The High Fidelics

The High Fidelics

 Birmingham, Alabama, USA

We are a surf/instrumental type rock'n roll outfit...along the lines of Booker T. and the MG's and the Ventures. We play mostly originals, but also some covers. We have been together since the spring of 2010, but we have all been playing music professionally for more than 25 years.


Have you heard The High Fidelics yet? This retro fresh all instrumental band has started the chattering-class chattering and the toe-tappers' toes tapping. When youre at a High Fidelics show, youll feel like youre basking on a California beach, hanging out in a no-wave NYC club, and eating grits at a Memphis soul club -- all at the same time. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, this group of men-of-a-certain-age burst into the public eye in October 2010 and has not slowed down yet. They released their first album -- a self-engineered, self-produced eponymous blockbuster -- online in 2012 at; the physical CD has just been released (you can find it at, and they have started tracking their second album (expected to come out in mid/late 2013).

The High Fidelics, like many other inspiring things these days, came about as a result of an advertisement posted on craigslist. Jeff Waites, erstwhile bassist and rabble-rouser, wanted to start a surf band as a side project to his then-active punk rock band. Luckily for Jeff, guitarist Edwin Cleverdon answered the ad. It would be hard to find two more different people. Jeff, a Birmingham native, is a self-taught musician, jack-of-all-trades by day, pub-crawler by night, whereas Edwin, from Mobile, Alabama, is a classically trained musician, tax lawyer by day, and mild-mannered father of three. However, this odd couple found common ground in their love of high-energy melodic instrumental music, and they quickly began laying the groundwork for a new, all instrumental rock band.

To fill out the band, Edwin called in long-time friends Ken Adams and Robert Rowbear Huffman, former bandmates in The Club Wig, a seminal group from the early punk/new wave scene in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Ken, a computer systems analyst originally from Chicago, has drummed in countless bands over the years (including the University of Alabamas Million Dollar Band), and can't be beat when it comes to laying down an infectious groove. Kens musical prowess is not limited to smacking the skins -- he is also a first-rate guitarist and keyboardist. Rowbear, a USDA inspector originally from Roanoke, Virginia, is the only member who came to the band with a surf pedigree, having tickled the ivories with the legendary Penetrators under the nom-de-plume Bobby Corvair. Not only is he a peerless organ-izer, Rowbear also serves as the bands emcee, announcing song titles and other relevant information via his trusty megaphone. In addition to his High Fidelic duties, he can often be found around Birmingham and environs performing The Great American Songbook, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica. For a short period, before their public debut, the band included sax-man Lars Espensen (formerly of The A-Bones), who is currently working with Jeff in the Tuscaloosa-based garage/surf band The Original Shake Charmers.

Although all four members are accomplished vocalists (each of them having served as lead singer with previous bands), The High Fidelics are strictly an instrumental ensemble. In this way, the performances highlight the interaction of each instrument in its purest form.

The bulk of their material is comprised of numbers written by Jeff and by Edwin, but with a heaping helping from Ken and from Rowbear. They also cover a few familiar (and some not-so-familiar) songs.


The High Fidelics LP -

Set List

Set One

1. Lil' Curfew Breaker
2. New Killer Ray
3. The Black Dahlia
4. Spy Smasher
5. Blue Surf
6. Deep Blue Adventure
...switch bass...
7. We Had A Deal
8. Treacherous Surf
9. Dangerella
10. Theme From Kismet
11. Grinder
12. Twelve Eyes
13. Midnight Requisition
14. Cow Lick
15. Interstellar Overdrive

Set Two

1. Bad Jacket
2. Bo Diddley
3. Dance of the Tiny Knives
4. The Work Song (Nat Adderly)
5. Wrong Rumble
6. Mondo Rondo
7. Sirocco
...switch bass...
8. Moon Relay
9. Frazzled
10. Sloppy Jalopie
11. A Winter Place
12. Treacherous Swing
13. Pedal Pusher
14. Desperina
15. Telstar