Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Axes, Saxes, Skins and Ivories Volume 1dot
artworkThis is truly an odd collection of instrumentals. There are a few nuggets here, but over all it's a dud. Lots of fifties riff rock, some post beg band fluff, and some real Hollywood drek. Save your dough!
Picks: Royal Whirl, Boots 'N' Saddles, Come, Come On Back, Bullwhip Rock, Long Walk Home, El Rancho Grande, Slow Bandido, Zip, The Drums of Richard A. Doo, Salvation, Night Train Stroll, Down Yonder Rock, The Beat, Dartell Stomp, Firewater, Crazy Chemistry, Warm-Up, Cover Charge, Slow Freight, Apache, Clouds, Bongo Bongo Bongo, Wiggle Tail, Let's Go On With It, College Man

Track by Track Review

Royal Whirl dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is far from the best this great band ever did. It is an honest unpretentious fifties rockin' sax-guitar-vibrophone in-sync tune with no shortage of sock hop mentality. Very very fun, with a little of that "Flamingo Express" damped chop.

Boots 'N' Saddles dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This follow up to "Ghost Riders In The Sky" is more like Lawrence Welk on the Bonanza spread than anything else. The rich low-E guitar is there, and some really cool drums too, but the wood block horse hooves and the almost scary production take a bit of the edge off. Not related to the surf.

Come, Come On Back dotdot
Dramatic Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This sax number bears no resemblance to the sultry style they are famous for, nor their other more rockin' material. With a complete lack of liner notes, it's hard to say that this is even the same band that did "Harlem Nocturne."

Bullwhip Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Whips crack, pianos jingle, and a fifties boogie beat wails away. The melody is based on that tune I only recognize from the childhood lyrics "there's a place in France, where the women where no pants, and the men walk around, with their noodles hanging down" (OK, so I remember odd things from childhood... you ought hear the words we used to sing to "Hail To The Chief"). Lots of fire, but infectious only in its rhythmic nature.

Long Walk Home dotdotdot
Steel Guitar Stroll (Instrumental)

Slow and bluesy post meridian stroll with a military snare roll backbeat. It is like an antidote to the hustle of the prom, a prelude to the warm and squishy.

El Rancho Grande dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

This is essentially a demo for Duane's last album for Colpix, but it was not to be included. Even during the vault purges for box sets, it was overlook, lying MIA in the vaults. It's not much like the classic Duane Eddy sound, with a Tijuana Brass style mariachi overdub and a guitar tone a little more on the edge. Rousing and well balanced.

Slow Bandido dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"Slow Bandido" at half speed, with the gourd and the spiffy percussion, saucy sax, and oh-so-cool guitar lines. This is sultry in a back alley sort of way that brings certain sly grins to the stiffest of faces. Completely different character than the "hit" version. There's shimmer, almost Viscounts arranging, yet it retains the bizarre tweakiness of the single.

Rock (Instrumental)

Sax rockin' fifties jam, wailing and honkin'... big drums and big band basics. Mostly a hook, no melody.

The Drums of Richard A. Doo dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sandy Nelson drumming sounds, marching band horns, "When The Saints Go Marching In" melody line, and way too much fun. All you need now is the football game.

Piano Trumpet (Instrumental)

A rolling piano and a trumpet lead can't salvage "Bringing In The Sheep.".. JEEZ!

Night Train Stroll
Rock (Instrumental)

A fifties stroll, with sax and an old farts chorus. It wants to be a stripper's tune, but only succeeds in becoming an oddity.

Down Yonder Rock
Smokey Bar (Instrumental)

Bluesy riff and sax-piano trade offs. Big smoky bar scene music.

The Beat dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Chord train-wheel churning riff rock... pretty fun and infectious, but no melody.

Dartell Stomp
Big Organ Rock (Instrumental)

They were on Roulette... what more do you need to know? Big organ, riff rock, and a sixties disco beat.

Firewater dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Nope, not the surf tune. Infectious piano riffin, strummin' guitar, but no melody.

Crazy Chemistry
Rock (Instrumental)

Tweaky guitar and drums... rock for octogenarians. This reminds me of the sort of stuff Hollywood produced for movies.

Warm-Up dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Riff rock, honky sax and dull low-E guitar. How long can you play the same riff? Two minutes thirty seconds.

Cover Charge dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sax and roll, churning damped chop guitar work, and lots of frat rock fun. Riffs, but no melody. They do shout "Hey" a lot, as well as croon "oooh" for extended periods.

Slow Freight dot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is a slow blues roll, with tight piano and sax. It's not the Ritchie Valens tune.

Rock (Instrumental)

"Apache" is not the Jerry Lordan tune. This is a mean thing with Hollywood spookiness and weird ooze at the corners of its mouth. A true oddity.

Clouds dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Oft compiled slow instro from the fifties. Its melody riff is simple, mostly relying on tradeoffs between the plinky piano and the honky sax. No squirtin', just dribbling. Fun.

Bongo Bongo Bongo
Rock (Instrumental)

Mr. Bongo makes nice with ultra simple piano boogie. No melody, just a gimmick (the bongos).

Wiggle Tail
Rock (Instrumental)

Fifties rockin Vegas style nonsense waiting to actually develop a melody. It's a very fun frat rocker, but beyond that, has only it's arrangement and quirk to carry it off.

Let's Go On With It dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rolling piano number that has an open road fun about it. Infectious and sporty. The guitar is cool, though quite buried in most of the mix. This would likely make a cool surf instro. It's also the same melody as the Royaltones' "Royal Whirl."

College Man
Rock (Instrumental)

Oh man... "Ra! Ra! Ra!, We Hate College, Ha! Ha! Ha!" Now there's intellect for you, and that's the high point. Just a fifties riff rocker.