Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Hot Rockin' Instrumentalsdotdotdot
artworkThe legendary White Label aka Collector Records (not Collectables) reigned as the primo semi-legit vinyl compilation label out of Europe during the eighties. They went to great lengths to get the best source, sometimes coming up with unreleased tracks from original session tapes, sometimes using pristine vinyl, and often including artist pix or tidbits directly from label owners. Their focus was and remains obscure indie releases of the fifties and early sixties, principally from the South and the Midwest, and mostly rockabilly unknowns. In many cases, and whenever they could locate them, they've gone to the owners of the tracks, which has lead them to unreleased material. Their instrumental comps frequently included super rare surf tracks. To see them issuing CD's now is nothing short of wonderful. This CD contains a healthy dose of otherwise impossible to find surf singles, some grand rock instros, and a few stinkers.
Picks: The Baymen - Banzai, The Capris - Comanche, The Expressos - Teenage Express, The Fabulous Playboys - Shortnin' Bread, Cheater Stomp, The Monzels - Sharkskin, The Reveliers - Hangin' Five, The Roadrunners - Quasimoto, Road Runnah

Track by Track Review

The Baymen - Banzai dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Banzai" c/w "Daybreak" was the Baymen's only single. It's a choppy chunky cool tune that's percussive in nature. A really great lost obscuro.

The Capris - Comanche dotdotdot
Fifties Indian Rock (Instrumental)

An Indian rock-stereotype number from the fifties, cool in it's simplicity. The sax breaks are pretty raw.

The Countdowns - Do It dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

"Do It" is little more than a raw progression. Edgy and gutty, but directionless.

The Crusaders - Seminole dotdot
Bizarre Rock (Instrumental)

Bizarro guitarro! The lead and rhythm guitars (maybe the whole track) has a weird effect going on, like mondo tape flutter. There's no melody, but it is intense in a Lonnie Mack "Wham" sorta way.

The Curios - Chicken Back (pt 2) dotdot
Chicken Bop (Instrumental)

Take your average frat party, check out the band that just played "Wooly Bully" for the umpteenth time, ask 'em to play some real music (you know, County or Western), and, through the beer and adolescent superiority, they do their best to parody life on a poultry farm, using some forgotten Chicken Bop chord progression as a starting point, inspired by "Itchy Chicken" and having seen "Muscle Beach Party" the night before at the Bijou drive-in with Peggy Sue, and the lead guitarist is not liking the hickoid nature of the whole scene, so he plays a little surf lick here and there while applying his reverb throughout, and you'll get a much more interesting result than this basic party chicken thrasher. many words to say it's little more than a slice of rural Americana Fraturnitus.

Danny and the Demons - Phelpio dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

Another indistinct fifties progression.

Danny and the Demons - Count Down dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

Mondo electro noise intros a slightly cleaner fifties progression.

The Defiant Ones - Deep Six dotdot
Fifties Instro Rock (Instrumental)

This track features an organ under a fifties style progression and a really thin lead guitar, such as it is. It's OK - just OK.

The Destinys - Tear Down dot
Fifties Sax (Instrumental)

Fifties sax instro.

Don Dorris and the Nighttrains - Scramble dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Rockabilly rifforama.

The Expressos - Teenage Express dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Teenage Express" sports wood dowel percussion. It's a beat generation rock instro from 1960, before the Belairs or Dick Dale laid surf chord to disc, before the opening of the Rendezvous Ballroom. It had the surf feel hiding in it's underbelly. The Expressos evolved into the Surfmen, and of course it is "Wandering" on the other side of the 45 that is the track this band re-recorded under their more famous latter day moniker. Unlike the other side, this track is a simple progression with a really thin lead guitar.

The Fabulous Playboys - Shortnin' Bread dotdotdotdot
Surf Twango (Instrumental)

Heavy surf rhythm track with piano and a surf lead playing low-E twango. While its a cover of the old standard covered by a number of bands of the day, this take is particularly rippin'. Stompin' drums and great piano, along with that tuff surf rhythm. Very cool.

The Fabulous Playboys - Cheater Stomp dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

John Blair didn't list this in his "Illustrated Discography Of Surf Music 1961-1965," and neither did Rich Hagensen in his phone book thick compendium of instrumentals. Heavy surf and plucky piano riffola. Very fun indeed.

