The musical experiment 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 accomplished 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 divided their time on the road between skating and recording improvised music sessions. Along the way they stopped at the studio of Doug Scharin, who lent a drumming hand on a few tracks. The next incarnation of Blktop Project came in 2005, when Chuck Treece, another legendary skater, joined Barbee, Gurrero and Rodriguez on drums to record a few more songs.
The results of all these improvised collaborations are eight stunning and infectious numbers 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 a little bit of Chicago-styled postrock thrown in for good measure. All in all, a real treat.