Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Knights - King Richard's Stew-Art!dotdotdot
artworkThis collection of tracks from the Knights' modern history is a mixed bag of Tex-Mex and Southwest guitar instrumentals. It's not surf, but it is quite nice.
Picks: Phantom Riders, Cool Links, Riley's Switch, La Del Mono Colorado, Ghost Riders, Mother Road, El Rancho Grande, Cimarron, El Incendio De Los Alamos, Waterfalls, Poco De Todo, Penetration, Surfin' The Rio Grande, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Calm And The Storm, A Medias De La Noche, Adios

Track by Track Review

Phantom Riders dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

Spooky stormy sound effects yield to a mid tempo song with a minimal melody that's moody and interesting in the way the stereo effects spread it out. Subtle whammy chords, dark ambiance, and a sort of lonely guitar blend into a pretty spooky song.

Cool Links dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

A bluesy jam, sorta Wes Montgomery meets Splashback. Not exactly surfy, but pretty darn fun for sure.

Riley's Switch dotdotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

The train slows until the surf comes into the station. "Riley's Switch" is a marvelous surf number with a very infectious desert appeal. A bouncy and playful riff gathers you up and brings you a grin. Very traditional in form.

La Del Mono Colorado dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

Tex-Mex bounce and structure merge with a playful melody for a fiesta of fun. Not special, but very enjoyable.

Ghost Riders dotdotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

This is a fine version of Stan Jones' classic cowboy instro. More or less like the Riders In The Sky version with some very nice deviations and extensions, this take on "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" is a very pleasant track. Where most covers tend toward hard driving darkness or speedy delivery, this version is founded on moderate energy and a bit of gentility, giving it a warm and friendly sound.

Mother Road dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

"Mother Road" is mostly some spaced out whammified chords, with some warmth and ambiance. The restrained delivery and sound add to the effectiveness of the track.

El Rancho Grande dotdotdot
Tex-Mex (Instrumental)

Another track in the Tex-Mex vault, "El Rancho Grande" bounces and plays with traditional charm and country warmth. Quite fun. The drums are perfect for this arrangement.

Cimarron dotdotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

Surf and stage coaches, warm sun setting on a day in the salt air. The chords and lead notes are soft and smooth, and very soothing. The beat, while soft, is mid tempo and entertaining. The break features exotic percussion and tribal motifs. Very cool track.

El Incendio De Los Alamos dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

With a Southwest feel in the melody, "El Incendio De Los Alamos" moves gently across a desert landscape at sunset. Warm and enjoyable, with a bit of mystery.

Waterfalls dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

A kind of murky sound gives "Waterfalls" a through-the-vail feeling. The swirl of the aural wash seems dysfunctional, yet is also complimentary to the circular riff.

Poco De Todo dotdotdot
Tex-Mex (Instrumental)

"Poco De Todo" is a Tex-Mex romp with a very lighthearted sound and melody. Its circulating riffs are a little too unchanging, though still enjoyable.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An original arrangement with fuzz bass and ever-changing guitar textures. Big guitar hero runs and warm guitar oppose each other. The drum machine makes "Penetration" sound modern, but it's also not an inviting sound most of the time in surf.

Surfin' The Rio Grande dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

"Surfin' The Rio Grande" is a warm track that just might be the sleeper of the set. At first, I was unimpressed, but not far into the track, I found myself enjoying this simple surf riff tune with it's shiny whammy and Latin sound.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lying somewhere between the Southwest sound of the Fireballs and surf, this is a splendid little track with an very cool bridge and a warm and friendly sound.

Calm And The Storm dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This thick modern guitar wash is melodic and spatial, and it projects strong imagery of the light after the emotional storm. There are places where the riffs remind me of "Runaway," though only transitionally. "Calm And The Storm" grows on you after a while.

A Medias De La Noche dotdotdot
Tex-Mex (Instrumental)

The Tex-Mex polka bounce and warm guitar tone invite you to the afternoon fiesta in the plaza. Lighthearted, warmly toned, and quite fun.

Adios dotdotdot
Southwest (Instrumental)

Aptly placed at the end of the disc, "Adios" bids farewell in a muddy and distant wash of chorus and bass and muffled guitar. Kinda pretty, but mostly distant and indistinct. The narrated passage say goodbye in a soft and dramatic way.