Growing up, my best friend Tim’s access to his older brother’s record collection — The Kinks, Clash, Bob Marley, early R.E.M. – was a godsend. The albums were a refuge for us, a couple of dorky contrarians [editor’s note: some things never change] trying to navigate the cheesy ’80s soundscape of our junior high and high school years.
Now, I can thank R.E.M. (or, to be more specific, guitarist Peter Buck) for riding to the rescue once again.
The happy result: a spirited CD release show at Dante’s on Feb. 5, for which Fernando assembled a crackerjack lineup, including Richmond Fontaine guitarist Dan Eccles and multi-instrumentalist Lewi Longmire on organ.
Tour dates are planned, and the new record, “True Instigator,” takes its place alongside Fernando’s late-’90s chestnuts: the rootsy, foot-stomping fun of “Old Man Motel” and the bristling rock en Español of “Pacoima.”
If you have the chance, check him out live. Or, better yet, pass along the word to a friend’s kid brother.