Dick Dale invented summertime. Before he figured out how to channel the power of the ocean and the intensity of non-Western rhythms through an electric guitar, the kids in southern California were mostly square and spent the months between June and September going to barn dances, politely adhering to their parents’ customs, never daring to wander away from 4/4 timing, never craving to turn the volume up to 11.
Let me be clear. Al Hurricane rocks. He's the father—officially the Godfather—of a brand of New Mexican music that blends diffuse influences, intense intuition and massive chops into a formidable music expression that has become the stuff of legend as the years have passed. He's also the father of a cohort of talented children, including son Al Jr.—who's worked as his primary collaborator, arranger and producer since the late 1970s.
David Bashwiner is a professor of music theory at UNM, but you might recognize him as the singer and guitarist for local band Cactus Tractor. The Alibi spoke with him to discuss the double life of a musician and music theorist and how the two roles affect each other.