Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Seasonal Favorites Volume 2dotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a great Christmas CD! 14 instros, 13 of which are wonderful, plus six vocals. Lots for a reverb fan to drool over.
Picks: The Pete Curry Orchestra - Drums For Christmas, Frankie And The Pool Boys - Happy X-Mas (War Is Over), Auld Lang Syne, Glasgow Tiki Shakers - Deck The Halls, Joe's Ocean - Deck The Halls, The Neptunes - Sleigh Ride In Fresno, Pollo Del Mar - Carol Of The Bells, The Pyronauts - O Come All Ye Faithful, The Incredible Mr. Smith - Leise Rieselt Der Schnee, Surfin' Santa With Meshugga Beach Party - Jingle Bell Rock, Sleigh Ride, The Surfites - Saint Nick's AA Fueler, Urban Surf Kings - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, The Dusty Watson Complex - Little Drummer Boy

Track by Track Review


The Pete Curry Orchestra - Drums For Christmas dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

This is super fun. "Drums For Christmas" is in the tradition of Sandy Nelson singles, with great drums a la Cozy Cole, a snazzy melody, a wonderful bass line, and lots of sparkling twang. It's both right in the groove and highly original. Excellent!

Frankie And The Pool Boys - Happy X-Mas (War Is Over) dotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

Deep guitar, light chorded rhythm, delicate dribbling accompaniment, lightly swirling keys, and a very very slow pace. "Happy X-Mas" is melodramatic and sultry, with cool drums and many nice guitar lines.

Frankie And The Pool Boys - Auld Lang Syne dotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

The conversations circle as the hour nears. Frankie And The Pool Boys play a sultry slow rendition of this New Years traditions. A verse or so in, the reverb drips and the pace doubles, creating a splendid surfin' holiday cheer. Hand claps complete the picture before the countdown ensues, culminating in a reverb crash.

Glasgow Tiki Shakers - Deck The Halls dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

While this is a fairly straight surf treatment, it has excellent dripping springs reverb and a grin. I started out thinking it was just very good, but found I really liked it and came back multiple times. "Deck The Halls" is very traditionally done, but is also very original. Great job folks!

Joe's Ocean - Deck The Halls dotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

This is pretty strange. Plucked like violins, honked like an orchestra on acid, and rambling drums. It's both fascinating in its uniqueness and odd in its sample-sequenced wonder. In the end, it's all too gimmicky for me.

The Neptunes - Sleigh Ride In Fresno dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

Leroy Anderson's classic tale of Christmas is all surfed out in the grand tradition of The Neptunes. Saucy sax breaks out the holiday punch too. Great drums, superb guitar, and a really fun and original arrangement. Big grins all around!

Pollo Del Mar - Carol Of The Bells dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

Slowly rising from the softest of places, haunted and eerie, this very fine version of this classic is utterly gorgeous. Playing in precise meter, Pollo Del Mar deliver an emotional and fluid performance. Their guitar tones add immeasurably to this dramatic melody. By the time they get to the hard rockin' end, you're ready stoked for the red-suited fat man.

The Pyronauts - O Come All Ye Faithful dotdotdotdotdot
Christmas Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pure trad arrangement of this venerable Christmas classic. Beautifully played, with delicate damped verses and double picked power verses. The variations keep it fresh, and the surf sound brightens the arrangement.

The Incredible Mr. Smith - Leise Rieselt Der Schnee dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

Great surf guitarisms reminiscent of Dave Wronski and in the tradition of a long line of superb tracks from Martin Smith. Great drums from Dusty Watson round out a totally rockin' surf Christmas track. Very cool indeed!

Surfin' Santa With Meshugga Beach Party - Jingle Bell Rock dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

Joe Beal and Jim Boothe wrote this masterpiece ages ago, and country singer Bobby Helms' struck gold with it in 1957. So, here it is 2007, and Meshugga Beach Party reengineer the whole concept, generating an entirely new experience. Great stuff!

Surfin' Santa With Meshugga Beach Party - Sleigh Ride dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

With the "Walk Don't Run" rhythm and great surf twang lead, Meshugga Beach Party wonderfully drip reverb all over that sleigh. The muted lines are utterly cool! The Ventures are nodded to, but there's so much delightful reverb and precision picking that it just has to be Meshugga Beach Party! Wonderful!

The Surfites - Saint Nick's AA Fueler dotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

The amazing Surfites have generated one fine Christmas surf classic in the general territory of the Super Stocks with edge. Pumpin' energy, the sound of a 45 with the highs rolled off in mono, and real charm.

Urban Surf Kings - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well now, this is a refreshingly traditional surf arrangement of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." The opening drum beat is liberated from "Hawaii Five-0," the bass and rhythm guitar lines come from "Walk Don't Run '64," and combination is brilliant under this class Christmas melody. The reverb is heavy and the chunk quite sufficient, thank you! Strong and well adapted to the surf idiom, this version sips with glissandos, splashes with damped reverbed rhythm, and rides atop a classic surf beat. Simply wonderful!

The Dusty Watson Complex - Little Drummer Boy dotdotdotdotdot
Xmas Surf (Instrumental)

Whoa! Rippin' guitar, Dusty Watson's raging drums, a superb arrangement, active panning, and - well - reverb for Christmas. "Little Drummer Boy" is simply great! I need another star!