Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Haunt This Guitar (a tribute to Link Wray)dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a superb CD. Aide from being a tribute to Link Wray, it benefits Indian schools, and does so presenting wonderful bands and their mostly original songs inspired by the man. Highly recommended.
Picks: Ballistic Cats - Lone Pine, Broken Stiletto, Tomales, Cadillac Angels - Snakin' Around, Apache, Swamp Cooler, Fast Freight, Zawgigon, Walk On Little Charlie (vocal), Freedom Suite - Sacred Mesa, Trailer Park Tornados - Italian In The Old West, Sleepy Time, Switchblade Comb

Track by Track Review


Ballistic Cats - Lone Pine dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Lone Pine" begins with a rattle, and as the mournful tremolo guitar takes hold, it gets real sultry. In Link Wray's spirit, the song's simplicity and pace are its key to success. The break dribbles double picked notes perfectly. Great tone, mystery, and moodiness.

Ballistic Cats - Broken Stiletto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A throbbing glissando and gut-wrenching tone psycho-acoustically tell you danger is imminent. Raspy cool, whammied intense, and very dangerous, "Broken Stiletto" is genuine rock'n'roll the way it was practiced in the rural areas, that is to say, mean.

Ballistic Cats - Tomales dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Distortion and twang with tension. "Tomales" is a fun track with a light hearted melody delivered with a dark underbelly. Really nice!

Cadillac Angels - Snakin' Around dotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

50's cool walkin' bass line a la street rumble scenes from some period film. The stretched guitar meanders into great vibrato ominosity. It coulda been called "Cool Cat Rumble." Link Wray would grin. This is as solid as the live KFJC take.

Cadillac Angels - Apache dotdotdotdotdot
Big Guitar (Instrumental)

Jerry Lordan's "Apache" shimmers and moans and pulses. The arrangement here is based on the Jorgen Ingmann hit, but is so much more dangerous. Very satisfying!

Cadillac Angels - Swamp Cooler dotdotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

The fifties instro evil sound of "Swamp Cooler" is raw with superb guitar distortion. Cows doing the Texas Line Dance in the Bayou while Jimmy plots a sneak attack to brand 'em in their sleep. Melodic and cool. Its melody is simple and direct, and its edge is right on the money.

Cadillac Angels - Fast Freight dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ritchie Valens' "Fast Freight" is done much like the original. It seems to have less bite than most Cadillac Angels instros, but that being such a high bar, it's still a very string track.

Cadillac Angels - Zawgigon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Completely lovely solo electric guitar playing a gentle melody. "Zawgigon" is the introduction to the vocal "Walk On Little Charlie," which follows.

Cadillac Angels - Walk On Little Charlie (vocal) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Normally steering clear of vocals, it's nonetheless fitting to write about "Walk On Little Charlie" because it almost seems to be about Link Wray's journey beyond. A fitting end to this fine CD. Kinda Indian, haunted, and very emotional.

Freedom Suite - Sacred Mesa dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sacred Mesa" is a gentle number with the rain and shorebreak in the distance, some dramatic thunder, and wolves howling. beyond that, it's a lovely acoustic guitar solo. Very pretty, especially for a rainy afternoon by the fire.

Trailer Park Tornados - Italian In The Old West dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This catches you and keeps you... a rolling melody line and relentless thumping beat, punctuated by occasional grindy chords. It makes me grin. I expected something in the spaghetti western vein, but alas this is merely a catchy guitar instro with a really intriguing beat. "Italian In The Old West" is a song Steve Carter originated under the Shaken Stephen moniker between The Neptunes and Cadillac Angels.

Trailer Park Tornados - Sleepy Time dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sleepy Time" is just what the title implies, a soft and lovely number for nodding off while the world goes by. Your pleasant afternoon siesta is for your inner soul, and the softness of the island images leaves you floating. Very pretty!

Trailer Park Tornados - Switchblade Comb dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the days with The Neptunes, Steve Carter's "Switchblade Comb" is reinvented to be even more haunting and tribal. Throbbing tremolo and a superb melody line.