Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Dick Dale - The Blind Pig, April 6, 1997dotdotdotdot
artworkThis mono soundboard tape from 1997 is among the best I've heard, both from a performance perspective, and as far as sound quality goes. The rhythm section is very good, and Dick is spot on. You might find this out there on the web.
Picks: Shredded Heat, Nitrus, Trail Of Tears, Mexico, Bandito, Ghost Riders In The Sky, Caterpillar Crawl, Rumble, Surfin' Drums, Comin' Home Baby, Peter Gunn, Fever, Esperanza, Miserlou

Track by Track Review

Shredded Heat dotdot
Not (Instrumental)

Dick's "What'd I Say" riff worked into yet another song that he's been playing for a while, also known as "Desert Storm." It's repetitious.

Nitrus dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As if you couldn't tell from the name, it's a "Nitro" wannabe. Originality has left the building.

Trail Of Tears dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A long drum intro yields to a moody number that's not very Indian and not very melodic. Sets the mood and then does little with it.

Mexico dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bob Moore's original is still the best! Dick made it his own, adapting the mariachi horn lead to his guitar, and then his trumpet in the break.

Bandito dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A listenable track, but it's mostly a progression and a lot of Dick's showoff licks.

Ghost Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is actually quite inspired. Dick hasn't changed the arrangements in ages. This performance features a superb rhythm section and exceptional playing by Dick. Stan Jones' classic cowboy anthem "Ghost Riders In The Sky" is hard driving and full of his signature double picked manic slides. Dick stops the song to talk about his bridge-cable strings, closing his comments with "I don't play on no wussy strings!" This is a really fiery performance.

Caterpillar Crawl dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Strangers' "Caterpillar Crawl" is big and grode, with dark edge and grungy power.

Rumble dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray's "Rumble" is nasty and very big. The crowd loves the performance!

Surfin' Drums dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale takes this song back to what is basically the arrangement he used on the Surfers Choice LP. It's Bo Diddley' "Hush Your Mouth" is at least credited to it's originator via the crowd chants Dick directs. Under the title "Surfin' Drums," also titled "Jungle Fever," this remains one of Dick's most tribal and satisfying songs. In this arrangement, there's a very long drum solo very unlike the inspired solo from Surfers' Choice, but still pretty good.

Comin' Home Baby dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Herbie Mann's wonderful "Comin' Home Baby" comes out of a moody transition borrowed from some metal bass line. Dick's big guitar sound gives this optimistic melody a very dark feeling. Really cool.

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn" appears in sequence for little more than a verse, but it's so big that it really rocks.

Fever dotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

Peggy Lee's "Fever" is sung better than I've ever heard Dick do it before. I usually shrink from the monitors when he does this, but I actually like the performance here very much.

Esperanza dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick's very simple and sensual "Esperanza" is quite a charmer. I've heard many takes of this, and they all have their endearing quality. The guitar slithering fire here is superb! Great Spanish imagery and emotion oozing from every corner.

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Always a firebrand, Dick Dale's signature song begins in an arrangement that is basically his 45 version, but evolves into a blend of his many longer versions. Written by Nicolas Roubanis in the thirties, or at least claimed by him then, "Miserlou" has become thee surf instro. This performance is perfect, marred only by one errant guitar line that only fanatics would notice. Superb!