Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Wild And Wooly - The Northwest Rock Collectiondotdotdot
artworkThis is a 2-CD set spanning ~50 years of Pacific Northwest hits of the gruff kind. A handful of early instros are here as well, including from the godfather of the R&B Hammond, Dave Lewis. It's a very nice set with good liner notes and a broad span of material.
Picks: The Counts - Turn On Song, The Dynamics - J.A.J.., The Dave Lewis Trio - David's Mood (Part 2), The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run, The Wailers - Tall Cool One

Track by Track Review


The Counts - Turn On Song dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Turn On Song" is a sax romp with a fine walking bass line and churning organ. Not complex, but more than its root simplicity implies. The horns are almost mariachi at times.

The Dynamics - J.A.J.. dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a honking fun version of "J.A.J.," another Dave Lewis riff that's been done by many bands in the Pacific Northwest. The Dynamics give it a bit of a dark edge. Jammin' guitar, grode sax, and some very nice piano.

The Frantics - Fog Cutter dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fifties duel sax sauce served up on a Chuck Rio inspired bed of Northwest groove. Bouncy and fun, but unremarkable.

The Dave Lewis Trio - David's Mood (Part 2) dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dave Lewis' classic Hammond riff is just better than any of the covers, and there are plenty. It's very simple, yet infectious and too much fun. His pumping organ is his signature, and was incorporated as an influence in many Pacific Northwest bands, including The Kingsmen.

The Ventures - Walk, Don't Run dotdotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is essential. The Ventures were one of the two bands that served as the model for early surf bands, the other being the Fireballs. This was their first single, and is an absolute standard. It was based on the early fifties Chet Atkins arrangement. This is their signature tune, a solid and enduring cover of Johnny Smith's jazz classic. Rhythmic, solid as a rock, and very warm with presurf whammy. Only the Pink Fairies' vocal version is better than this. Great classic pre surf.

"Walk, Don't Run" and "Perfidia" were recorded a year before there was such a thing as surf music. Totally vintage and majorly important to the birth of surf, this Ventures single is still their hallmark and best effort. Every collection requires this track.

The Viceroys - Granny's Pad dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Al Berry wrote slowish horn rocker. It was a single for the band, which prompted the release of this album. In the Dave Lewis mold, it is and infectious and fun track, sorta R&B with a great jazz combo piano lead. "Granny's Pad" was backed by "Blues Bouquet."

The Wailers - Tall Cool One dotdotdotdot
Pacific Northwest Bachelor Pad Club Instro (Instrumental)

The Wailers issued this and had a national hit with it in '59. It's a great honky tonkin' piano and sax squankin' R&B track. Wonderful!