Phil Dirt - Reverb Central
PO Box 7240, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-7240 USA

release artwork

Merrell Fankhauser - Rockin' And Surfin' Vol 2 dotdotdotdotdot

Perhaps the nicest set of music from Merrell Fankhauser since his days with the Impacts, this CD has returned to the simple and very pleasurable writing style that came from those early days. The major difference is that these tracks are much more relaxed. This is a consistently splendid release, full of wonderful tracks delivered in complimentary arrangements.

Picks: Until The Ice Melts, Back In The 60's, Midnight Surfer, Long Boards And Cool Cars, Waimea Run, Angel Baby, Tropical Heat, Tiki Lounge, Hene Hene Ko Aka, Nawiliwili With You, Corazon Quebrado, A Long Time Ago, Wipe Out

Until The Ice Melts () starstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
This is a smooth, almost soothing number with a pleasant melody riff and sound. "Until The Ice Melts" is a bit repetitious, but the lovely chords in the bridges and the solid drums make more than make up for that. A big guitar sound and slight eeriness complete the picture.

Back In The 60's () starstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
"Back In The 60's" is an easy going number with a good old days feel. Scenic in a dreamscape kind of way, it flows with a longing for simpler times that never were. It's a very easy song to enjoy.

Midnight Surfer () starstarstarstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
With the sort of simplicity of melody and rhythm that made "Sea Horse" so engaging, this moves easily through your imagination. "Midnight Surfer" is light, slightly sad, yet optimistic in an after the rain kind of way. I found it necessary to listen to it many times to write this simple review because I kept stopping the writing just to enjoy it. You will too.

Long Boards And Cool Cars () starstarstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
"Long Boards And Cool Cars" is a fluid and lovely track with an open airiness. Images of sunset and the smell of soft breezes permeate the melody and easy rhythm. This is a very nice track with a very easy to like sound.

Waimea Run () starstarstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
"Waimea Run" is a bit haunting, with an expansive imagery and open nature. The melody is superb, perhaps slightly reminiscent of the Sandals early work, but also clearly from the pen of Merrell Fankhauser. Quite nice.

Angel Baby () starstarstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
Rosie and the Originals' splendid "Angel Baby" is a natural source for a surf instro, so one must wonder why it's been overlooked all these years. Rosalie Hamlin's lovely song gets a sensual and pleasing rebirth from Merrell Fankhauser. Just very nice!

Tropical Heat () starstarstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
Just a touch on the sad side, "Tropical Heat" seems rather cool instead of hot. The melody is really strong, and the arrangement very effective. This is one fine track.

Tiki Lounge () starstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
Tropical visions come from the steel drum sounds. "Tiki Lounge" is a very light track with a friendly melody and arrangement. Very nice.

Hene Hene Ko Aka () starstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
With a sense of Hawaiian vacation, "Hene Hene Ko Aka" lightly crosses the sense with a gentle rhythm track and carefree guitar melody. This very nice track is easy on the ears.

Nawiliwili With You () starstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
Talk about light hearted, "Nawiliwili With You" moves in easy territory with a pleasurable sound. The slide guitar (or lap steel) makes it quite appealing.

Corazon Quebrado () starstarstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
"Corazon Quebrado" is the kind of song that connects almost instantly, making you feel welcome, as if you are in familiar territory. Its highly original melody is engaging in a gentle fashion. This is excellent.

A Long Time Ago () starstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
Moving slowly, "A Long Time Ago" has a familiar air about it. It's slightly sad, as if regretting a turn taken years back. Pretty and mournful.

Wipe Out starstarstar
Surf Instrumental (Stereo)
This live recording of "Wipe Out" merges the Impacts' song and the Surfaris' hit in a way begs a comparison. A solid performance that even features Willie Nelson!