Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Jumping Jewells - Ghost Riders In The Skydotdot
artworkThis Dutch instrumental band recorded a large number of tracks, all of which appear here. None are surf per say, but some are quite cool.
Picks: (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Africa, Darktown Strutters Ball, Outlaw, Twilight Time, Guitar Tango, Jumping Can-Can, Zambesi, More, Dreams Of The West, Java, Istanbul, Irish Washerwoman, Wild Geese, Drumski, The Rumble, The Haggard, Swinging On A Star, Cossack Patrol, Golden Earrings, Espana Cani, A Hundred Pounds Of Clay, Exodus, Wheels, Hornpipe, Mexico, San Antonio Rose, Dakota, South Of The Border, Kapal Laidju, Nino Bobo, Nona Nona Zamang Sekarang, Stambul Bunga Mawar, El Chochio, Filly, 42nd Second Street, Horse Ride, Love Letters, The Hero, Smoke Signals, Zero Zero, The Bandit, Maria Elena, Cossack Melodies, Hum Dum, I Listen To My Heart, Red River Rock, I Saw Her Standing There

Track by Track Review


(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dry guitar plays the introductory riffs, then the band comes in. The guitar is processed through studio tape delay fed out to the right channel, giving it some spatial depth. Obviously recorded at low volumes, yet well within the bounds of interesting. It's essentially the Ramrods' arrangement softened significantly and sand chorus falsetto.

Africa dot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

This MOR treatment of this poppy melody is completely unmemorable and targeted at an aging demographic that thinks they still rock from their walkers.

Darktown Strutters Ball dot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Light weight Euro instro rock with a catchy melody that could easily be either rocked up or mushed down. As is, it straddles the light rock line as it was in the sixties, strings and flutes and all.

Outlaw dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A rockin' little track with a surfable melody line and some cool drum work. Lots of spirit despite the "you play quiet, I make it loud" recording engineer norms employed at the time.

Twilight Time dotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Squishy soft rock of the day, played liquid soft with an old-folds rhythm guitar. Pleasant!

Guitar Tango dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "Guitar Tango" is delivered in a light but rockable way. None of the echoed twang of the original or the richness of the Challengers, but cool nonetheless, with island whammy chords and a gentle groove.

Jumping Can-Can dotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Yup, it's that song! J. Offenbach / H. van Eijk's composition "Can-Can" is, well, all soft rocked out. Can't get behind it.

Zambesi dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This venerable pop melody has made the rounds, most notable at the hands of the Deoras. This is a rockin' little number with cool drums and a great circular melody line.

More dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the title theme from Mondo Cane made a hit by Kai Winding and Kenny Burrell and vocally by Vic Damone. This is a serviceable arrangement part way between Kai Winding and rock 'n' roll.

Dreams Of The West dotdotdot
Cowboy Pop (Instrumental)

This is a soft rock interpretation of "Dreams Of The West," with a female voice softly doing what the falsetto in the Ramrod's "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" accomplished. Not quite spaghetti, but cowboy pop. A smooth melody line.

Java dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

This MOR hit was done by billions of swingin' daytimers in the day. In my book, only the Halibuts have been able to carry it off with credibility. This is an MOR rock treatment with nothing particularly striking about it.

Istanbul dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

On the cooler side of the aisle is this spunky pop-rock interpretation of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." Kinda cowboy, a little grinny, and way cool. The lead is carried on a semi-grodie lap steel. Too cool!

Irish Washerwoman dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

This traditional song is kinda cool, but also pretty darn tame. The horns and kettle drums add MOR pomp.

Wild Geese dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big guitar twang brings life to this Shadowsy tune. It's not the plural of "Wild Goose," but rather a richly twanged semi-soft rocker. Cool, and very surfable.

Drumski dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dry damped chop guitar rhythms and a simple riff rock structure, with walking bass lines and hard rockin' drums. A little primitive, but with energy and real edge for the style.

The Rumble dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Shadows' "The Rumble" is rocked 'n' rolled with twang and a bit of fire. This is equal with the Shadows, though different sounding. Often mislabeled as "Rumble," bringing confusion between the and the Link Wray classic.

The Haggard dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Strong guitar lines and solid playing on this 1975 release. A little on the polished side (read dulled down), but very nice.

Swinging On A Star dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The poppy children's song is nicely done, with guitar driving the melody. The seventies phase swirled effects are dated, but otherwise it's OK.

Cossack Patrol dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Like something out of the Atlantics songbook, "Meadowlands" is twanged and amped, and backed with rolling drums. Quite cool in its own right, with solid drums and spunk.

Golden Earrings dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Wah-wah guitar sweetly tweaks with this sad melody for a seventies feel. Pleasant.

Espana Cani dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A tango intro and a catchy traditional melody line are center stage in P. and M. Marquinna' "Espana Cani." It's quite nicely done, more trad than the Black Albinos who also covered it.

