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Gospel Beach

There are two kinds of people that become musicians. The first is a determined striving would-be pro whose eyes never leave the prize. That prize being stardom by any means necessary. The second is the besotted, intoxicated music fan and acolyte to whom music is the oxygen they need to breathe. Who live by rhythm and sound and absorb everything and are so deeply immersed in the art that they have devoted themselves to making the world hear what they hear in their heads–commercial success is an afterthought.
Brent Rademaker– he of Further, Beachwood Sparks and The Tyde –is the embodiment of the latter. And as a grown man with something still to say, he’s made his most detailed and mature work yet with his most recent outfit, GospelbeacH. Another Summer Of Love is an adult’s version of the dreamy American roots music that we’ve come to expect from the Floridian turned Angeleno.
Like his fellow Sunshine State emigre Gram Parsons, Rademaker has drawn nourishment from the openness of Southern California and the sunny, hopeful feeling that epitomises his work is in full effect here. From the kick-off 'In The Desert', which slyly references the British mod-punks The Jam to the jaunty swing of 'You’re Already Home' which pays a subtle tribute to Rademaker’s hero Chris Hillman’s 'Girl With No Name', this is what Americana is supposed to be and sometimes is not. Smart, informed, soulful, well-executed and avoiding the slick assembly-line of 2017 Nashville, this is the kind of record that true fans of well-crafted tuneful rock live for. Just as Rademaker lived for his rock heroes like Cheap Trick and The Cars, but with that glorious wooziness, the musical marine layer hanging above the desert’s basin floor. Partnered with guitar whiz and albums producer, Jason Soda and keyboardist Johnny Niemanns (who added parts to the disc from the same mellotron America used on its ’70s recordings, this may be Rademaker’s strongest band yet.
GospelbeacH hits the road in support of the disc crossing the sea to play Green Man Festival in Wales August 17-20 as part of a UK tour and starting the summer in the Golden State at festivals in Big Sur May 19-21 (HIPNIC), Sonoma, June 19-20 (HUICHICA) and closer to home in Bakersfield, May 6th (DEMOCRAT HOT SPRINGS FESTIVAL).
“Why make the same record over and over?” Rademaker asked me recently. He’s kept his ideals intact on Another Summer Of Love and then some. Expect surprises from the man–and more!
Text by Johnny Angel Wendell

The lineage of kaleidoscopic California folk-rock could hardly have meandered into better hands than those of GospelbeacH, the all-star quintet whose members boast resumés longer than a hippie’s hair. At the center of the spinning wheel is singer-guitarist Brent Rademaker (Beachwood Sparks, the Tyde, Further), who last year began jamming with former Beachwood Sparks bandmate and drummer Tom Sanford. Guitarist Neal Casal (Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Furthur) joined in, and then guitarist Jason Soda (Everest, Watson Twins) and bassist Kip Boardman (Watson Twins). GospelbeacH’s debut album “Pacific Surf Line” (an homage to steamer trains of the California coast) sounds like the sum of all those parts — bluesy folk with a sunny disposition. And a cockeyed Grateful Dead smile, if you will.

For his part, Rademaker says: “I’d kind of gotten bitter about bands, so starting a new one was the last thing I wanted to do,” until he starting jamming and playing covers with old friends. “There was no band, no name, no record deal. But it started taking on a vibe of its own and turning into something, and then we started writing songs together, just spitballing ideas back and forth. And the songs we were coming up with were telling stories, about people I knew and places where I grew up. We began exploring the kind of collaboration that we hadn’t really done since the early days of Beachwood Sparks, and the joy returned.”Pacific Surf Line will come out Oct. 16 via Alive Records, full of warm vocal harmonies, ace guitar work and a vibe that’s somehow specific to the Left Coast.

My Talent Sessions

Sunday, August 19

9:30pm PDT


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