and gives us something I never would have imagined; The first Knights easy listening CD. Songs that he usually grabs by the throat and runs around the yard with are given a softer, kinder treatment. The languid tones take on the amber gauze of an opium hallucination, slowly revealing themselves like the memories of love gone by. Interesting choices like "My Way," "Love Hurts," and the Sonny Curtis classic "Walk Right Back" lay down slowly and roll over gently for us. "Sleep Walk" and "Walk Don't Run" float by like a dream. The Fireballs proto surf-rock standard, "Bulldog" has long been a favorite. I have seen The Knights attack this like they were storming the beaches of Normandy. Here, "Bulldog" is given a long leash, and the velvet glove. My favorite of this latest effort is "Yellow Bird." I hit number 7 on the player and let this one lull me to sleep.



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