The surf guitar sound launched rock & roll’s ax standard into a bold new era, one where velocity, effects and sheer shoot-the-curl audacity collided together with spectacular results. There was so much more than just Dick Dale, the Ventures and Gidget going on, and the Duo Tones bring together two of the key forces from the very earliest days of surf music: Paul Johnson, who, with The Bel Airs, first dented skulls via his 1961 classic "Mr. Moto," and The Chantay’s Gil Orr bring more Socal music history to the stage than just about any other pair of guitar slingers still able to grasp a plectrum. Orr, after all, is the man responsible for monster anthem "Pipeline," and when they work together, it’s more than a nostalgic retrospective of surf faves—it’s an expansion of the form, one where the music is redefined with an startlingly exploratory zeal.
Whether acoustic or electric (and they generally employ both) Johnson and Orr’s artful aggression, tenured mastery and obvious affection for their music results in an engrossing, at times transportive, experience. Equal parts vintage surf kapow, intricate twin guitar dazzle and respectively virtuoso soloing, Johnson and Orr get the job most assuredly done. Don’t make the mistake of writing them off as calcified geezers, because theirs is a fast-moving, almost frighteningly vital brand of guitar dialog. Wax ‘em down, kiddies.
LEONESSE CELLARS, 38311 DE PORTOLA RD., TEMECULA, (877) 323-7639; WWW.HEYDAY.COM. SAT., 8 P.M. $25.