Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Hobbit In The Wah Wah Hourdotdot
artworkThis is a bizarre collection of wah wah, silly studio psych, Memphis soul jams, and other oddities. Without a doubt, there were some pretentious tracks cut in the studio system over the years, many of which should have been burned. Players with real credentials making really cheesy no-class wannabe music. What more do you need to know? There are also a couple of very cool psych instros. No surf, but no vocals either.
Picks: Hobbit Symphony, Fendabenda Hahaha, Bang!, Freddie's Dead, Tequila, I Wish It Would Rain, Pow!, Booty Butt, About Noon, Hold It, Night Before, Whodunnit, Bluff City Cookin', Delgado, Soul Preachin', Sombrero Sam, In The Midnight Hour, Wah Wah West, (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right, Through With You

Track by Track Review

Hobbit Symphony dotdotdot
Studio Psychedelic (Instrumental)

Relatively non-melodic, sometimes mathematical, and sounding for all the world as intentional psych, yet having an immediacy not present in much of the studio mung that came out in 1968. A little uncomfortable, and surely what Hollywood thought psychedelic music was. All that doesn't kill it. It's a cut above the usual tripe from the newly-drugged out studio system.

Fendabenda Hahaha dotdotdot
Studio Psychedelic (Instrumental)

Wholly confused, drenched in the bad dream sequence from every L.S.D. film ever made, "Fendabenda Hahaha" sounds like you might expect. It's a dissonant distortion of the mind where everything is funny and fatal at the same time. Distant laughter and ambient howling keys. Still, the album from which this comes remains a novelty that I enjoy dragging out once in a while.

The album this comes from includes a way-strange, almost Hollywood Argyles "Alley-Oop" like cover of Tommy Roe's "Sweet Pea" and a totally bizarre version of "Louie Louie" retitled "Luis Luis."

Bang! dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

One of the strangest transitions resulting from the infusion of drugs into pop music was the me-too psychedelicization of soul. "Bang!" is a simplified riff driven thing with vibrato guitar that's not unlike a less-fluid Booker T. and the MG's groove. It's just missing the organ and the soul. Not bad, just not particularly memorable.

Freddie's Dead dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

"Freddie's Dead" is a classic example of how a funky backtrack a la the Temptations could be a foundation for mental distortions. The Washrag sound here relies on wah wah and the Detroit sound of the late sixties-early seventies.

Tequila dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

Giving new meaning to scary, veteran musical genius Allen Tousaint arranges Chuck Rio's "Tequila" as if it was a pumped up "Quiet Village." Aside from being very odd, it's without any real merit, lest of curse you collect the man's work.

I Wish It Would Rain dot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

True to form, the Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain" is somewhat slushed out and made more "hip." A pleasant backdrop at best.

Pow! dotdot
Memphis Soul (Instrumental)

Promising a punch that doesn't arrive, "Pow!" is low energy, slowly measured out, and much too repetitious and gimmicky. There are some cool piano rolls, but little else to capture your imagination.

Booty Butt dot
Soul Jam (Instrumental)

Ray Charles ode to the rump roast of desire is a disposable groove. A couple of soulful sax lines here and there do not save "Booty Butt" from the dust bin of time.

About Noon
Memphis Soul (Instrumental)

Strictly a jam, "About Noon" never homes in on anything original or memorable. It truly sounds like music made on a time clock.

Hold It dot
Memphis Soul (Instrumental)

Bill Dogget's "Hold It" is just not as interesting as the original, and a long way from capturing anything like soul or chemistry. A jam in search of a reason to be.

Night Before
Memphis Soul (Instrumental)

Perhaps more musical than much of the Mar-Keys tracks here, but a long way from interesting. "Night Before" is like an imitation of the Northwest version of the R&B instrumental sound.

Orchestral (Instrumental)

Ray Martin made TV soundtrack music. "Whodunnit" sounds like that, with gun shots, screams, and brash brass. Contrived and trashy.

Bluff City Cookin' dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

With organ bordering on Jimmy McGriff, "Bluff City Cookin'" is a step above the other combo jams here. It's strictly the pumping organ that makes it more than dismissible.

Delgado dot
Hollywood Soul (Instrumental)

Eddy Senay cut this in Hollywood in 1972, and it sounds like the tinsel interpretation of the Memphis sound. Very dull and dis-interesting.

Soul Preachin' dot
Hollywood Soul (Instrumental)

Add horns and wah wah to the Hollywood soul sound and you get a pale imitation of Isaac Hayes.

Sombrero Sam dotdotdot
Soul Jam (Instrumental)

"Sombrero Sam" dates from '66 and is in the Ramsey Lewis mold, though more about the groove than a melody. Self indulgent jam.

In The Midnight Hour dot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

Like too many who tried to cash in on the sound of Booker T. and the MG's and Jimmy Smith, Little Mac and the Boss Sounds pumped the organ keys during an otherwise routine and uninspired cover of Wilson Picket's "In The Midnight Hour."

Wah Wah West dotdotdot
Psychedelic Soul (Instrumental)

The title tells all. If not for the wah wah used as a gimmick, "Wah Wah West" would be unnoticed. There are a few tasteful near-psych guitar lines from Steve Cropper, but it still does not rise to the level of cool.

(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

This is a slow soul mood setter. It's pretty and perhaps the most emotional of all the Washrag tracks here. The melody and psych guitar are well done, more subtle and fluid, and less contrived sounding.

Through With You dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

This is an instrumental edit (done for this release) of the Lemon Pipers longest and most rockin' song "Through With You." Unlike virtually every other track they cut for the Kama Sutra bubble gum pop-psych machine, this song implies a band with real live credibility, and indeed they were quite good live back in the day (judging from one performance I saw in Sacramento). It's on the long side, and sports the relentless pulsing hypnotics and guitar panoramics that only could work at the dawn of psych.