One of the original founding members of iconic band The Beach Boys, Al Jardine, has just finished performing a string of solo concerts this week across the US. Accompanying him at the shows is his son Matt on harmony vocals and percussion, and veteran musician Jeff Alan Ross, playing keyboard and singing backing vocals.
The tour's sets have featured songs spanning the whole of The Beach Boys' career, plus a couple of songs from Jardine's 2010 solo album 'A Postcard from California'. The songs were enhanced by stories from Al and a video and photo presentation.
"We are telling the history of the making of the music, really. Taking it from the very first song, [‘Surfin’,’] using some primitive instruments to show how it was made…[And] we’re presenting the music as a trio, which is quite an accomplishment," Jardine said.
He commented on performing The Beach Boys material as a trio, saying it works surprisingly well:
"I think it sounds better with fewer parts sometimes, because the melody is the strength of the song, and the support system behind it. But the songs are so well-written, really, that they kind of carry themselves."
“We take you through the years. We go through the ‘Surfin” era, and then we go to the more advanced stuff, [like] ‘California Girls’ [and] ‘Sloop John B.’ And then we go into the psychedelia…You know, a little ‘Good Vibrations,’ a little ‘Vegetables.'”
A major highlight of his shows is his son's vocal contribution handling Brian Wilson's high sections Jardine says. Over the years, Matt has toured with both The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson himself, so he is well prepared to take on the role.