Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Cadillac Angels - 16 Tons Of Twangdotdotdotdot
artworkAlways rockin' and throbbing, the Cadillac Angels continue to drive the tubes of the amps to the edge of endurance with vibrato and reverb and tribal drums. Totally cool.
Picks: Viva Zapata, Have Cadillac, Will Travel, Jack The Ripper, Wray Gunn, SO BO!, Link N' Continental, Peter Gunn, Cadillacs Out West, Hangin Ten With Tut, Martinez, Caballo Blanco, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky

Track by Track Review


Viva Zapata dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's amazing sensual surf groove is so smooth and sad, with liquid soul and ringing sustain. This is a great song, and the Cadillac Angels do a really fine version. Different enough to avoid being just a cover, yet retaining Link's gutty soul and reverb splash. The tango attack in the middle is quite cool.

Have Cadillac, Will Travel dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cover of the New Dimensions' "Cat On A Hot Foam Board" played with as much fire, but with a more toned down sound. It sports a more subtle energy, and testifies to the flexibility of the tune. Extra cool.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

While it's hard to ruin this, it's also hard to top either the original or any of a dozen stellar covers, but the Cadillac Angels have succeeded in capturing Link's spirit and yet carved out a unique rendition that just drags you down the road kicking and screaming for joy. Viola!

Wray Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

An amazing Link Wray style number with a smooth bass line and a ringing distorted guitar sound. Link Wray isn't just a good guitar player, he's the law! That's why his influence is so widely felt. Like here, where Tony Tarzan and friends do your basic Link-like riff to great effect. Edge, grind, and danger. Too bitchin'

SO BO! dotdotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

Hoe-down with Link lurking in the amplifier. A great song with raspy vibrato and oh-so cool tribal drums. The double picking is quite intense.

Link N' Continental dotdotdotdot
Roots Wray (Instrumental)

Nasty, dirty, wrockin' wray-riffin' with big chords. Distortion in the overheads makes it fuzzy, but otherwise "Link n' Continental" is one tuff cookie!

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdotdot
Detective Surf (Instrumental)

The tone of Micky Rae's bass is so low and so evil under Tony's meaner-than-mean leads, that there's almost no room for any other version of this tried and true tune. Very mean track. Great shimmer, dark shadows, and hints of Dick Dale.

Cadillacs Out West dotdotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

Cactus, spaghetti, drifting sands, and ultra suave imagery. This is just too fun. It's clearly western, and also shimmers with Tony's vibrato pulsing out a magnetic throb.

Hangin Ten With Tut dotdotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

Brought forward from their earlier incarnation as the Roadhouse Rockers, "Hangin Ten With Tut" is a sultry and dangerous lumbering instro with Link Wray written all over it. A monster!

Martinez dotdotdotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

This gorgeous melody is dedicated to the tiny town of Martinez. It's growling guitar tones are very cool when combines with the whammy shimmer, and the oh-so-surfy melody line. This is a truly fine track. Great melody, very infectious, and moderately paced. Makes you wanna move to Martinez.

Caballo Blanco dotdotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

Spanish lace and white sands, red roses and a tequila sunset... this beautifully written piece paints tranquility across the view from your mind's eye. A very smooth and romantic instro, surf and Latin, like a suave Sentinals piece, except a little edgier. Magnificent!

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

Goleta's Cadillac Angels are just about the best rockabilly band on earth. The magic combination of Tony Tarzan's pure twang and Link Wray edge and Micky Rae's amazing upright bass provide a perfect vehicle for recreating Stan Jones' classic tune into a total twang monster. Big Myke Destiny had invited them in, and I did their sound a couple of times. I was honored when they asked me to record an off-air instrumental session with them. This was near the end of the day, and it has remained my fave from that session. Crunch and flair, and rockabilly infectious rhythm.