Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers - The Rising Surfdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the first of two albums from Richie Allen & The Pacific Surfers, a studio projects of Richard Podolor. Podolor's writing is exceptionally good, and his playing style and sound among the best of the studio players. His tone came from plugging his guitar directly into the board, and effecting it via the effects buss to an outboard or real acoustic chamber.
Picks: The Rising Surf, Surfers Delight, Undercurrent, Foot Stomp USA, The Quiet Surf, Breakin' Out, Ground Swell, Push Off, Swanee River Twang, Put It On, Rumble

Track by Track Review

The Rising Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Pure Gorgeous Surf (Instrumental)

Among the prettiest surf instro tracks of all time, Richie Podolor's composition is stunningly crystalline and well crafted. This track delivers imagery of the surf beginning to rise from a placid state, promising but not yet delivering big surf. The tones are characteristically clean and pure, and the melody is most memorable. Thoroughly engaging and emotionally charged!

Surfers Delight dotdotdotdot
Choppy Surf (Instrumental)

This tune is also know as "Surf Beater." It's a totally fun choppy tune with lot's of pickage and a wailing' sax bridge. The double picked transitions are speedy, and there are touches of Chuck Berry through out.

Undercurrent dotdotdot
Link Wray Surf (Instrumental)

Based on Link Wray's "Rumble," it's slower, vibrato laden, and ominous in a shimmering tremolo kinda way.

Foot Stomp USA dotdotdotdot
Driving Surf (Instrumental)

There is an utterly infectious rolling rhythm, melody and structure here, entirely unique in the surf idiom, and only occasionally seen in other genres. The picking is really great. Rhythmic, bouncy, infectious, galloping meter, perfect. Need I say more?

The Quiet Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Pristine Perfect Surf (Instrumental)

This is easily one of my favorite all time surf instros, and it's Richie Podolor on guitar and penmanship, of course. What a grand sound. Entirely liquid and emotional. Every time I hear this track, it raises the hair on the back of my neck. Brilliant chords, lush tone, and a wonderful backtrack. It was originally known as "Samoa." This is simply stunning and shimmering, with rolling exotic tom-toms. The Mermen do this very well.

Breakin' Out dotdot
Honky Tonk (Instrumental)

This is a choppy song with a fifties honky tonk feel. While it's pretty unremarkable for Richie Podolor, it does bear at least one listening.

Ground Swell dotdotdot
Peter Gunn Surf (Instrumental)

Based on Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn," "Ground Swell" is an ominous low-E and sax track. Quite derivative, but cool. Also released as "Tidal Wave."

Push Off dotdotdotdot
Marching Band Country Funk Surf (Instrumental)

Marching band country funk... The melody seems targeted at Buck Owens and the cadence, well it'll take you back to your home coming game at South Central High. a.k.a. "Kick Off," as the cheers from the stands would indicate. The original title actually tells the tale. It has a decidedly football game cheerleader mentality, cowboys ropin' steers, that sorta thing. It's very fun, not too surfy, and infectious.

Swanee River Twang dotdotdot
Folk Surf (Instrumental)

This is a moderately interesting surfization of "Swanee River." It's pretty light weight, but certainly serviceable, especially when you consider that the Belairs did "Little Brown Jug," and all those covers of "Shortnin' Bread," and, well, there's just a lot of such covers from the original era.

Put It On dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An answer to Dick Dale's "Take It Off" maybe, this song is otherwise not like Dick's greatest hope. It is rhythmic and very tribal thundering. A "Surf Beat"-like tune with lots of energy and evil low-E tones.

Rumble dotdotdot
Link Wray Surf (Instrumental)

This is a relatively limp version of Link Wray's classic. Free of the usual ominous feeling derived from listening to the original, and it's a cover of Link's LP version, not the superb single. The arrangements are quite different.