Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Challengers - At The Teenage Fairdotdotdot
artworkThis is one of those frustrating releases where there actually was a teenage fair, and the band actually played at it... but the "live" album features crowd noise under faked stage announcements and alternate take studio tracks, or in some cases, the released studio version... all from the Good Guys album, I think. An interesting sojourn into the business side of the industry, and still an interesting release. About half vocals, including "When You Walk In The Room," "Do You Wanna Dance," "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter," "Count Me In," "Tired Of Waiting," and "Come Right Back To Me."
Picks: Collision Course, The Wedge, Duck Waddle, Small Fry, Scratch, K-39

Track by Track Review

Collision Course dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This grinding ominous track features more of Hal Blaine's rolling thunder drumming, and Paul's effected guitar on a "K-39" like tune with a lot of fire. The performance is spirited and the rolling rhythms drag you right along. Wonderful vintage Paul Johnson.

The Wedge dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A solid performance on the lead is turned in by Paul Johnson, and Hal Blaine's drums make a big difference to the arrangement. It is the most reverbed track here, and the most traditional surf. It has a lot of the feel of "K-39," but faster. Solid, pumping, hot!

Duck Waddle dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson always says the name of this track with a grin. I think he delights in the silly. Certainly, he and Eddie Bertrand had a penchant for silly or dramatic covers. This is a melodic and funny melody that lives up to it's name. Interesting, but not great. Good sax work.

Small Fry dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another flying Hal Blaine drum number with a pleasant PJ melody and a spirited performance, with sax added (by Phil Pruden?). Nice track.

Scratch dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is more like the caliber of Paul Johnson's playing. The double picking is excellent, though the guitar is thin and sounds to have been recorded at a low volume. It's an energetic performance of a great surf classic. very precise playing and clarity.

K-39 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a lighter guitar sound from Paul Johnson, this version of "K-39" is textured differently, and has a different sax break, but still has the speed and rolling thunder of Hal Blaine's drums. Almost as good as the "hit" version.