Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Hondells - Vol. 1 - 1964 (You're Gonna Ride With Us)dotdotdotdot
artworkAmazing slab of vintage Hondells. For me, the big deal is the the assortment of great Richie Podolor and Davie Allan instros, but their vocals also sound really good. IMHO, they were one of the few studio vocal acts that used a really first rate backing lineup and created some truly vital hits. Usher used what was essentially the Devons / Super Stocks as his house band on most recordings, and they were exceptional. An amazing release. All tracks here are from the classic Hondells period. Amazing liner notes chock full of info and period pix.
Picks: Hon-Da Beach Party, Black Boots and Bikes, Haulin' Honda, Rip's Bike, The Sidewinder, The Rebel (Without A Cause), Cycle Chase, Speedway, The Lonely Rider, Hondells' Stomp

Track by Track Review


Hon-Da Beach Party dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Gary Usher tune is well delivered by Richie Podolor in the style of the best Super Stocks sessions. Originally issued in 1964, it is rhythmic, twang driven, and most memorable. This was also issued under the title "Hon-Da Beach" by both the Hondells and the Revells.

Black Boots and Bikes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another Richie Podolor tune, from his guitar and his pen. This has a certain bell-like quality, and sports the same twang and sounds as "Haulin' Honda," suggesting it is from the same session. Originally issued in 1964.

Haulin' Honda dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richie Podolor's marvelous writing is superbly portrayed through his exquisite direct-to-the-board guitar tones. This seems like a song he intended to be played more slowly, but found the spirited joy in it's speeding up. It's energy and twang, coupled with his pop melody sense, create a splendid studio surf monster. From 1964.

Rip's Bike dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mike Curb takes writer's credit here. The chincy organ up front leaves a lot to be desired, but there's some nice guitar work, most likely from Davie Allan. From 1964.

The Sidewinder dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Piano driven, sorta like the Wailers' "Tall Cool One" with a honky tonk edge. A simple Davie Allan side trip, but effective. From 1965.

The Rebel (Without A Cause) dotdotdotdot
Biker Fuzz (Instrumental)

Movie magic, with a sound lying somewhere between surf and biker fuzz. The melody is flowing and dramatic. Attractive in a story telling kinda way, with just a touch of mystery from the string bending. A very nice track.

Cycle Chase dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Davie Allan's country roots come out some in this surfy shit-kickin' sidewinder. The twang is fine, and the hayseeds are evident and fun. From 1965

Speedway dotdotdot
Biker Fuzz (Instrumental)

This is very likely Davie Allan and the Arrows doing the honors. It's got his back track sound and his fingering style of the day. Twangy and nearly surf, this is a splendid track.

The Lonely Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Mexican afternoon melody, a gentle guitar, and spooky airy keys make for an interesting bit of imagery. It's slow and fluffy.

Hondells' Stomp dotdotdot
Biker Fuzz (Instrumental)

Very likely Davie Allan and the Arrows, "Hondells' Stomp" is structured as Davie does, and sports a big tortured guitar with plenty of twang and spunk. Mid tempo fun for an afternoon seaside drive.