Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Bad, Bad Whiskeydotdotdot
artworkNot a drop of surf here, but several essential Central Valley instros from the Merced Bluenotes. All of the tracks on this disc are from the Specialty vaults, though the Merced Bluenotes tracks were originally issued on Galaxy, a subsidiary of Fantasy. It's interesting that the comp is titled after one of the Merced Blue Notes' singles, while including only the least known musicians in the otherwise detailed liner notes.
Picks: Rufus Jr., I Pity The Fool, Mama Rufus, Bad, Bad Whiskey

Track by Track Review

Rufus Jr. dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This is a splendid R&B intro in the tradition of soulful grooves that undulate with an emotional simplicity and a dominant gutty guitar and bass line. Surely inspired by the likes of Jimmy Smith and Booker T. and the MG's, "Rufus Jr." romps with an infectious beat and great jammin' midsection spiced with great shouts. This was their second single. Very cool song.

I Pity The Fool dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Merl Saunders' ow down organ treatment of J. J. Malone's "I Pity The Fool" sports the requisite horn chorus and soulful groove. Tasteful, but unremarkable.

Mama Rufus dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This followup to "Rufus Jr." is less groovy and more Jimmy Smith-like. If it weren't for their first single, it would be more notable, but as a follow-on, it's less interesting. Percussive keys and whirling organ.

Bad, Bad Whiskey dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"Bad, Bad Whiskey" was the third single a-side from the Merced Blue Notes. It lies closer to the infectiousness of "Rufus Jr.," and features a traditional guitar break. Cool tune.