Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mar-Kets - Surfer's Stompdotdotdot
artworkThis original release came just before the official name change to the Marketts. Still pronounced the same (mar-KETS), it nonetheless found some DJ's, including KRLA's Reb Foster mispronouncing it as if it was a chain of food stores. The album was "inspired" by Dick Dale, according to creator-producer Joe Saraceno, but there ends any similarity. Still, it's not only part of the history of the genre, it's also surprisingly likable.
Picks: Surfer's Stomp, Balboa Blue, Survival Stomp, Let's Go Trippin', Stompede, The Bristol Stomp, Stompin' At The Savoy, Surfin', Stomp, Look and Listen, If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody, Here Comes The Hodads, Stompin' Room Only

Track by Track Review

Surfer's Stomp dotdotdot
Sub Surf (Instrumental)

The Mar-Kets created this nearly Lawrence Welk forties-ish "Surfers Stomp." Frankly, Susan and the SurfTones do the best version of this song. Simple slow paced innocent instrumental rock and roll, with great piano and saucy sax. Infectious and unpretentious. Don't look for the classic surf sound here, but do enjoy the simplicity and fun. Smooth and right nice.

Balboa Blue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

That most humorous concept band, the Mill Valley Taters (drum machine and all), slip into a white water swirl with this surfy instro, structured somewhat like a Torpedoes tune, though less power driven. Nice work, and good listening.

Survival Stomp dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

A variation on the Pastel Six's "Cinnamon Cinder," this lacks the chemistry, yet slides in with an innocent grin.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

About as thin and gutless as they come, the lead guitar is playing with the amp turned way down, and dry as a bone. The piano is actually the best part of this track. Even thinner than Milt Rogers take.

Stompede dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

Like a pep rally variation of the "Surfers Stomp," we find a marching band feel and some cool fun within "Stompede."

The Bristol Stomp dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

The Dartells' "The Bristol Stomp" is smoothed out and saxed up. Less frat and more suave, this rendition oozes chaperoned suit and tie affairs.

Stompin' At The Savoy dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

back to the roots of the whole concept, the Marketts soften Benny Goodman's "Stompin' At The Savoy." Its actually a really nice track.

Surfin' dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

The Beach Boys' "Surfin'" gets the soft rock treatment, shifting from white doo-wop to rhythmic sax-n-roll. Works pretty well.

Stomp, Look and Listen dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

Mike Gordon's "Stomp, Look and Listen" is very much in the vein of "Balboa Blue," and is not particularly remarkable. Gordon was also leader of Mike Gordon and the Agates.

If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody dot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

Rudy Clark's "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody" just doesn't work in this venue. Too stiff.

Here Comes The Hodads dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

Frat rompin' in a "Cinnamon Cinder "groove with great piano and a simple riff that would also be the basis of the Rolling Stones' "I'm All Right" a couple of years later.

Stompin' Room Only dotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

"Stompin' Room Only" is a relatively lackluster track with the same beat as the rest of the first album.