Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Matchbox - Riders In The Skydotdotdot
artworkFormed around 1970, Matchbox were as close to a genuine rock 'n' roll band as England ever produced. Basic and simple rock 'n' roll songs played with the fifties in mind, and not the Billboard fifties either, but the real thing! Wiffle Smith - vocals, Steve Bloomfield - lead guitar, Rusty Lupton - piano, acoustic guitar, Fred Poke - bass, and Bob Burgos - drums.

There are 18 tracks, two instros and genuine rock 'n' roll vocals, including a rousing cover of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates ultra boss "Please Don't Touch." No surf per-say, just good old rock 'n' roll. Recorded in 1976.
Picks: In The Mood, Steelabilly, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky

Track by Track Review


In The Mood dotdotdot
Rock 'n Roll (Instrumental)

Big band classic "In The Mood" is arranged in a stripped down nod to the Ernie Fields and his Orchestra hit. Rusty Lupton's piano rocks it up like Jerry Lee Lewis in the bordello lobby with Fred Poke's bass and Bob Burgos' drums in support. Very infectious minimalist rompin' rock 'n' roll. This version grows on you!

Steelabilly dotdotdot
Rock 'n Roll (Instrumental)

An obvious title that cries out "why didn't someone think of it before," Steve Bloomfield's "Steelabilly" is an honest-to-betsy backwoods rock 'n' roll instro with steel guitar in the lead. Matchbox are having fun with their mental overalls on here. Infectious and very cool.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Rock 'n Roll Hot Rod (Instrumental)

This is a dry early rock 'n' roll treatment of Stan Jones's often covered "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky." More than just competent, it's fun and full of life. The arrangement is a blend of country and rock 'n' roll, with obligatory whoops and hollers right out of the Ramrods' hit version, and one chorus line singing the title. Rich lead guitar, acoustic rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Think pompadours!