Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Leanne Douglas - Blue Heelerdotdotdotdot
artworkThe music on this CD can best be described as country surf, with it's blend of lap steel, country styles, surf imagery, and Shadows overtones. Leanne Douglas is quite a guitarist, with a liquid style that's very emotional. While this is not mainstream surf by any stretch of the imagination, it is none the less a fine instro album of fresh and haunting music.
Picks: Dreamtime, Walkabout, Southerly Breeze, Blue Heeler, Teralba, Avondale, Venus and Me, The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt, Dance On, Apache, Undertow, Billy On The Boil, Boolaroo

Track by Track Review

Dreamtime dotdotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

Softly rising from the cricket's song, above the drone of a didgeridoo or some similar drone, "Dreamtime" is a moving and rich scenic exploration of the outback from the perspective of the saddle and the lap steel's mournful cry. The lead guitar is pristine and beautiful. At times, the drums are tribal, and the music dramatic, especially as the chorus chants.

Walkabout dotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

Much like a cross between the Nashville sound and the Memphis soul machine's riff rockin' instros, "Walkabout" has a liquefied guitar line that carries the song through. The keys keep the Memphis link in tact.

Southerly Breeze dotdotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

Verging on Jamaican, "Southerly Breeze" is a very cool song with the same kind of attraction as the Lively Ones' "Southern Surf," but with a faster tempo, which makes it warmer and more playful. A great track!

Blue Heeler dotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

With all the gingham you can muster, "Blue Heeler" beautifully lays out a checkered tablecloth August afternoon where not a worry is allowed. Quite pretty. Excellent lap steel.

Teralba dotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

Rich and warm, "Teralba" is a flowing piece with no shortage of optimism. Island breezes and cactus sounds merge in a very pretty piece. The lap steel sways in the same way the lush melodies of the Blue Hawaiians used to.

Avondale dotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

"Avondale" floats on a summer's breeze. A very pretty and floating song with the warmth of the sun pouring out of it.

Venus and Me dotdotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

"Venus and Me" is a catchy song with a very warm and inviting sound. The main riff moves right in, and the openness and optimism is unmistakable. An excellent track with some very tasteful shallow whammy.

The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really nice version of the Shadows' "The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt," with a stereo guitar and a bit of an edge, yet respectfully retaining the suave twang of Hank Marvin's intent. The lead guitar is very good!

Dance On dotdotdotdot
Surf (Vocal)

A bit of country twang adds spurs and twirl this classic Shadows song. More surfy than the Challengers version, with very richly played guitar. The countrification of "Dance On" is an interesting twist on it.

Apache dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Somewhere between the Shadows, the surf, and the desert lies this variation on one of the most covered instros out there. It's a fresh take, and very enjoyable, with a kind of respectful restraint, yet a little edge.

Undertow dotdotdot
Beach Party (Instrumental)

"Undertow" is kind of a combo beach epic. It's not surf, but has the flavor of the beach. The lead guitar does have a surf edge and there's that twang. Cool song!

Billy On The Boil dotdotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

A couple of crunchy glissandoes add a genuine surf edge to "Billy On The Boil," which is a tuff blend of country and surf. A fun and well developed song with a catchy sound.

Boolaroo dotdotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

I'm not sure what a "Boolaroo" is, but it must be a happy and eclectic little bugger. The song uses some very good production ideas, and is a solid instro musically, though perhaps is the most jammy thing on the disc.