Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Jan And Dean With The Soul Surfersdotdot
artworkThis album was issued in December 1964 with three Jan and Dean 1961 pop tracks and nine instros, eight from one studio session of unidentified players, and one from another. These session were billed as The Soul Surfers. It was recorded in 1963 and feature some surfisms, tremolo guitar, occasional Duane Eddy-like arranging, and is all covers of traditional American folk and classical compositions.
Picks: The Soul Surfers - Aura Lee The Surfin' Honey, The Red Wing Wipeout

Track by Track Review


The Soul Surfers - Cannon Ball Stomp dotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

This is a surf wannabe version of "Wabash Cannonball." Aside from vibrato guitar, it's not very surfy at all. More like Duane Eddy hoping for a glimpse of Malibu as seen through the lens of the beach party movies. It's not awful, just not very surf.

The Soul Surfers - Red Woodie In The Valley dotdotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

Perhaps the lamest studio rock version of "Red River Valley," this is only salvaged by some decent surf guitar in the middle, though it certainly is just a jam. Still, it keeps "Red Woodie In The Valley" from really sucking.

The Soul Surfers - Aura Lee The Surfin' Honey dotdotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and sultry tremolo guitar plays a lovely surfish melody, with the break taken by a soft sax. Not even slightly surf stylistically, but the guitar does make the connection at times. Showing just a bit musical history, the producers titled what is widely recognized as "Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley referencing its original title "Aura Lee," which was first published in 1861 by writer George R. Poulton.

The Soul Surfers - Stomp Of The Hours dotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

Amilcare Ponchielli's "Dance Of The Hours" is pretty fun, sports raspy sax lead, tremolo guitar, and some very good drum work. It's quite a ways from classic or cool, but it is fun.

The Soul Surfers - Something A Little Bit Different dot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

"Something A Little Bit Different" is a fake live track that's clearly not from the same session as the rest of the material on this album. Fake screams, echoed vocal lines, and sax honks dominate this call and response. Really dismissible, except as pre-frat.

The Soul Surfers - Old Surfin' Joe dot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

Frank Brower's "Old Joe" gets the rebel tremolo treatment for a decent ride. The drums roll on and on, and the sax is restrained until the break. It's very unchanging as were so many studio sessions. In a bit of a twist, it reminds me of the theme to Benny Hill.

The Soul Surfers - Hot Doggin' On The Swanee River dotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

The drums and bass are pumping, and the sax wails on this cover of Stephen Foster's "Old Folks Home" aka "(Way Down Upon The) Swanee River." As tracks from this session go, "Hot Doggin' On The Swanee River" rocks pretty well. Lots of sun and occasional surfisms. This 1851 song has seen a lot of borrowing because it is in the public domain (i.e. no royalties).

The Soul Surfers - Danny The Lonely Surfer Boy dotdotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slow tremolo guitar arrangement of "Danny The Lonely Surfer Boy." While pretty, it really doesn't do anything spectacular that captures your attention. It's just nice. The melody is originally from "Londonderry Air," an Irish anthem.

The Soul Surfers - The Red Wing Wipeout dotdotdot
Studio Surf (Instrumental)

With tremolo and hand clap nods to Duane Eddy, Kerry Mills' 1908 composition "Red Wing" is romped and rebel rock transmuted into a decent rocker. Lots of energy and big twang.