The Knights (A.K.A. King Richard and The Knights) original startup date was 1961 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it was first as a guitar instrumental band. "The Fireballs and The Ventures were my inspiration" says founder and lead guitarist, Dick Stewart. "The Fireballs and especially The Ventures sparked the great guitar rock instrumental craze, and it ruled during the early '60s. The Knights along with thousands of other bands worldwide became a part of that craze."
The Knights scored a number-one regional instrumental hit on a local label (Red Feather) in early 1964 with a tune called "Precision." Says Stewart, "Dot Records in L.A. wanted it badly for national distribution. The label thought the classical piano backing of the rockin' guitars in the instro was a great hook and was convinced that it would be a smash. We were excited beyond belief and ready to sign. But a few days later, Dot heard the Beatles and told us to take a hike."
The Knights reformed in 1998 with two originals (Dick Stewart, guitar; Gary Snow, bass) and new drummer, Steve Hudgins. Stewart and Snow wanted to pick up where they left off as the instrumental Knights.
In 1998, the Knights released a ten-track guitar instro album called "Surfin' the Web" and did much better than they expected. Says Stewart, "We were very surprised at the interest in traditional '60s guitar instrumental rock and couldn't wait to get in the studio and really go all out."
The result was "Surfin' the Southwest, Santa Fe Style" and it is exceptional. "This time we stepped up the delivery a notch or two without compromising The Knights' traditional melodic style," say Stewart in the liner notes.
It is truly the most profound Southwestern '60s traditional instrumental guitar rock album to date, period!
(Note: Many of the tracks have been and continue to be in demand for licensing by a number of national cable T.V. programs.)