Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Duane Eddy - Water Skiingdotdotdot
artworkOf the RCA reissues, this is easily the best. Not great, but very serviceable. Some tasty tracks and some vestige of his rock 'n' roll spunk.
Picks: Water Skiing, Slalom, Rooster Tail, The Backward Swan, Whip Off, Jetterboard, Deep-Water Start, The Wake Ballet, Toe-Hold Side Slide, Banana Peels, In Gear, Jumping The Wake

Track by Track Review

Water Skiing dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Stylistically like post "Forty Miles Of Bad Road" tamed down low-E throbbing twang with motor sounds overdubbed. The damped guitar chops are kinda cool.

Slalom dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

More interesting than many of the others here, this at least approaches the flair of his early work, though it certainly is more polished and countrified and less urgent. Motor sports sounds and water splashes (reverb kicks slowed down?) don't make the grade, but it is fun.

Rooster Tail dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

This sports a melody like "I Wonder Who?" It is a tame commercial rock number, with studio noodling and twang.

The Backward Swan dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

This is an Al Casey tune, with his typical melody structure, and a cleaner sound. I have to wonder if Al is playing instead of Duane, as he did on "Ramrod." Slow-mid tempo, twangy low-E, and somewhat pompous, like a minor spaghetti western theme. Cool.

Whip Off dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Playful countrified riff-rockin' twang. A nice track, though pretty sterile.

Jetterboard dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

This collaboration between Duane Eddy and Al Casey merges the two writers ideas in a playful tune that begs images of sitting on stools in the spotlight on the Merv Griffith show. Light weight guitar fluff, pickin' for the sake of pickin' and jammin', without the magic of a Roy Clark pick-fest. The break guitar line from Al is very much like the kind of line you'd have heard a few years later at the Fillmore, but with effects and a lot of volume.

Deep-Water Start dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Constant motor sounds over country twang may yield images of cowboys in boats, but certainly not the surf. This is a fun and rapid fire country ditty. major twang, and playful rhythms.

The Wake Ballet dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Kettle drums a la the Piltdown Men and Jackie DeShannon are further associated with familiar hits by the melodic similarities to "When You Walk In the Room" and "Needles And Pins," and the DeShannon structure. Fun, but a bit too seriously pompous.

Toe-Hold Side Slide dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Al Casey and Duane Eddy team up here on the writing, and the playing of course. The tune is a basic playful thing with a very clean sound. The sax lines sound like Steve Douglas, who did most of the sax work on Duane's hits. Slight, but fun.

Banana Peels dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Another Al Casey-Duane Eddy collaboration. This uses a choked line to add interest, like a sliders dream. Fun, but gimmicky. Fine sax work.

In Gear dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Mid Tempo, with motor sounds and a lot of vibrato shimmer. Duane lays off of the low-E thing for a thinner sound. This has a curiously magnetic sound, slightly ominous, but mostly natural and marching, with mean motor sounds.

Jumping The Wake dotdotdot
Twang (Instrumental)

Al Casey and Kenny Gist wrote this. It's pure Casey melody lines and fine studio construction. Pompous but not phony, with a cool shimmer and subdued sax meanness, plus whammy sting.