Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Jon and the Nightriders - Surf Beat '80dotdotdotdotdot
artworkJohn Blair's first album from his fledgling surf band. This is a classic of the surf revival John started in 1979 in his living room. Greg Shaw was impressed, and took them into a studio for a whole album. The line up is John Blair - lead, Eddy B. Gianni - rhythm, Nikki Syxx (Jeff Nichols) - bass, Dusty Watson - drums. Produced by John Blair at Black Widow Tracks, Carson CA 5/80 April 1980
Picks: Banzai Washout, Kamikaze, Bombora, Riptide, Rumble At Waikiki, Mr. Moto, Surf Beat, Depth Charge, The Force Of Gravity, Latin'ia, Bombay Beach, Super Jet Rumble, Baja, Moment Of Truth

Track by Track Review


Banzai Washout dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Stunningly hot version of the Catalinas classic, written by the late sax session player Steve Douglas. Jon and the Nightriders understand the rippin' part of the original version, and apply adequate rip to it. Great!

Kamikaze dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's classic tune, replicated well. Jon and the Nightriders have the sound down and recreate the surf experience fully on tracks like this. Nice performance.

Bombora dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris song is performed with fire and spunk in the less reverby style of the original. A hot performance and rippin' track!

Riptide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Impact V did this originally. John Blair has made it his own with an impressive performance that keeps the infectiousness of the original. Excellent!

Rumble At Waikiki dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One hot recording of one hot tune! A monster must have! Over the years, Jon and the Nightriders have cut this a few times, and play it live often. It's an over the top surf epic!

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damn tight version of Paul Johnson's signature tune. Perfect!

Surf Beat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Beat" defines the genre in its formative first few months. This version is true to form. Strong rhythm and percussion, and the classic period sound.

Depth Charge dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

John Blair's first self penned tune for the surf world, and like Danny Amis's "Calhoun Surf," it has become his signature tune, much requested by fans. A solid performance, the first of several for John's band, and it's been covered by Beach Coma a.k.a. The Surf Rats.

The Force Of Gravity dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening drama yields to a nice but simple progression, "The Force Of Gravity" pounds out a rock solid surf rage. Originally released by the Genteels, this has been in Jon and the Nightriders's set for decades. Excellent!

Latin'ia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track comes from the LP first release of the Surf Revival, 1980's "Surf Beat '80" on Voxx Records. Like their earlier EP, this session has a fairly dry sound, and the limitations of the studio are evident. Still, it's a step towards a whole new thing. The band is still formative, but has it down anyway.

Bombay Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track finds J&NR doing another obscure surf instro with increasing flair and energy. From the gong intro forward, it's a really pleasant track, full of exotic far away imagery.

Super Jet Rumble dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yikes! This is another of my faves from the old days. I love the Breakers's original, and Jon and the Nightriders have ratcheted it up a notch from there. Infectious, melodic, powerful, and bitchin'!

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a good solid version of the great standard, always a pleasure to hear. Rock solid.

Moment Of Truth dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Original Surfaris' signature tune driven in the Jon and the Nightriders signature style and sound. Not just another cover, "Moment Of Truth" solidly pounds the shore with mighty power and glissandoes and Dave Wronski's (Slacktone) string swiping power notes. Totally great!