Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Sharper Image: Surf Guitardotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a nice collection of the state of surf music a number of years ago as seen through the eyes of lounge. The Blue Hawaiians are always cool!
Picks: The Blue Hawaiians - Searchin' For Da Cat, Banzai Pipeline, Martini Five-0, Last Days Of Summer, Quiet Surf, The Boss Martians - Brasil '69, Dick Dale - Esperanza, The New Victor, Evan Foster - Embrujada, Jetpack - The Fury, Bus Stop, Motel Nowhere

Track by Track Review

The Blue Hawaiians - Searchin' For Da Cat dotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly more exotic, a just a breezy, this is a picturesque track. A cool drive around Big Island on a sultry day. Very pretty melody.

The Blue Hawaiians - Banzai Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

Henry "Hodad" Mancini wrote this back in the crusty daze of the early sixties. The Astronauts brought it to our attention. The Blue Hawaiians have reinterpreted it for the tiki bar nineties. Spirited and infectious, with a fresh arrangement and new understanding, more fluid and less halting than it was intended, which yields a smoother more friendly track.

The Blue Hawaiians - Martini Five-0 dotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

Not since the mermen slowed this down to this pace has it been so well played out. Smooth, Polynesian tiki bar fluid, and the distant lap steel adds a whole dimension of island mystery, while the organ brings home the martini. Fine cover.

The Blue Hawaiians - Last Days Of Summer dotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

Slippery airy and floatingly romantic, this track features a distant breezy lap steel under a gently played lead. This song has an instantly familiar feel, not that it's derivative, but rather that it is perfectly crafted in the style you'd expect from the composers of the original exotic era. The island imagery is 20-20. Quite a nice track.

The Blue Hawaiians - Quiet Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Tiki Bar Surf (Instrumental)

This is among my very favorite vintage surf compositions, as you may have guessed listening to my show. Its original title was Samoa, and it's been done under several artist names in various arrangement by its writer Richie Podolor. In the modern era, it has been reinterpreted by the Mermen, the Cruncher, 3 Balls of Fire, the Langhorns, and now by the Blue Hawaiians. This is afresh tiki bar sultry approach that is most endearing. Smooth, fluid, and lurid, this gets under your skin without a fuss and stays there. Great cover!

The Boss Martians - Brasil '69 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Boss Martians do a fine job with this track. The melody and bouncy rhythm are infectious, and the sound pretty solid. Delicate lead guitar work and excellent reverb abound. Way fun.

Dick Dale - Esperanza dotdotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick Dale has been wowing the new Surf fans with his legend and guitar showmanship. "Esperanza" is one of his few new tunes, and it's a really cool Latin thing with a nice rambling listenability. There's a ton written about Dick, so I'll leave it there, except to say that this is a great track.

Dick Dale - The New Victor dotdotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick's third recording of this extremely simple Middle Eastern rager. It's a great song. This version is more powerful than but not as intense or interesting as his original Capital session.

Evan Foster - Embrujada dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti (Instrumental)

"Embrujada" has a spaghetti western feel to it. Surfish rhythm Italian twang, adventure, and warmth. It's melodic and accented with the shimmer of vibrato. You might imagine the Hellbenders with more sustain and less reverb.

Jetpack - The Fury dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Open road Plymouth rock, with a fat melody line and a small combo organ supporting the guitar. "The Fury" leans on a fluid film score feel, with a smoothness and somewhat lackluster sound.

Jetpack - Bus Stop dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A delicate floating guitar opens this rendition of the Hollies' "Bus Stop." It's about time someone put the early Hollies melodic pop to the instro test besides the Insect Surfers. Smooth and pleasing, but not commanding.

Jetpack - Motel Nowhere dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

With a melancholy floating shimmer, this picturesque piece portrays a Red Rock West sorta character, down to his last fiver. With only up to go from here, and no breaks in sight, there remains unfounded optimism. Towards the end, "Motel Nowhere" climbs out of its cul-de-sac with dramatic flair as a new day dawns across the open plain. Very nice!