Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Tom King and the Starfires - Roots of the Outsidersdotdotdot
artworkThe Tom King and the Starfires were the precursor to the Oustiders of Time "Won't Let Me" and "Just Gotta Leave Us Alone" fame. They formed in 1958 in Cleveland. The Starfires were Tom King (Outsiders) - guitar / vocals, Walt Nims (Outsiders, Climax - wrote "Precious and Few") - lead guitar / vocals, Dennis Sifko - sax, Mert Madsen (Outsiders) - bass / vocals, and Howard Blank (Legends) - drums, later replaced by Jimmy Fox (Outsiders, James Gang). These recordings are not from master tapes, which are lost. The sources are sometimes crude, but the music is vital and on occasion even magnetic.
Picks: Stronger Than Dirt, Honest Injun, Jam Session #1, Honky Tonk, Night Walk, Billy's Blues, Chartreuse Caboose, Jam Session #2, Sweet Georgia Brown

Track by Track Review


Stronger Than Dirt dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"Stronger Than Dirt" is a sped up version of the Markeys' "Morning After," with sub surf guitar tone and lots of raw energy. Yikes!

Honest Injun dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This horn accompanied instro is an R&B tune with little of the expected Indian motif, but a groovy sax wail and solid guitar. Nice little obscuro.

Jam Session #1 dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This untitled blues jam meanders through trad blues riffs and raspy sax lines.

Honky Tonk dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Bill Dogget's "Honky Tonk" is delivered with requisite soul groove. Nothing special, but quite adequate.

Night Walk dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This cover is nicely done. It's a little on the saucy club side, but durable and unpretentious.

Billy's Blues dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Almost like a backtrack to Mickey and Sylvia's "Love Is Strange," this rockin' ramrod of 1960 coolness sports cool drums and a chorus.

Chartreuse Caboose dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

The train speeds up through the drums increasing cadence in the beginning. Nearly in the surf groove, "Chartreuse Caboose" is pretty cool, with tinkling piano, double note guitar, and a saucy sax. A little riffy, but with great drum work.

Jam Session #2 dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

More rockin' than "Jam Session #1," this train still does not leave the station.

Sweet Georgia Brown dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Sax driven, this is quite a nice R&B rant. Pumpin' drums and thumpin' bass back up the nasty sax, which is alternated with nice guitar work.