RIYL: Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, the Beatles, Black Sabbath, Donald Fagen
- "A.K. Skurgis: Thrift-Store Junkie" · Feb. 20, 2013
Inception: San Diego, 1989
Influences: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Tom Waits, George Carlin, Hall & Oates
“The simplest way to describe my music is acoustic rock,” says A.K. Skurgis, who spent five years playing bass and singing for hard-rockers Acid Burn before staking out a career as an introspective solo performer in the vein of Tom Waits and the late Elliott Smith. “I play a mix of straight-up rock tunes, songs of emotional turmoil, and songs about things that should never be brought up at the dinner table. That’s my live show. My studio stuff is about the same; all originals but more fully instrumented.”
Based in Rolando near SDSU, Skurgis is a long time veteran San Diego musician, lyricist, poet, and songwriter. He has been performing his original songs (acoustically) and poetry in Southern California since 1992. His diverse selection of material has given him the opportunity to play in nightclubs, coffee houses, street fairs, parking lots, keg parties, divorce parties, etc.
Mixing dark moods, adult themes, light hearted fun, and satirical humor into his shows, Skurgis opened for and shared bills with Stone Temple Pilots, the Alarm, U.K. Subs, Wayne Kramer, the Mentors, Texas Terri & the Stiff Ones, Jewel, and others, before earning top billing.
Skurgis makes an important distinction between his debut full-length, Skurgisms, and his performances. “Live, I play acoustically, just me and my guitar. On my CD, out of 21 tracks, only a handful are acoustic. I’m playing acoustic and electric guitar, plus bass, drums, and keyboards...some of my songs exist in two very different versions — one-man acoustic and full-band electric.”
Aside from doing occasional spoken-word recitals in South Park at Rebecca’s (New Poetic Brew), Skurgis keeps busy with making music. “After playing 500 gigs, I quit counting. I really did keep track. I have OCD. I’m currently working on banging out new material, dusting off a few old tunes from way back, and retooling some songs I was never quite happy with. I’m way overdue for another CD, or maybe a digital album, the way things are going now.
“So, I put new strings on my gee-tar the other night. Wish me luck.”