Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Riot Citydotdotdot
artworkThis is a well documented collection of Northwest instrumentals. If you're not a die hard fan of the genre, it will seem pretty repetitious, as the genre is built around jams. There are a couple of surf related tracks, including the pre-surf classic "Mr. Meadowlands" from the Chessmen. Ace continues to amaze with solid research and original sources.
Picks: Riot City, Sticky, David's Mood (Pt 2), Turn On, Backfire, Aces High, Clyde, Clyde, the Cow's Outside, Alki Point, Hitch Hiking Home, Quiet Riot, Backyard Compost, Mr. Meadowlands, Sampan, Somethin' Or Other, Wop Stick, I've Got A Woman, Work Song, Fidget, Purple Peanuts, Excelsior, Straight Scepter, Chitlins Etc., Banzai Pipeline, Torquila, The Wheely, Drivin' Home, Soul Searchin', Feel Alright, Chinese Checkers, Black Cat, Whitcomb Street

Track by Track Review


Riot City dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Crude and screaming frat rock... riffs and screams and simple progressions, and one hell of a lot of youthful energy. The guitar break is pretty manic.

Sticky dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This Previously unreleased lowbrow frat rocker is marginally recorded, but loaded with par-tee drive and abandon.

David's Mood (Pt 2) dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This was a staple of the Northwest scene. Organist Dave Lewis drove the Hammond like no one else at the time, and his infectious ditty found it's way into many of his peers' sets. Pumped and fun.

Turn On dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

A simple guitar hook and organ, with a sax lead. Fun and catchy.

Backfire dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This riffy R&B/jazz rocker is bouncy and fun. It's the kinda tune that would be used as a bumper - a bridge into or out of a break, or as a warm up. Lost of cool style.

Aces High dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This has some of the elements of sound so common among the Pachuko Soul bands of east LA at about the same time, except in the organ break, which owed it's life to Jimmy Smith.

Clyde, Clyde, the Cow's Outside dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This is kind of a Northwest subdued "Whittier Blvd." Similar structure, but less energy and punch. The Latin percussion is pretty cool.

Alki Point dotdotdotdot
Piano / Guitar Rock (Instrumental)

This riff rockin' piano lead number crawls the floor looking for a melody, then along comes the guitar to take the lead with a grodie low register riff... fun and gutty.

Hitch Hiking Home dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Basic progression rock based on Barrett Strong's "Money."

Quiet Riot dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Screams from the frat party and a soulful groove carried on an organ that has a similar sound to the Wailers' "Mashi," but significantly less intense.

Backyard Compost dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

"Backyard Compost" is a soul R&B groove instro not untypical of the day. Nothing remarkable.

Mr. Meadowlands dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is likely the most common rock cover of this classic European melody. The lead is almost surfy, and the beat very cool. Excellent guitar playing and an infectious rhythm. This is one of those little singles that's a pleasure to listen to over and over. Great drums and an excellent performance.

Sampan dotdotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This subdued semi oriental instro played on piano trading spaces with sax over bass and drums. Quite tasty.

Somethin' Or Other dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

A goes nowhere instro backs narrated silliness. Way too much jam and not enough song, though the guitar eventually does play a few cool licks between verses.

Wop Stick dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Wop Stick" sports surf reverb, but not a lick of surf style. Jam based and very fun, but not melodic or essential. The guitar is double picked at times, but the long string of one note picking and slowly rising notes is not enough to make it memorable, though it is quite different. This stereo master is previously unreleased.

I've Got A Woman dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Rockin' jammin' organ fluff. Sorry, but noodling up and down the keyboard does not a song make.

Work Song dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Nat Adderly's often covered jazz instro "Work Song" is played in a softened variation to the Wailers' organ sound. It's interesting for a few spins.

Fidget dotdotdot
Northwest Jazz (Instrumental)

Horns and great drums... brassy and brash, like a minor West Coast Jazz attempt.

Purple Peanuts dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Great electric piano and a grodie riff... on the jammy side, but pretty infectious.

Excelsior dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Chumpy and choppy, with a chant over the top. Aside from its gimmick value, this is merely a jam.

Straight Scepter dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Inspired by the Kingsmen's Bent Sceptor, or the other way 'round, this has the same kinda structure, but lacks the catchy riff and energy.

Chitlins Etc. dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Also called "Chitlins Con Carne" when the Frantics cut it, this is faster and more frantic. Horns honk and sway like an east LA obscuro.

Banzai Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Northwest Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's most unusual surf tune is recorded in an eerily foretelling of the arrangement that the Thrusters would use in the mid eighties. Very cool! Previously unreleased.

Torquila dotdotdotdot
East LA Rock (Instrumental)

As you might guess from the title, "Torquila" is a blend of "Tequila" and "Torquay" with horns doing a nearly mariachi thing. Pretty cool track!

The Wheely dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This riffy number is more a jam than a song, though it does sport quite a bit of raw sax drive.

Drivin' Home dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Heavily influenced by Booker T. and the MG's, this is just OK, mostly because it lacks focus or originality.

Soul Searchin' dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This "Hully Gully" instro is slow and soulful in a cool frat party way.

Feel Alright dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Based on Joey Dee's "Mashed Potatoes," this does really go anywhere.

Chinese Checkers dotdotdot
Northwest Frat Rock (Instrumental)

One of Booker T. and the MG's cooler groovier outings is grodied up a bit and made more primal. Fluid and sultry with a beer edge. Near mariachi horns in the break and a sorta Jimmy Smith organ sound. Previously unreleased.

Black Cat dotdotdot
Piano Cool Cat (Instrumental)

A groovy mid tempo piano number with a catchy riff and saucy sax break, like a spin-off of a Wailers' instro. Very groovy, with tasty dry guitar licks. I like it.

Whitcomb Street dotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This is a lesser instro from the boys that turned Louie Louie into an instro... just a riff rockin' jam.