Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Joao Erbetta - Guitar Bizarre 1dotdotdotdot
artworkJoao Erbetta is an amazing guitarist with a wide range of influences and styles. Guitar Bizarre 1 is certainly not surf as you expect it, but the surf is evident in varying amounts is all of the tracks, and there is a lot of very good musicianship and arranging. Be willing to adventure into unfamiliar territory. You'll be pleased. I like this 2005 release a lot.
Picks: Chet and Paul, Tom's TV, Elliot, Dancing Girl, Ballad For A Wolf, Rambla Sur, Our Way, Closer, The Girl From South, Uno

Track by Track Review


Chet and Paul dotdotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

The title should tell that "Chet and Paul" is inspired to Chet Atkins and Les Paul, but with the great rockabilly drums and the kind of slinky cool that Buzzy Frets and his Surfabilly Orchestra used to attain. This is just plain fun with a rock attitude.

Tom's TV dotdotdot
Surf Klezmer (Instrumental)

A bit moody and goofy via the almost polka meets baklava structure, "Tom's TV" sports really cool gently dueling guitars and great drums and bass. It doesn't grab you immediately, but by the time the dribbled break comes along, you're hooked. Very nice!

Elliot dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Jazzy guitars play against rock drums. "Elliot" has an easy to like melody, kind of like a minor nod to "Brazil." Fun, fluid, and sporting great drums.

Malibu Dream dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is an easy going track with a cool rhythm section and the jazz guitar chords of the early fifties electric guys like Johnny Smith. There are also some wah-wah cycling guitar lines. Quite fun.

Dancing Girl dotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

"Dancing Girl" has great rockabilly drums and groovy bass, and really fun guitars. The melody line is country jazz surf, and against those great drums, it just shines.

Ballad For A Wolf dotdotdotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

My first reference point for "Ballad For A Wolf" was "Section 43." It almost has that slightly institutional psychosis that Country Joe and the Fish could develop in their early days. It's a longish epic of wondrous psychedelic excursions in aquatic neighborhoods.

Amazing Evening dotdotdot
Easy Surf (Instrumental)

"Amazing Evening" is a delicate flowing piece that's more about mood and ambiance than melody. Tremolo cycled guitar notes gently drip while the bass moves in lovely silken patterns.

Rambla Sur dotdotdot
Tiki Surf (Instrumental)

"Rambla Sur" is a lovely tiki vacation sunset romancer with charm and tremolo mood. Its melody is pleasant, and there are enough changes to keep it attractive, including plenty of guitar tone shifts. The multiple guitars play off each other in a well arranged manner.

The Tre Americas dotdotdot
Blue Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

"The Tre Americas" is a bluesy number with plenty of classic modern blues-isms, along with jazz guitar fluidity. The combination is interesting.

Our Way dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Our Way" is a bit funky in the pre-funk way that term used to be applied. The riffology and bass mood are very cool, and the song structure and tonality remind me some of Redbone's early work, but perhaps filtered through Osibissa and psychedelia. The cow bell is cool, and despite the relentless nature of the track, I found this to be compelling and very cool on a coastal drive.

Closer dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

The contradictions of big tremolo chords, dark muted surf energy, chop chords, and surf jazz lead tone make for a very unusual and enjoyable track. While it's certainly not surf in the classic sense, there's no mistaking the influence. Dangerous waters with sharks circling as the crystal sun sparkles off the crest. Very cool!

Can't We Understand Each Other? dotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Can't We Understand Each Other?" has a fifties melody sensibility, modern muted chord edge, and a number of other elements that make it both romantic and edgy.

The Girl From South dotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

This is a gently track with a lovely two-guitar liquid melody. Lush, pretty, and a bit sad.

Uno dotdotdotdot
Surf Chicken Rock (Instrumental)

Rooted in chicken rock, and moody cool at times, "Uno" is original and unusual. Some jazz, some surf, some country. This took its time to grow on me.