Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Barry Bachman - The Lost Tapes Of The Cyclin' Cowboy Surfersdotdot
artworkGuessing from a few hints in the liner notes, Barry Bachman is from New Jersey or somewhere nearby. The music here is Ventures country with an eye on the beach, but aside from a few stray glissandoes, there's no surf here. Barry Bachman plays all the instruments, so it lacks the chemistry of a band. Some of the tracks are very listenable, just don't expect any surf.
Picks: The Cyclin' Cowboy Surfers Theme, Ridin' The Waves, The Lonely Surfer, Hot Rod Cycle Song, Siren Song, Surfin' A Go Go, Drivin' My Woody, Surfer War Chant, Ocean Nights, Tidal Wave, Sleep Walking On The Shore, Prairie Oysters

Track by Track Review


The Cyclin' Cowboy Surfers Theme dotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

Shorebreak laps at the shore to open this track. "The Cyclin' Cowboy Surfers Theme" is a little western and a little coastal. It sports a good melody line and some glissandoes of the dry variety. Nice track.

Ridin' The Waves dotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

Pumpin' organ in sync with the drums back a dry guitar playing a beach worthy melody. Like a cross between the Ventures and Duane Eddy, "Ridin' The Waves" doesn't invoke surf imagery, but does speak to beach parties and carefree afternoons.

The Lonely Surfer dotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

This is a slow moving island image instro with a near-surf feel and some tasteful vibrato on the second guitar. The melody is soft and pretty, almost romantic.

Hot Rod Cycle Song dotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

With the rhythm of and general feel of a Hollywood studio session circa '63, "Hot Rod Cycle Song" is an underdeveloped riff dominated piece with a simple hook. It doesn't seem to get to the goal line ever, and the lack of chemistry further holds it back.

Siren Song dotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

This is a light weight near surf song with a very pleasant melody line played non vibrato guitar. It has the feel of maybe the Challengers with stereo horns added. The horns bring in a surf movie feel, but do nothing to add to the surf intent. Still, it has charm and is an enjoyable track.

Surfin' A Go Go dotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

"Surfin' A Go Go" is like a country attempt at the Ventures trying hard to be an eleki band doing a go-go instro. It's a nice track, but doesn't surf at all.

Drivin' My Woody dotdotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

With a Southern Rock feel, "Drivin' My Woody" flows gently on an interesting rhythm. It's miles from the surf, but it grows on you anyway. The melody is simple and endearing, and the rhythm catchy. Quite a nice track.

Surfer War Chant dotdotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

Chants and whammy action in a Davie Allan-like melody structure, with even some hints of influence from King Of Hawaii. It works really well until the horn take it to soundtrack land. Still, it's a well done track with an endearing sound.

Ocean Nights dotdotdotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

Like a Barry Bachman track, but with nearly surf guitar, "Ocean Nights" flows softly along a beach front pathway as the sun drops below the horizon. This is a very pretty track.

Tidal Wave dotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

"Tidal Wave" is like none of the surf instros that sport that name. It's more like a Jerry Reed rhythm track than a surf instro. Neither melodic nor interesting from a surf perspective.

Sleep Walking On The Shore dot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

As you might guess from the title, "Sleep Walking On The Shore" is a lap steel (or slide guitar) song with a slushy-romantic sound. More atmospheric than pretty.

Prairie Oysters dotdot
Beach Lite (Instrumental)

Like a cross between "The Bristol Stomp" and "Sukiyaki," this song is bouncy and playful, and sports a nice melody riff. "Prairie Oysters" just doesn't hit any surfisms. Country playful is more like it.