The Donkeys’ New Kick-Ass Summer CD

17 Jul

Here on the West Coast, summer has a particular type of feeling. Days are long and lazy, when it seems the sun might never set. People split for the beach, where they can chill on the sand with good friends and cold drinks — staying until the sun finally dips below the horizon. (If you’re on the East Coast, don’t try this because you may be waiting a long time.)
Oh, and there’s music…always music, with a shimmery summer vibe.
I’ve discovered another great entry in the category of music that’s perfect for the summer of 2014. The Donkeys are a four-man band from San Diego that play hazy, laid-back California rock ranging from warm and jangly goodness to psychedelic rock with a raw Doors edge.
The band, which has been around since 2004, started as an alt-country group, but has evolved significantly since its debut four albums ago.
Ride the Black Wave offers a variety of songs to appeal to both fans of jangle rock and a somewhat harder, classic rock edge.
The album open with the sprawling, strummy and jangly “Sunny Daze.” Sustained Mellotron chords with bell-like keys and airy vocals make this the ideal song to hear wafting across vast stretches of sun-kissed sand.
The title track is more of a classic psych-rock song in the style of the Doors. There are edgy guitar accents, together with bells and flute — leading to a clashy, noisy trail-out.
The last track on the CD is “Shines.” The song has an updated Eagles vibe that’s smooth and easy — featuring guitar, piano and captivating rhythm supporting the memorable melody.
I also like the preceding track a lot. “Bahamas” leads off with Hawaiian guitar and Beach Boys vocals for about 45 seconds, then transitions into a delicate piano piece with heartfelt lead vocals. There’s a bit of a 60s vibe toward the end of the track.
The 11-song set is really compact, thanks to five songs that are 2:04 or less — including two instrumentals of less than two minutes each.
All in all, Ride the Black Wave is a really nice album to play start to finish on a warm, sunny summer afternoon. And it’s got the band’s true fans in SoCal yelling, “The Donkeys Kick Ass!”

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2 Responses to “The Donkeys’ New Kick-Ass Summer CD”

  1. Leslie Anderson August 1, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Thanks so much for the great recommendation! This is definitely an iconic summer album in my book.

    PS — we chatted earlier and my phone cut out. Thanks for being awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!

    • francisdickerson August 1, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      Thank you for listening, and for calling to say hi. Have a great summer!

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