Joao Erbetta
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Joao Erbetta

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Brazilian guitarrist João Erbetta recently upped sticks and moved to the States where he recorded this, his third instrumental outing. Searching for the right place to record live with a vintage drum sound, he was recommended Pete Curry's Powow Fun room Studio in Los Angeles and, within three days of his arrival, the album was ready. Pete (The Halibuts, Los Straitjackets) plays drums and Richard D'Andrea bass, João providing the guitar work and the songs. He say's: "I don't like songs with long solos that don't reach a conclusion. Surf and Country music are based on melodies. My connection is with the melody."
Viva Waimea! makes a fine first impression as João manages to fire 1st and 2nd guitar parts as well as some crashing rhythm chords in a single volley of finger work. It's impressive and hugely enjoyable too. O Caipira is a jolly uptempo Hawaiian style melody while South American Girl in an exotic roll-along surf ballad. The only cover amongst ten originals is the excellent racey Tico Tico, but Oil Man meanders somewhat untill João's flying fingers zoom along the Road to Mineapollis. With a Jazzmaster playing through a Fender amp, João pushes this surf-based set out of its box and towards a bit of country on The Dog and the Squirrel and easy listening for This is Your New World, there's even some easy with a hint of jazz on Malibu Nightmare. It's a striking album and Viva Waimea! keeps drawing me back. (Alan Taylor) - Pipeline Uk Magazine

I know what you're thinking: How can instrumental surf music, a genre that was declared dead in the water, so to speak, 40-odd years ago, keep turning up new players, along with new releases from its elder statesmen? Like most, I believed Jimi when he murmured, "And you'll never hear surf music again," lo, these four decades ago. But, despite all odds, not to mention less than zero support from the "music industry", there are probably more bands playing surfmusic worldwide today than there were in its heyday.
One of the newest and most interesting players to hit the scene is Joao Erbetta. A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, he recently relocated to Brooklyn. Following up two volumes of Guitar Bizarre, he went to Los Angeles to record his latest CD (aptly titled The L.A Sessions, on Monga Records), on instructions from one of his favorite pickers, Deke Dickerson.
"I asked Deke where could I go to have "that drum sound" that I love so much, and he said Pete Curry was the answer for me". While Bizarre features overdubs and layered guitars, this album was recorded essentially live and mixed in two and a half days at Curry's Powow Fun Room studio, with Curry (who genre aficionados will recognize as bassist of Los Straitjackets and lead guitarist of the Halibuts) on drums and Richard D'Andrea on bass.
The versatile Erbetta is also a producer and composer for TV and videogame soundtracks and singer/guitarist of the Brazilian trio Los Pirata. Playing primarily a Jazzmaster-styled N.Zaganin JM Custom through Curry's brown Fender Super, he achieves a rich, authentic sound, but is far from restricted by the idiom. On a set of 10 originals and a spirited reading of "Tico Tico", you can detect Joao's influences (he cites Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Al Caiola, Tony Mottola, and Jerry Reed, among others), as he gets jazzy one minute ("Malibu Nightmare"), countrified the next ("The dog and the Squirrel"), then turns easy-listening on end ("This is your new World").
At 37, Erbetta is roughly the same age that Paul Johnson was when he returned to active duty... - by Dan Forte (Vintage Guitar Magazine)


The L.A Sessions
Guitar Bizarre Vol.1
Guitar Bizarre Vol.2



Joao Erbetta Trio: experimental "Latin Americana" hits NY

"One of the newest and most interesting players to hit the scene", Dan Forte, Vintage Guitar Magazine.

Brazilian guitar player and composer Joao Erbetta promotes a cool instrumental mix of Twang with Frevo, Country with Latin and Jazz with Ciranda. His groovy compositions are an innovative mix of "Latin Americana", building a bridge between the best of surf and country music with a spirit of Brazilian/Latin twist that make his musical roots.

In his last CD, "The L.A. Sessions", Erbetta gave a "vintage" sound approach to his compositions. This was possible by recording live with equipment from the 1950's at Pete Curry's (Los Straightjackets) studio in Los Angeles. The production is his third instrumental work and the first recorded in the U.S.

Tunes like "Viva Waimea" feel like a Summer on the beach, an Elvis Presley movie with a feet in Waimea Bay. "The Dog and the Squirrel" is inspired in the nervous interaction between a friend's dog and the electric squirrels that live in D.C., where Erbetta lived since 2006 before moving to Brooklyn in 2009.

"Tico-tico no Fuba", a classic Brazilian tune immortalized by Hollywood's Carmen Miranda in the 40's, gained here a surf music touch, and pays tradition to it's composer, Zequinha de Abreu, who comes from the Sao Paulo countryside as Erbetta's family. Others are balads like "Oil Man", which sounds like a funeral song for a very greedy man.

In the past few months, the 37-year-old Brooklyn-based guitar player has been performing in NY with a trio includes Andrew Borger on the drums and Tim Lutzel on Bass. Together, they hit clubs like Nublu, Rockwood Music Hall and The Living Room in Manhattan, Barbès, Jalopy Theater and Sunny's in Brooklyn.

Erbetta is also a producer and composer for TV and videogame soundtracks and singer/guitarist of the Brazilian trio Los Pirata.