The experimental band known as Blktop Project first came about when skateboard magazine Slap organized a tour in the summer of 2002 for Ray Barbee, Tommy Guerrero and Matt Rodriguez, three of the most accomplish skateboarders ever who also happen to love making music. Their road trip retraced the route of the legendary Blues Highway from Chicago to New Orleans. The trio then divided their time on the road between skating and recording improvised music sessions. The next incarnation of Blktop Project came in 2005, when Chuck Treece, another legendary skater, joined Barbee, Guerrero and Rodriguez on drums.
The result of all these improvised collaborations are stunning and infectious tunes that owe as much to California’s cool jazz of the 1950s as to San Francisco’s latin soul scene of the early 1970s, with Chicagostyled postrock thrown in for good measure. All in all, a real treat.
In January 2016, Ray Barbee, Chuck Treece, Matt Rodriguez, Tommy Guerrero, joined by bass player Josh Lippi hit Ruminator Audio in San Francisco for a free-flowlive-style recording session. The quintet jammed for four days, fleshing out ideas and different feels. They set up as though they were rehearsing: drums, amps, percussion and more all in the same room to capture a more live/in-the-moment feel. “None of the tunes had set forms or lengths. We rolled on instinct and improvisation. Two days later we emerged with Concrete Jungle, a rump-shakin’ soul-stirrin’ blktop-surfin’ documentation of sonic blood ‘n’ sweat! This album is dedicated to those who roll!”