Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
|This is another great comp from Ace. A significant number of surf instros from the Downey vaults are along side of some vintage R&B sides. Most of the material here is very good, and some previously unreleased, including some surf. Excellent liners fill out the experience.|
Picks: The Blazers - Sound Of Mecca, Ed Burkey - Night Rider, Dreams of Downey, Rosemary's Baby aka Apache Ghost, The Del Rio Bros. - Se Acabo, Ginny And The Gallions - Hava Nagila, Third Man Theme, Chuck Higgins - Night Scene, Water Wheel, The Hindus - Theme of Etiquette, Frenzy, The Hustlers - Eight Ball, Migraine, Inertia, Little Caesar And The Ark Angels - Ghost of Mary Meade (pt. II), The Nevegans - Russian Roulette, The Pastel Six - Bandido, A Week from Tuesday, The Rendells - Hot Licks, The Revels - Intoxica, Comanche, The Rumblers - Night Scene, Here Comes the Bug, Blockade, The Nylons - Maid 'N Japan, Stories In Sound - Space Battle
Track by Track Review
The Blazers - Sound Of Mecca
This is one of the VERY BEST Middle Eastern surf instros ever! The vibrato guitar is matched with the vibrato sax, for a mystical and mysterious air. Completely enthralling, and superbly played. What a wonderful track. Haunting desert caravan in a gentle breeze across the Sahara. A must have piece of history.
This thoroughly spooky piece employs tremolo and a moody sound, reverb, and howling guitar noise to create one eerie track. It's a superb bit of obscurity with muted reverb guitar, volume knob trickery, and pickslides simulating what would later be done with feedback. Really cool!
Ed Burkey - Dreams of Downey
This very cool track from Ed Burkey sports really wet muted surf guitar and nearly Hollywood Persuaders horns, accompanied by strings and a bouncy rhythm. A thoroughly cool track!
Ed Burkey - Rosemary's Baby aka Apache Ghost
Known both as "Rosemary's Baby" and "Apache Ghost," Ed Burkey creates an intriguing instro with surfisms and references to Jerry Lordan's "Apache." It's way more than just derivative. This is a very engaging piece of music with shimmering tremolo charm and exotic imagery. Very cool!
The Del Rio Bros. - Se Acabo
West Coast Latin Jazz (Instrumental)
"Se Acabo" is a muddy sounding bit of west coast jazz blended with the East LA sounds of the early sixties. It's a simple and infectious bit of rhythm and chord progression accompanied by a chorus. It's very demo sounding, but still pretty cool.
Ginny And The Gallions - Hava Nagila
This is a very intriguing rarity in murky mono. Great guitar whackery, distant screams, and haunted echoed guitar. This is so demented that it's hard to imagine that it's not from the psychedelic era. Very cool!
Ginny And The Gallions - Third Man Theme
reverbed and echoed guitars weirdly warble out the strange theme from the film of the same name. This is just plain odd.
Chuck Higgins - Night Scene
This is a stellar cover of the Rumblers' wonderful "Night Scene" by an R&B artist with a long history that goes back to Dolphin's of Hollywood and the early fifties. This has a greasy inland feel that's very sultry and emotional. Its inland sound morph the song into a whole new place, while keeping the basic lurid appeal front and center. Wonderful!
Chuck Higgins - Water Wheel
"Water Wheel" is typical of many instro sides in the R&B vein from the period, with a simple riff that's endlessly used, with a Jimmy Smith-like organ over the top. Artists like the Delegates and Hank Jacobs and Booker T & the MG's. Nice track.
The Hindus - Theme of Etiquette
This cheesy rock exotica number features echoed guitar and a splendid little melody, along with a murky exotic rhythm. There's an island vacation bar kinda of feeling here that's innocent and fun.
The Hindus - Frenzy
"Frenzy" is a very standard R&B sax romp. A hand clapping rhythm and old time rock'n'roll piano mix up a basic jam.
The Hustlers - Eight Ball
This is a sax and piano workout in the form of an R&B jam. It's entirely unremarkable, aside from its obscurity.
Sax Plucky Guitar (Instrumental)
Sax driven tune with a plucky rhythm guitar. The melody is not good, little more than a progression. That said, after many years, it's still a very cool little track with great drums and catchy pickin'.
This is a cool track, both ominous and inviting. It has a unique rhythm, a simplicity that draws you in, and a magical sound. It has a delicacy about it, lurking under a quiet power. Like a swell, it rolls in poetically while hiding immense power just under the surface. The mid-fast tempo, and the tinkly piano break are too cool. Very nice.
Little Caesar And The Ark Angels - Ghost of Mary Meade (pt. II)
The strings and horns sound the same as those used by Ed Burkey. This slight nod to "Washington Square" is fun in its simple period pop way.
The Nevegans - Russian Roulette
The Pastel Six - Bandido
This was the B-side to "Cinnamon Cinder," and has long been a fave of mine among the quirkier stranger instros I like. It's great to finally hear this is stereo and cleanly captured. It is am R&B club number with enough surf edge to make the cut. It slithers and slides through your singles disco of the sixties dreams. Sly Stone could have done this when he first started playing live in '65 at the Bay Area theme clubs. It is tribal and primal. Cool, cult hit of tomorrow.
The Pastel Six - A Week from Tuesday
The intrepid The Pastel Six demonstrate their tongue in cheek style with a simple R&B progression. This is among their least interesting tracks, but it sure does display their penchant for non-serious tracks.
This is a more or less standard sax instro not unlike so many done in studio sessions, except that it seems to have just a bit more chemistry than many of the day. Still, it's fairly unremarkable.
This track sports the same sort of laughter and brew sounds that "Church Key" sports, but is less interesting. It's a fine tune, of course, but this is a pretty slow version, and relatively uninspired, though the sax if quite hot.
This is the tune that wailed in Pulp Fiction. Howling honking sax Indian flavored "Navaho Trail" kinda tune with major edge. San Luis Obispo's Revels cut "Comanche" with more guts and danger than just about anything else in their repertoire.
The Rumblers - Night Scene
R&B Surf (Instrumental)
Simply the best damn tune the Rumblers ever laid down! It is slow, moody, saxy, and has a cool cadence. The Eliminators cover this extremely well. One hell of a great track. Magnetic.
The Rumblers - Here Comes the Bug
Out of the vaults erupts yet another Rumblers gem. This jammy R&B surf romp is like many of their others stylistically, with great drums and a simple but attractive progression. Lots of sax and coolness.
"Blockade" (aka "That's It") is an unreleased track from one of white R&B's best kept secrets. The Rumblers were simply superb, with not only a dramatically suburban sound, but a surf edge too. Great stuff, with its honkin' sax and wonderful Adrian Lloyd beat.
The Nylons - Maid 'N Japan
This is a cutesy number, based on trite oriental melody styles, but the arrangement is quite unusual, and the effect is a nifty period piece. Cool track.
Stories In Sound - Space Battle
With warbly sci-fi noises and explosions breaking up the endless monotony of the R&B backtrack, "Space Battle" still doesn't rise to the level of interesting. Purely gimmicky. It really sounds like a backtrack with noise overdubbed.