Country Rockin’ Rebels run “a totally ‘green’ studio.”
  • Country Rockin’ Rebels run “a totally ‘green’ studio.”
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The Country Rockin’ Rebels were founded by Bad Science Fiction guitarist Michael Head, operator of local Headtrap Studios for around 20 years, and singer-songwriter Tristan Luhrs. “He and I have worked in my studio since then, and we recorded his first solo album, Sketches of San Diego, in 2010,” says Head, who released the full-length on his own Cabeza Records. “It was essentially a prelude to the Rebels project. A year later, Country Rockin’ Rebels was the second CD, and that’s the project we built the new band around.”

The current lineup includes Mark Eppler (slide guitar), Tony Sandoval (bass), Ted Stern (fiddle and pedal-steel guitar), and Steve Tahmahkera (drums), although, Head notes, “It’s essentially Tristan and mine’s musical alter egos.”

The group played some of their earliest gigs in Ocean Beach, where Head regularly presents concert performances by local bands at the O.B. Farmers Market. “The Rebels always have an amazing time at the O.B. Holiday Parade, with crowds reaching monumental numbers. They’re so appreciative and supportive. The main stage of the O.B. Street Fair, with the Pacific Ocean at our backs, isn’t too bad either.”

The duo is finishing a new full-length, Ride Rebel Ride. “It’s the third installment in what we like to call our ‘CD cycle,’” according to Head. “We already have two or three more albums’ worth of material, kind of a Kid Rock and David Bowie thing, if you will. We’ve laid down the basic tracks and we’ll be releasing it on CD and digitally, with hopefully some vinyl [version] as well.”

A local release party will be booked over the next few weeks, where, Head says, “Expect some surprises, like John Bleyer demonstrating his skill on the musical saw. We like to say we rip thru the history of rock, blues, and country, and always have a few good covers up our sleeve. Our version of ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd has been a crowd-pleaser lately, and ‘Rusty Cage/Voodoo Chile,’ our own little mashup, always kills.”

As with the first two releases, the album was recorded at Headtrap. “We’re a totally ‘green’ studio, utilizing recycled insulation, soundproofing, windows, doors, and recycled paint. We even use the carpet rings as tubes for cable runs! Plus, it’s the cleanest studio in town. We’re obsessive about cleanliness. Good for our clients, a pain in the ass for our janitors.”

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