Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Alvarados - Radio Alvaradodotdotdotdot
artworkDrew Weaver and the Alvarados came to our infamous Pit to give us an hour-long live performance. The performance was excellent, and the crowd went nuts (me, Uncle Al, Big Myke Destiny, and the families of the Alvarados). It was very fun, and the band was in top form. Perfectly straddling the Big Guitar Show and Surf's Up, the first half of their set was vocal, the second half instrumental. It was excellent.
Picks: Vaquero, Nautilus, Casbah, Mare Tranquilis, The Restless Biker, Dueling Deuces, Hava Nagila

Track by Track Review

Vaquero dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' "Vaquero" is nicely delivered, with a more textured and less restrained approach. The interplay between the two guitars is different than the original, giving it a fresh yet recognizable sound.

Nautilus dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little narration from Drew and a ton of shimmering vibrato guitar deliver a groovy melody and very accessible surf tune. Slow and pretty, well played and tastefully arranged. The dribbling delicate almost Italian runs are too cool. The narration is reminiscent of parts of the Malibooz' "Surfin' Ghost."

Casbah dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sandy Nelson' "Casbah" is presented with splendid drive and acute rhythm. This tune was written by Richie Podolor, who played the original lead while Sandy Nelson pummeled the drums. Most of the covers of this tune miss Sandy's great drums work completely, but this is spot-on. Powerful, very surfy, and quite infectious. Incidentally, shortly after Nelson's fist single success with "Teen Beat," he lost his right foot in an auto accident. Still, he was able to create unique and powerful drum work.

Mare Tranquilis dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This brilliantly written instro employs great drums, ringing tone, sad open water melody lines, and exceptional structure. The second-half fuzz verse provides a nasty interlude to this stellar piece. "Mare Tranquilis" was written by Mel Waldorf, and it's much like the more fluid Los Mel-tones material. Full reverb, and visual a melody line.

The Restless Biker dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Drew Weaver's tune from his days with the Vibrabeams off of the Mystic Rites album. A slightly country rock instro, originally more swamp biker than surf, but here brought to full reverb delivery. Rhythmic and very enjoyable, a brief left turn off surf route 101.

Dueling Deuces dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Mel Waldorf original from his last band Los Mel-tones flies with extreme energy and power. There are a couple of flawed guitar lines early on, but the fire is so hot it doesn't seem to matter. Excellent.

Hava Nagila dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Agreeing to do one more tune not on their set list for the evening, the Alvarados dive head first into "Hava Nagila" like the Dickster, with furious double picking and pure surf chunk. They don't rely solely on the Dick Dale arrangement, bringing in less-used sections of the song and extending the tune with a bit of "Miserlou" and the feel of "Maleguena." It comes to a big finish with crashing reverb.