Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Surf Battledotdotdotdot
artworkOn March 22nd and 23rd, 1963, an 18 band battle of the bands was held the the Deauville Club in Santa Monica. Friday night, Al Garcia's great Pachuko soul band the Rhythm Kings (Delano) won, and Saturday night it was surf legends Dave Myers and the Surftones (Laguna Beach). The competition included the Sentinals, the Surfaris, and the Rhythm Rockers.

Dave Myers and the Surftones are listed as performing "Church Key," but it's not on the album.
Picks: Last Night, Pachuko Soul, Harlem Nocturne, Watermelon Man, The Soul, Hard Times, Swingin' Piper Soul, Twist and Shout, New Orleans, Wildwood Flower, Pipeline

Track by Track Review


Last Night dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This is a straight version of the Mar-Keys' "Last Night," with a surf edge and the crowd diggin' it all the way through.

Pachuko Soul dotdotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

The Rhythm Kings released this under the name the Soul Kings. "Pachuko Soul" was a cross between the East LA Sound, West Coast Jazz, Surf, Latin, and Mariachi. This song gave the genre its name. It's like a partied inversion of a "Watermelon Man" party theme. Great frat house anthem.

Harlem Nocturne dotdotdotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

This is quite a cool version of Earl Hagen's great "Harlem Nocturne," with swirly vibrato-surf guitar, tuff sax, and great drums. Tribal, sensual, smoky, and downright sexy. A great track!

Watermelon Man dotdotdotdot
Surf Latin East LA Mariachi (Instrumental)

Live at the Surf Battle, this shows the versatility and playing skills of the Rhythm Kings when they focus on West Coast Jazz. It's a fine cover with reverence for the hit.

The Soul dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Soul" is the namesake song of the dance that goes with the surf 'n' soul / Pachuko Soul genre. This is much less melodic than most of the Rhythm Kings' originals, but still garners a grin or two.

Hard Times dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

The blues standard "Hard Times" is soulfully saxed up but the Rhythm Kings as if it was their own. Very gutsy and cool.

Swingin' Piper Soul dotdotdotdot
Soul Jazz (Instrumental)

"Swingin' Piper Soul" is a catchy poppy jazzy number that the Rhythm Kings issued on the Original Surfin' Hits album. Live, it's much less fluffy, with a very cool flute lead and saucy sound.

Twist and Shout dotdotdot
R&B (Vocal)

The Rhythm Kings pay homage to the Isley Brothers with falsetto and all. Entirely cool and rockin'! It's one of just a couple of vocals on this album.

New Orleans dotdotdot
Rock (Vocal)

The other vocal here, Dave Myers and the Surftones show just what a great rockin' band they were with this rousing crowd pleaser. Great drums and surf guitar, along with Myers' snarly country vocals.

Wildwood Flower dotdotdotdotdot
Square Dance Surf (Instrumental)

This is one mighty cool party rockin' version of "Wildwood Flower," complete with a square dance call from Myers. Great fun, with cool surf guitar and pumpin' drums and bass.

Pipeline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the more hard edged versions of "Pipeline" from the sixties. Very bass heavy, it sports bass glissandoes and great vibrato lead guitar. Too cool!