Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Wade Curtiss and the Rhythm Rockers - Bright Lightsdotdotdot
artworkThe recording quality ranges from muddy to thin home recordings, but the performances are priceless. A very interesting and valued glimpse into the late fifties-early sixties in Buffalo, New York. There are a few really nifty period radio extracts that spice up the set. If you think commercial radio sucks now...
Picks: Hurricane, Real Cool, Shankie, Brang, Rompin', Rock-A-Beat, Puddy Cat (Mama-Meow-Mow), Blockbuster, Vulture, Scramble, Real Coolin' It, Big River, Shang-A-Hang, The Slide, Terock, Real Cool, Surfin' Bird, Electric's Theme, Big Heavy

Track by Track Review


Hurricane dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This fifties rockabilly instro has almost no melody, but does sport an infectious rhythm track, and is played with ample spunk. It is mostly a low-E grinder, with an near-surf sound.

Real Cool dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

A real cool mid-tempo track, with a sound approaching surf, and a simple melody (barely) over a hot rockabilly-skiffle backtrack. This sucker just rolls right along, taking no prisoners. Tasty, crispy, and swell. 1960

Shankie dotdotdotdot
Evil Hoodoo (Instrumental)

Vibrato slither, snaking melody line, evil hoodoo, rolling toms, and a starkly intense delivery. A great super simple tune like maybe Link Wray might do. A wonderful track.

Brang dotdotdot
Bluesy (Instrumental)

A bluesy rockin' mid-tempo track, with intensity, but little more than a progression and some jam session noodling. The echoplex delivers an almost surfy sound.

Rompin' dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

A sax and throbbing guitar slow and dirty R&B cruiser. Perfect for a fifties club scene.

Rock-A-Beat dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

A thinner more guttural guitar sound emanates from this repetitive progression. The rolling drums are cool - an almost jazz-like beat. The progression hints of "Jimmy Crack Corn," but it's not. The lap steel is cool. Legend has it that it used 4 E-strings...

Puddy Cat (Mama-Meow-Mow) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

This most demented answer to the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" is a priceless bit of absurd rock and roll history. I usually don't review vocal tracks here, but this is simply AMAZING!

Blockbuster dotdotdot
Dirty Rock Club (Instrumental)

A bluesy early rock pumper, with a thinned out simplified piano shuffle line and a squonking saxophone, punctuated with police sirens and explosions... a hybrid of sounds from 40 black and white movies, fifties cartoons, and dirty rock club grind.

Vulture dotdotdot
Fifties Rock (Instrumental)

A sax dominated number with a real fifties blues/rock feel. Intense! I'd guess these guys pummeled their teeny bopper fans in Buffalo. Dark, mean, and rockin'... The squealing sax line in the break is splendid.

Scramble dotdotdot
Fifties Rock (Instrumental)

A simple guitar progression and a walking bass line, growly, and an interruptus arrangement... probably a hit at the hop. Totally fifties.

Real Coolin' It dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Low down sax and rockabilly beat with a vibrato guitar backing the track. The piano slides are totally cool.

Big River dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The low-E guitar lead on this traditional tune is just fine, with it's tad of vibrato and growly tone. This could be turned into a surf tune easily enough.

Shang-A-Hang dotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

Heavily vibratoed progression type instro, with a solid delivery and enough surfability to hold the interest. Not much melody, but a cool pre-surf track anyway.

The Slide dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Semi tribal sax 7 piano based club R&B number. None too interesting, little more than a progression and a sax jam line.

Terock dotdot
Boogie (Instrumental)

Opening with a guitar boogie shuffle backtrack, to quickly moves to a go nowhere sax line, like a jam that got frozen in time. Not very interesting. Fifties pumping piano.

Real Cool dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

A real cool mid-tempo track, with a sound approaching surf, and a simple melody (barely) over a hot rockabilly-skiffle backtrack. This sucker just rolls right along, taking no prisoners. Tasty, crispy, and swell. 1960

Surfin' Bird dotdotdot
Surfin' Pussycat (Vocal)

growling out mean vocals, this cover is quite cool. It must have been a disease, 'cuz they did it with such flair, they morphed it into "Mama-Meow-Mow" as well. The blabbering parts are way too fun!

Electric's Theme dotdotdot
Lap Steel Psych (Instrumental)

"Electric's Theme" was released by a later Wade Curtiss band called the Electric Experience. Lap steel dementia, progression city, whistlin' string slides, and a nearly talking guitar line make this one swell track. Too cool!

Big Heavy dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

A slow walking bass line sax growler.