Hi, this is Ivan Pongracic, formerly of The Space Cossacks and currently of the Troubadours. I'm extremely happy to introduce my new surf band, The Madeira. The Madeira has Dane Carter on drums, Scott Waddell on bass, Patrick O'Connor on rhythm guitar, and myself on lead guitar. Dane and Scott are also in the Troubadours with me, and Patrick is also the lead guitar player in Destination: Earth! from Indianapolis (D:E! is still together and they'll continue to subjugate the Earthlings throughout the Midwest).
We spent a weekend in mid-April practicing for the first time, and sparks were flying! I can honestly say that I have never played with a finer group of musicians than this, and I'm just giddy with excitement over the possibilities. I'm also really happy to be getting back to surf music proper after playing only Shadows covers for the last four years (the Troubadours, BTW, will also continue). We fully intend to make this an original band and we're already working on three new originals with more to come soon. But for now it's mostly covers, though not your usual covers. We'll be doing some Space Cossacks stuff, some New World Relampagos, some rarer first wave things and even some third wave songs by The Treble Spankers and the Surf Coasters. Oh, and then there's that Paco de Lucia cover! We're aiming to develop the whole North African (Morocco, etc.) and Southern Spain (Andalucia, flamenco stuff) connection to the surf sound - that's the MO. Still keeping the feet firmly planted in the trad sounds, but with the eyes aimed at the horizons, trying to peer a bit beyond. It promises to be interesting, if nothing else!
This site is very bare at the moment, but there are two mp3s available for download. Both songs are covers: "Express to Bagdad" originally by The Atlantics (from '64) and "Intruder" originally by the Surf Coasters. The first seemed quite topical as well as effectively showcasing the band chops, and the second is just a mind-blowing tune that seemed like a really nice challenge - hopefully we lived up to it! The recording is from our first practice session in a very hi-fi-hostile environment. It was recorded in Dane's basement with bare hard walls and the sound bouncing all over the place. In addition, we could only record on two tracks so we had two mics for four instruments. (Yes, that's what they call an ambient recording.) And to top it off, we didn't really have the time to ensure the best mic instrument balance, and as a result the rhythm guitar got buried (fortunately Patrick set up the recording so he can't claim a conspiracy to keep him quiet! :). But we're quite pleased by the results, and it'll give you some idea of what this band is all about. We hope to have a few more mp3s from the same practice session to put up in the next few days.
Finally, we would like to announce our first gig. It'll be on Saturday, June 5th, at Zanies Too in Indianapolis, with The Volcanos and the Troubadours (the same venue where the Troubadours played with Destination: Earth! and the Nebulas last year). So, you'll get the hard-driving exotic-tinged surf of the Madeira, groovy trad surf of the near-legendary Volcanos AND the finest (well, the only) American Shadows cover band! Consider this an invitation for people from all over the country - we'll try to make it a memorable show and worth your airfare or long hours on the road! I hope at least a few of you can make it.
Thanks for reading and listening, and hope to see all of you over the next few years.