Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Challengers - Go Sidewalk Surfingdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Challengers were one of the more important surf bands of the sixties. Formed out of the collapse of the Belairs by exiles Richard Delvecchio (Delvy) and Jim Roberts. By the time they got to this album, Delvy was in the control room and Hal Blaine was on the drum stool for recordings. They were more polished than most, and often less edgy, but capable of some really amazing and grab you in the gut performances. This is easily their best album.
Picks: Pipeline, Asphalt Spinner, Raunchy, Hop Scotch [aka Channel Nine], Big Shot, Johnny October, Skinned Shins, Delvy's Sidewalk Capers, Bust Your Buns, Cruel Sea, Banzai Washout, The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt

Track by Track Review

Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The best cover of this tune from the sixties, except for possibly the Lively Ones and the Van Slyke. Hal Blaine's drumming is superb, and his use of the toms in place of guitar glissandoes is brilliant! Great song

Asphalt Spinner dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tango rhythm track and castanets make this vibrato number unusual. Written by Thom Starr.

Raunchy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pedestrian cover of Bill Justis' classic.

Hop Scotch [aka Channel Nine] dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ed Fournier wrote this wholly infectious surf monster that was also dubbed "Channel Nine" because of it's use as a theme on LA television channel 9's series "Surf's Up!." This is a must have for any surf collection.

Big Shot dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson wrote this track, and it has his signature on it, but it doesn't measure up to "Mr. Moto" or most of his other writing, which is mostly stellar.

Johnny October dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's beautiful melody played stunningly with gorgeous vibrato. This shimmers and dances on your forehead.

Skinned Shins dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another dynamite track from Ed Fournier's pen and guitar. It's a fast paced pounder with Hal Blaine's brilliant rolls and Steve Douglas style sax lines.

Delvy's Sidewalk Capers dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Similar to "The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt," this is a nice tune with an electric piano lead.

Bust Your Buns dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and light.

Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Among the better covers of this Dakotas (Billy J. Kramer) tune written by Mike Maxfield.

Banzai Washout dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the best sixties covers of Steve Douglas' classic from the Catalinas sessions. It's not quite as intense exactly, but is sure does rock. Great version.

The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Better than the Shadows original. It's named for the Rick Griffin cartoon character from Surfer Magazine in the dark ages of the sixties.