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Original Beach Boys member Al Jardine tells history of his old band at solo concerts — with help from his son

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Credit: Randy StrakaAl Jardine winds down a brief solo tour this Tuesday and Wednesday with concerts at The Dakota in Minneapolis. The original founding Beach Boys member is accompanied at the shows by his son Matt on harmony vocals and percussion and veteran musician Jeff Alan Ross on keyboards and backing vocals.

The concerts feature a career-spanning selection of Beach Boys tunes, plus a song or two from Jardine’s 2010 solo album, A Postcard from California, all enhanced by Al’s stories and a video-and-photo presentation.

“We are telling the history of the making of the music, really,” Jardine tells ABC Radio. “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.”

Al says performing The Beach Boys’ complex material as a trio 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,” he maintains. “But the songs are so well-written, really, that they kind of carry themselves.”

Explaining the structure of the shows, Jardine notes, “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.'”

Jardine says a major highlight of his shows is the vocal contribution of his son, who handles Brian Wilson‘s high parts. Over the years, Matt has toured with both The Beach Boys and Wilson.

While no other solo concerts are confirmed, Jardine says he’s “hoping to put together some dates in April in the New York area and in the Northeast.”

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