Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Guitar Ramblers - Happy Youthful New Sounds Of The Guitar Ramblersdot
artworkProducer Jack Marshall put together this studio session group in 1963. The idea is a thick layered melange of guitars backed by bass, drums, and Hammond organ. the titles are all "hits of the day" interpreted for this format. The version of "Surf Beat" is "...our idea of a surfing band..." and, well, less than surf shall we say.
Picks: Malibu Caravan, El Torito, Alley Cat, After You've Gone, Wildwood Flower, Midnight In Madrid, Surf Beat, Walk Right In, Bugle Call Rag, Pick Now, Pay Later, Mother, Please! Let Me Do It Myself!, It's A Man's World

Track by Track Review

Malibu Caravan
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Cheesy organ rhythm and pure studio project sound... The guitar plays a nice enough melody, but it sure demands a much hotter more rockin' arrangement than this mall combo sound.

El Torito dot
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

"El Torito" is not about the restaurant chain, though it's just cheesy enough with its whistling warbling organ lead and Pastel Six wanna be flair.

Alley Cat
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Steve Allen a.k.a. Bent Fabric hit with "Alley Cat," a silly playful tune with a lot more grin than sense. This arrangement has none of the charm of the original, and all the pizzazz of a Wurlitzer demonstration at the mall.

After You've Gone
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Another cheap and thin arrangement. If this is all there is "After You've Gone," theme there's no reason to live. Yuk.

Wildwood Flower dotdot
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Chet Atkins' "Wildwood Flower" comes in many colors. This is a very competent acoustic treatment. While it's very nice, and amidst this set, a standout, it is little more than nice, and that's until the cheap organ verse comes along.

Midnight In Madrid dotdotdot
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Mediterranean picking and themes, sub flamenco arranging, and grode ultra low guitar lead... The double picking does keep it interesting. Strongly based on "Malaguena," "Midnight In Madrid" passes into listenable territory, and stays there through the entire track. Quite fun.

Surf Beat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of the more bizarre treatments of Dick Dale's classic "Surf Beat." Not a speck of double picking, except the bridge, which sounds like Billy Strange's playing. It works, even has a strange magnetic quality about it.

Walk Right In dotdot
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Back to yucky family gathering arrangements we go with this no stops pulled delivery of the Rooftop Singers' "Walk Right In." Not bad, just completely dismissible.

Bugle Call Rag dot
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

This forties standard has lost all the flair of the big band era, and replaced it with the cool whip blandness.

Pick Now, Pay Later
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Soft, restrained to a fault, and completely unintrusive. Cutesy the way mom would like it... you know, like when uncle Ned comes calling and you have to put the plastic covers on the furniture.

Mother, Please! Let Me Do It Myself! dotdotdot
Mall Surf (Instrumental)

Fine drums and an infectious rhythm track support this tune. It's an awful lot like a Paul Johnson kinda thing, with perhaps less flair. Intricate lead-rhythm interplay and a bouncy rolling melody line.

It's A Man's World
Mall MOR (Instrumental)

Ultra cheese for the antiquarian's home... no need to wake the inmates for the show, they won't miss it.