Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Ed Matzenik - The Big Guitar Partydotdotdot
artworkThis is a very nice CD of mostly vintage rock'n'roll done in a refreshingly soft and often acoustic way. If you enjoyed the Duo-Tones, this just might be up your alley!
Picks: Peter Gunn, Giddy-Up-A Ding Dong, Apache, El Paso, Be-Bop-A-Lula, Guitar Party Shuffle, Windy And Warm, Hidden Charm, Night Train, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Desafinado, I Get Around, Memphis

Track by Track Review

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This has to be the easiest going "Peter Gunn" around - easier than Duane Eddy even. light and delicate electric guitar, acoustic guitar, low twangin' rhythm riff, and relaxed drums. You wouldn't think that would make for a groovy track, but Ed Matzenik's take on Henry Mancini's classic detective theme is a wonderful recording.

Giddy-Up-A Ding Dong dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This classic fifties style guitar cycle is light and very warm. The piano's plink and key-slides give this a genuine fifties feel. Very cool!

Apache dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Jerry Lordan's "Apache" is played similarly to the Shadows, but perhaps more relaxed. Moody tribal drums and bass, acoustic rhythm, and echoed lead guitar. Where most have added power, Ed Matzenik takes it in the other direction with a fine balance of style and mood.

El Paso
Acoustic (Instrumental)

Marty Robbins' classy western romance ballad "El Paso" is delivered on acoustic guitars with a great deal of delicacy and feeling. It becomes a much gentler tale this way. Splendid playing and emotion.

Be-Bop-A-Lula dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A classic shuffle in a fifties vein runs beneath a light guitar lead. The gentleness of "Be-Bop-A-Lula" gives it quite a different feeling than the original. It's not without power, it's just a restrained and balanced energy that gives it a summer afternoon edge, which is cemented by the brushed drums.

Guitar Party Shuffle dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

That classic rolling cycling guitar boogie riff from the Virtues' vintage number (and a thousand others) just never gets old. Infectious rhythm simplicity with some very fine moments. Very cool.

Windy And Warm dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Always a thrill to hear, John D. Loudermilk's superb "Windy And Warm" just always pleases. This is a splendid delicate interpretation that sports magically simple piano and too-cool brushed drums. Very fine!

Hidden Charm dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Hidden Charm" is a very light hearted tune with a warm and engaging riff and beat. Its playfulness and infectious rhythm are really hard not like. Very nice.

Night Train dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very soulful and lumbering interpretation of the Forest, Washington, Simpkims composition that is generally associated with James Brown. Some delightful whammy and plinkin' piano give this relaxed cover a unique flavor.

I Heard It Through The Grapevine dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Martha and the Vandellas' groovy Motown hit gets a very relaxed countrified arrangement. It unexpectedly retained its soulful roots, but also gathers a bit of the Credence Clearwater Revival sense of rock'n'roll, while being sultry soft and vintage. Very nice!

A Whiter Shade Of Pale dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A solo piano opens Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale," easing into soft guitar and reverbed brushed drums. It's a very unusual treatment that's very pretty. It retains the profound sadness of the original, but does it with so much more delicacy.

Desafinado dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Stan Getz' "Desafinado" is an odd choice in some ways, yet in the end, the song lends itself very ably to this light acoustic treatment. Very relaxed and enjoyable.

I Get Around dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Beach Boys' "I Get Around" is done in an electrified acoustic kind of way, with added tremolo and cool funky rhythm. Simply fun.

Memphis dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Chuck Berry's ultra infectious "Memphis" is done like Lonnie Mack acoustic - sort of. Gentle rhythm and twang, and the warmth of the country simplicity of the original.