Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Jimmy Luttrell - USA Guitar Surf Kingdotdotdotdot
artworkOklahoma City's Jimmy Luttrell has been playing guitar since he was 10. He has played on sessions by and backed artists such as The Drifters, Ben E. King, Spade Cooley, and Bobby Vinton. He currently adapts his own style to a wide variety of genres that includes attempts as surf. While not the real thing, it's way better than the vast majority of excursions into the surf that are out there. There are some genuine pearls here, and the performances are precise and punchy. The title is way too pretentious, and certainly misleads the buyer as there are a large number of much better surf players in real bands. That should not be interpreted as meaning he can't play. Anything but! Jimmy Luttrell is a superb musician. It's just not the real deal, and certainly not on par with Slacktone, Dick Dale, or The Surf Coasters. Still, USA Guitar Surf King has some really good moments.
Picks: Bumble Bee Surf, Egyptian Surf Queen, Surfing The Wave, Jungle Drums, King Of The Surf Guitar, Barcelona Moon, Kwik Toe Boogie, Surfing Salsa

Track by Track Review


Hawaii 2001 dotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

Bongos and phony surf ethics abound in this instro derived mercilessly from Mort Shuman's theme to the Hawaii Five-0 TV show. Much less engaging in some ways, and modestly cool in others. The double picked guitar midstream is dry and very oddly textured, as well as roughly metered.

Laguna Surf
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

Ska drums and a bit of ska rhythm peaking bout from under, "Laguna Surf" is a pleasant instro with some guts and a coastal melody. The tone is dry and the arrangement just so-so, but the track works much better than you might expect from

Bumble Bee Surf dotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

Occasionally muted rhythm guitar and a classic surf beat are part of the backtrack. The melody is a variant of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight Of The Bumble Bee." It's done in a less traditional surf fashion - enough so that it has an original feel.

Egyptian Surf Queen dotdotdotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

"Egyptian Surf Queen" is really Bruce Morgen's "Exotic." While based on the Dave Myers and the Surftones or Bob Vaught and the Renegaids version, it's much wetter and silkier. This is really nice, with an exotic island feel and liquid whammy chords.

Surfing The Wave dotdotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

A classic surf beat very nice bass line run with a splendid melody. Slithering notes, whammy chords, a modest drum break, and a gently double picked verse or two. "Surfing The Wave" is a really nice surf instro.

Jungle Drums dotdotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

Island whammy and tropical imagery via slow note-bending. "Jungle Drums" may not be adventurous, and certainly doesn't really fit its title, but it sure is enjoyable. Think of it as rainy afternoon on the lagoon music.

King Of The Surf Guitar dotdotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

"King Of The Surf Guitar" sports a strong rhythm section and modest melody. On the cooler side tonally, but with superb drums. This has no relationship at all to the Dick Dale song of the same title.

Barcelona Moon dotdotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

"Malaguena"-like at times, "Barcelona Moon" is a gorgeous exotic track with great drums and sound, smooth bass. Spatial island exotic guitar, and mysterious melody lines born from the kernel of The Mermen's arrangement of "Latin'ia" and an island number that escapes me right now. Very pretty and soulful.

Kwik Toe Boogie dotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

Cowpunk rockin' back porch boogie like might have come from Buzzy Frets and his Surfabilly Orchestra. Drippin' coastal bar-b-que cool!

Surfing Salsa dotdotdotdot
Surfsploitation (Instrumental)

A solid surf beat under a circular riff with some subdued exotic percussion and rich whammy chords. "Surfing Salsa" is a very nice track with great drums and a catchy riff.