Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Rock 'n Roll Instrumentals Vol. 2dotdotdot
artworkThis is volume two of the series. Like volume one, it collects instros from the late fifties and early sixties, with a couple of surf singles and some pre-surf items included. From vinyl sources.
Picks: Oh Du Lieber Augustin, Stampede, Machine Gun, Four In The Floor, See-Saw, Church Key, Chartreuse Caboose, Chop Suey Rock, Rock A'Long, Du Du Liegst Mir Im Herzen, Mr. Moto, All American Surfer, Billy's Blues, Nameless, Very Muddy Waters, Rompin', Big Guitar, Bird Song Boogie

Track by Track Review


Oh Du Lieber Augustin dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

The German standard rockin' with an organ lead.

Stampede dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is not the Scarlets' tune. It's a 1963 monster of a rant, with thundering tom toms and nasty sax, and throbbing vibrato guitar. The Indian theme is tribal and big. The sound is murky at best, but there's a biggun' lurking in the murk.

Machine Gun dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This 1959 record has been covered many times in the rockabilly circles, and has also found its way into "surf" collections. Highly rhythmic and infectious, "Machine Gun" is just plain cool. Great primitive fifties guitar and 15 IPS slap back.

Four In The Floor dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This guitar instro is a warbly number using a riff and a rhythm. It's got an adventurous feel and rockin' drums, but is like a minor Travis Wammack number without the fuzz.

See-Saw dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This has uses the main melody riff from "Hippy Hippy Shake," but I suspect there's no connection on either end. The plucking is cool against the saxes, and the R&B nature of the structure is appealing.

Church Key dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is like a lo-fi track of the Centurions doing the Revels' "Church Key." It's nasty and primitive, over reverbed and very low-E.

Chartreuse Caboose dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

The train speeds up through the drums increasing cadence in the beginning. Nearly in the surf groove, "Chartreuse Caboose" is pretty cool, with tinkling piano, double note guitar, and a saucy sax. A little riffy, but with great drum work.

Chop Suey Rock dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A sorta oriental riff and a basic fifties sound, with the sax in the lead and the piano pumping.

Rock A'Long dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Essentially Johnny and the Hurricanes wannabes, or perhaps they are in masque. It lacks the expected chemistry, but sure sounds like Dave Yorko's guitar. It was also on Warwick, one of their labels.

Du Du Liegst Mir Im Herzen dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

On the poppy side, this Johnny and the Hurricanes styled organ driven number is both gutty and fluffy. Nice guitar work, however jam like, accents and heightens an otherwise tame track.

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is it, their claim to fame, their most familiar song, and the first surf release from May 1961 on Arvee Records. "Mr. Moto" is just about the most influential surf instro ever. "Mr. Moto" came to be a surf classic, and was recorded and released months before Dick Dale's "Let's Go Trippin'," before he opened the Rendezvous Ballroom, and before it was called surf. If you must draw a line in the sand, it must be drawn here. "Mr. Moto" was recorded at Liberty.

Covered by countless others, this song features 15 year olds Paul Johnson and Eddie Bertrand trading guitar parts in their trademark style on a prototypical PJ writing masterpiece. Jim Roberts' piano work is stunningly perfect for this song. A historical absolutely must have!

All American Surfer dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

The Busters pumped out many a sax driven monster in those heady pre-surf days. This rock solid rant powers and drives hard, with great drum work and tons of energy.

Billy's Blues dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Almost like a backtrack to Mickey and Sylvia's "Love Is Strange," this rockin' ramrod of 1960 coolness sports cool drums and a chorus.

Nameless dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Rockin' R's cut many an instro, most of which were gutty and progression based, with little melodic content. This is among the chunkier of their tracks, with spunky jagged rhythm and a soft sax. Primitive, but enjoyable.

Very Muddy Waters dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fifties styled R&B sax riff rock, with tinkling piano and a tame performance. Nothing special, or even memorable, like many a studio jam session.

Rompin' dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

The guitar tone is in the pre-surf groove, hinting of reverb to come. The backtrack is basic one chord rockin' jive. No melody, just a riff and some chunk, and a chorus so you don't get bored. The sax in the break is both nasty and restrained.

Big Guitar dot
Guitar Boogie (Instrumental)

"Big Guitar" is mostly an unremarkable guitar boogie with a blue sax. Dismissible.

Bird Song Boogie dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Jammin' guitar riff rock with a sparsely pumped organ and raspy sax. Lots of spunk, but little else.