Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The Cuca Records Rock Story Vol. 3dotdotdot
artworkEight mostly surfable pre-surf instrumentals grace this volume of The Cuca Records Rock Story. The White Label has issued a long line of ultra obscure fifties and sixties singles and unissued tracks for many years. Now called Collector Records, their releases are often worth seeking out for rock instro history buffs.
Picks: Sensation, Ramblin' On, Cherokee Song, Borderline, St. Louis, Side-Winder, War Party, Sands Of Arabia

Track by Track Review


Sensation dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really cool and mighty brief instrumental (:46). It's very tribal and features island whammy. It's more than a little surf ready, with the right structure and lots of twang. This 1959 guitar cooler is just too groovy.

Ramblin' On dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a basic Bill Black-ish sax instro based on a shuffle and featuring echoed guitar riffs. Genuine and straight ahead, but not particularly remarkable.

Cherokee Song dotdotdotdot
Country Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato shimmer throbs the upper register guitar lines on this pretty pre surf country song. It's gentle and very cool, especially considering it was issued in 1959. Totally fun and very charming.

Borderline dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Gutty and primal, "Borderline" is like a precursor to Gene Gray and his Stingrays in some ways, or perhaps Bob Vaught and the Renegaids. It's raw sound and surfish structure, along with the surfable chords under the gutty lead, give it a surfable sound. Issued in 1960.

St. Louis dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Big thundering bass rumbles under liquid guitar and raging drums. The "Tequila" chords appear at times, and there's sense that the surf is very near. The only downside is the "around and around" chorus. Cool track from 1960.

Side-Winder dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Side Winder" is a 1962 piano and whammy twanger with a jam feel and nasty sax. It's a smoky bar intrso jam.

War Party dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and groovy guitar chords play out an Indian theme. The drums really make this work, though the song is quite surfable. The haunted vibrato verses are shimmery cool. Issued in 1962.

Sands Of Arabia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Really thin guitar and distant tribal drums deliver a mysterious Arabian theme that's just waiting for some enterprising surfband to cover it. Great drums and hand claps, along with bongos, really make this shine. In some ways, it reminds me of Johnny and the Hurricanes' "Sheba."