A Hundred Pounds Of Clay dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

All the pop-soul that permeated the hit version of "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay" are replaced by white bread instro arranging. Not bad, just way too pallid.

Exodus dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Kinda interesting with damped chop rhythm guitar, way less intense than the Lively Ones, and more than MOR. Gently cool.

Wheels dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a lighter version of Norman Petty's "Wheels" than the String-A-Longs' hit.

Hornpipe dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The bag pipes and Scottish war drums quickly cross fade into an acoustic guitar led version of "Hornpipe." OK, just not memorable.

Mexico dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Lots less flair than Bob Moore and his Orchestra's hit, and a billion miles from any of Dick Dale's versions. "Mexico" is a very cool melody, but without the power, or at least the faux mariachi horns, it's just elevator fluff.

San Antonio Rose dot
Rock (Instrumental)

In a sub country kinda way, "San Antonio Rose" is softly twanged, with strings and other MOR niceties.

Dakota dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A dark guitar slide crosses left to right, giving great hope of a gutty version of "Dakota." Once into the song, it's very like the Shadows. Nothing special.

South Of The Border dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Competently delivered, with a pleasant sounding arrangement. Only Pollo Del Mar make this rock!

Kapal Laidju dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A variation on the rhythm from Johnny Otis' "Willie and the Hand Jive" open this song, which is in part based on "This Land Is Your Land." It's pretty repetitious, and pretty light weight.

Nino Bobo dot
MOR (Instrumental)

"Nino Bobo" is a very soft intro with a definite MOR sound. Fine as a backdrop, but hard to focus on.

Nona Nona Zamang Sekarang dot
MOR (Instrumental)

Like a variation on the chorus from "Tammy," the introductory chords yield to a fluffy MOR thing with minimal drive. Pretty, but not interesting.

Stambul Bunga Mawar dot
MOR (Instrumental)

Another soft floating afternooner for a non intrusive lazy day. Too squishy!

El Chochio dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Tango chords introduce this cool ditty with violins swooning like a sweet inversion of Miserlou Twist. No, there's no fire and double picking, just slushy MOR with similarities in the string arrangement.

Filly dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Kinda bouncy sub-country with a surfable melody line and an honest delivery. Some very nice tone, suggesting the Aqua Velvets might do very well with this. Cool track!

42nd Second Street dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

The title can't be right, is it? "42nd Second Street" must really be "42nd Street." Anyway, it's pretty fluffy, with no guts, but some tweaky seventies keyboard weirdness and sirens.

Horse Ride dotdotdot
Cowboy Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Again with the pretentious arrangement, the Premieres employ jaws harp to convey a country edge, and with a sixties cowboy melody and back beat, it actually works quite well. I like it.

Love Letters dotdot
Sock Hop (Instrumental)

Fifties slushy drama strolls under this sock hop slow drag number. Very pretty in a last dance kinda way.

The Hero dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This is a soft rock number with intriguing piano plinkery and a background pretty song. Not really cool, but very serviceable for a change.

Smoke Signals dotdotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This is a soft rock nod to the Indian themes often found in rock instros. It's probably very surfable with an "Apache"-like arrangement. The melody line is quite nice. It's just a very soft arrangement.

Zero Zero dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

"Zero Zero" owes its very existence to the Shadows' "Dance On." It's not a direct copy, but the influence is a lot more than subtle. The strings kinda ruin the mood.

The Bandit dotdotdot
Soft Country (Instrumental)

"The Bandit" is a pretty soft country edge tune with a nice little riff. With some power behind this, it just might be very cool!

Maria Elena dot
MOR (Instrumental)

Virtually every version of this song is soft and afternoon fluffy. This does not buck the trend.

Cossack Melodies dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Cossack Melodies" is a traditional Russian song. It's recorded live in 1964 before an appreciative audience. More than MOR, it rocks gently with lots of pristine playing. It's quite a nice mono recording.

Hum Dum dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Kinda like a rocked up "The Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt" structurally, "Hum Dum" features a drum solo that the crowd cheers for. The drummer was good, but it's like so many drum solos - just self indulgent drumming. Guess you had to be there. IN places, the riff is like Sandy Nelson's "Let There Be Drums." It seems to end a couple of times, erupts into some "Wipe Out" drums, then finally ends in a crescendo.

I Listen To My Heart dot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

"I Listen To My Heart" is a very housewife oriented song, with that squishy romanticism that permeated the daytime airwaves in the fifties and sixties.

Red River Rock dotdot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

All the fire of Johnny and the Hurricanes' hit is gone, replaced by light weight piano and club guitar. "Red River Rock" is just not as interesting this way.

I Saw Her Standing There dot
Soft Rock (Instrumental)

In those days of the British Invasion, everybody covered the Beatles. The audience is singing the words while the bands rocks on.