The Phil Goodman Trio - Phil's Boogie dotdot
Boogie Woogie (Instrumental)

Like the name says... cool l fun.

Rusty Isabell - Rusty's Boogie dotdot
Honky Tonk (Instrumental)

Honky tonk piano boogie.

Billy Lee and the Ramblers - Trav'lin dotdot
Riffabilly (Instrumental)

An endless and unchanging riff and minimal melody - a rockabilly instro.

Johnnie Lee - The Big Wheel dotdot
Sax Boogie (Instrumental)

Piano and sax boogie.

The Monzels - Sharkskin dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A great low grindy number featuring raw guitar and glissandos. It's thrashy and pumped up, and based on a chord riff lead. It employs the "Let's Go" beat in the break. Pretty cool! Originally issued on Prism 1878 in 1964.

Jim Myers and the Gems - J and D Hop dotdot
Roadhouse Boogie (Instrumental)

A fifties boogie/hop number suitable for a roadhouse.

Jim Myers and the Gems - J and D Hop dotdot
Roadhouse Boogie (Instrumental)

A fifties boogie/hop number suitable for a roadhouse.

Piano Slim and his Rockin' Four - Key Jammer dot
Piano Boogie Woogie Honky Tonk (Instrumental)

Piano boogie down honky tonkin' tune.

The Reveliers - Hangin' Five dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Low grindy el distorto guitar over a bit of wave sound effects, a surf rhythm guitar. More Midwest style than surf. From '63. A-side to "Patch."

The Reveliers - Patch dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another case of add reverb and call it surf. It's a fifties rockabilly boogie instro. From '63. B-side to "Hangin' Five."

The Revels - Good Grief dotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

This is a fifties instro, with everything that implies, no melody, sax noises, and screams. It's from vinyl sources, and shows a lot of distortion at the high end.

The Revels - Six Pack dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Chunky rhythmic track with cool piano in a jam format with no melody to speak of.

The Ric-A-Shays - Groovy dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surfie Midwest style tune. A bit reminiscent of Gene Gray & his Stingrays stylistically, but not as vital or edgy.

Ritchie and the Squires - Beat Party (pt 1) dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A raw surf rhythm under a wailin' sax and plunky piano, plus a nifty drum solo.

Ritchie and the Squires - Beat Party (pt 2) dot
Studio Rock (Instrumental)

More of the same, but more ominous and more studio lizard sounding.

The Roadrunners - Quasimoto dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The other side of the Road Runners single that appeared as a track on the London Records (and Sundazed CD) version of the Pyramids' album. This is the better track, heavily inspired by "Pipeline," but faster, more furious, and more manic. I always thought that some band with a lick of creativity should make a medley out "Pipeline" / "Quasimoto" / "Road Runnah" / "Pipeline." Anyway, this is a really good track, worth the price of admission all by itself. Pure surf from a sincere and lost band.

The Roadrunners - Road Runnah dotdotdotdot
Hot Rod Surf (Instrumental)

The single A-side (B-side was "Quasimoto"), this track ended up on the London Records release of the Pyramids' album. It does not appear on the original Best Records release, and bears no similarity in playing or style to the Pyramids. OK, so that's not a slam, just a clarification. This track rules! It's hot, "Pipeline" like, and fiery. It may be a bit obscure, but it's a great track!

The Rovin' Gamblers - Do The Fly dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Crude 15 ips echo, crummy sound, a two note riff, and occasional insertions of "do the fly man, do the fly" to keep up the interest. Under the murk lies what musta been a really grode crowd pleaser. Fun.

The Royal Jokers - Vibrations dotdot
Fifties Piano (Instrumental)

Choppy chunky fifties piano/sax instro.

The Royals - Knee Deep dotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

An unknown presurf tune that could have been a monster - probably from the Midwest.

The Sonics - Foxfire dotdot
Melody Free Rifforama (Instrumental)

A raw romp at a frat party in Nomelodyland, Wisconsin.

Danny Zella's Rockers - Youngster Meets Monster dotdotdot
Fifties Sax (Instrumental)

A thin sax and even thinner guitar for a cheap substitute for the Royaltones.

Danny Zella's Rockers and the Youngsters - Zebra dotdot
Fifties Sax (Instrumental)

Sax lead fifties intro.