Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The Return Of The Del-Fi and Donna Storydotdotdot
artworkVolume two of this vault exploration of the Del-Fi and Donna labels sports a few interesting artifacts, including The Swags' "Blowin' The Blues," which for all to hear would seem to be "Surf Beat" over a year too early.
Picks: The Grippers - Terror, The Swags - Rockin' Matilda, Blowin' The Blues

Track by Track Review

Preston Epps - Watusi Bongos dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Bongo player Preston Epps was pretty cool, but his songs were mostly him accompanying a studio band doing something rather contrived, which is just what we have here. A progression without melody.

The Grippers - Terror dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is pretty interesting in a slow whammy minor Link Wray reverb wash kinda way. Minimal, but dangerous. The gimmick of the whammy dips works really well, as do the flailing double picked reverb assaults. Structurally, "Terror" reminds me of the tongue in cheek side of The Halibuts - odd but cool.

The Hawks - Fussy dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

Basic fifties rockabilly progression. No real value or pizzaz.

The Nitehawks - Big Top dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Big Top" is a pumping R&B style rocker with big bass and horn section in charge, driven by big band drums. Hot, rockin', but not more than a jam.

The Rollercoasters - Wild Twist dotdot
Organ Riff (Instrumental)

A go-go jam, with no redeeming qualities, unless your looking for that perfect frat party record that no one will listen to while they shout to be heard in their meaningless verbal exchanges in search of the next lay.

The Romancers - Slauson Sax dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Slauson Sax" is a pretty typical Los Angeles Latino R&B jam. It's inspired performance wise, but nothing memorable at all in the song itself.

The Swags - Rockin' Matilda dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool version of "Waltzing Matilda," with some very presurf links in the sound, including chunky muted chord rhythm and reverb chords. It's from 1960, but sure fits well with early surf. very cool!

The Swags - Blowin' The Blues dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Surf Beat" serves as the basis for the backtrack, while a moody sax blows over head. It's a pretty cool track with a very surfable rhythm track and blue sax.

What's interesting is that "Blowin' The Blues" predates Dick Dale's song by more than a year, so is this yet another "borrowed" song?