Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Glaciers - From Sea To Skidotdotdot
artworkAs studio sessions go, From Sea To Ski is fairly loud and dirty. Produced by Marshall Leib, it has some interesting moments, particularly the covers of Al Casey recordings of Lee Hazelwood songs. The musicians are Ray Pohlman, Marshall Leib, Carol Kaye, Hal Blaine, David Gates, Leon Russell, Irving Ashby, Bill Pitman, and Glen Campbell.
Picks: Snow Bowl, Holiday Hill, Slalom, Blue Ridge

Track by Track Review

Snow Plow Turn dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a modest instrumental centered around organ and dry guitar. It approaches go-go, but is really just a riff and a jam. Quite unremarkable.

Snow Bowl dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's "El Aguila" gets retitled, and its arrangement is mere feet from the Al Casey version, except it's just a tad faster, significantly less grode, sports a rhythm guitar that's totally different, and has an organ break. Pretty interesting.

Aspen dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavily based on Ernest Gold's "Exodus," "Aspen" is somewhat dramatic, but it's also not as interesting as it could have been. The guitar uses some distortion, and the organ carries a verse or two.

Holiday Hill dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark, murky, double picked guitar plays a heavy melody with lots of tortured glissandos. The drums rock, the guitar plunders, and the organ whirls. At times, the guitar seems like a cross between Billy Strange's sting and Al Casey's gloom. With a more sympathetic mix, I suspect that "Holiday Hill" could really power surf!

Slalom dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy dark surf guitar plays a nice melody riff while the organ obscures its power. "Slalom" is another song that would really benefit from a different mix.

June Mountain dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Al Casey's "Surf's You Right" is softened a lot, with dryer guitar and organ, and Hal Blaine's drums. It's interesting to hear this song transformed, but this arrangement really doesn't retain interest for long.

T-Bar dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody here is playful and fun. There are some glissandos among the dry runs. Organ takes command at times, and the arrangement is all pop rock instro.

Broadway (The Main Slope) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo vibrations and reverb, dribbled double picked thrash, and big chords, along with a sweeping melody line, drive "Broadway (The Main Slope)" almost home... but not quite. The organ verse is all Leslie'd out and too churchy for the song.

Blue Ridge dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Blue Ridge" is a lightened version of Lee Hazelwood's "The Hearse." Like "El Aguila," this is a bit faster and thinner, and the rhythm guitar quite different. Still, it works quite well until the organ kicks in.

Moonlight In Vermont dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and slushy, with slide guitar carrying the melody in a distant hall. A slow dance snoozer.

Pole Jump dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hal Blaine's great drums open "Pole Jump," which is fuzzy and reverby, and verges on cool. Lots of energy and loud guitar, but not a lot of chemistry, and the organ becomes overpowering.