Posted in Uncategorized
February 14, 2019

Merrell Fankhauser


BY”Theresa J Morris <tjmorrisagency@gmail.com>Valentine’s Day 2019
to Janet Lessin at Aquarian Radio

Merrell Fankhauser has led one of the most diverse and interesting careers in music. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and moved to California when he was 13 years old. Merrell went on to become one of the innovators of surf music and psychedelic folk rock. His travels from Hollywood to his 15-year jungle experience on the island of Maui have been documented in numerous music books and magazines in the United States and Europe. Merrell has gained legendary international status throughout the field of rock music; his credits include over 250 songs published and released. He is a multi-talented singer/songwriter and unique guitar player whose sound has delighted listeners for over 35 years. This extraordinary book tells a unique story of one of the founding fathers of surf rock, who went on to play in a succession of progressive and psychedelic bands and to meet some of the greatest names in the business, including Captain Beefheart, Randy California, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean…. and there is even a run in with the notorious Manson family.  


Merrell Fankhauser “Signals From Malibu” (Gonzo Multimedia 2014)
A series of UFO sightings have been reported off the coast of Malibu, California, prompting belief an underwater base inhabited by an otherworldly species exists. Enigmatic signals have even been picked up and conveyed to tape. The New York Center For Extraterrestrial Research sent some of these recordings to Merrell Fankhauser, who is a serious scholar of UFOs. The legendary singer, songwriter, guitarist, and 2011 Grammy Nominee was so stoked by what he heard that he added the signals to these two songs and was inspired to compose and album of songs, serving as perhaps the first collaboration between a human and what we deem aliens.
Both tracks from the album are instrumentals, with “Signals From Malibu” rolling and strolling with slinky and swanky tempos. An inspiring interaction of slightly-buttered blues tones and stimulating surf rock riffs converge in perfect unison with the mysterious beeping sounds that give the piece a real “Twilight Zone” aura. Equally outstanding is “Messages From The Dome,” which favors an orchestral stance. Elegant piano work, tethered to a symphonic production and Merrell’s melodic guitar mastery, not to mention those strange and buzzing signals, provide the cut with shade upon shade of beauty and agility. A sense of serenity washes over these sonically gorgeous instrumentals, employing the impression that whoever or whatever is behind the signals comes in peace. Should the beings responsible for the signals get wind of Merrell’s project, I am sure they would approve. Merrell’s creations are always immensely heartfelt and creative, and “Signals From Malibu” catches him once again pushing barriers and enjoying himself while doing so.
Review made by Beverly Paterson/2014 
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