Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Men Of Mystery - Demodotdotdot
artworkThis is that rarity in the US - a Shadows cover band. At first, I was not really interested, but as the music unfolded, I found I was very impressed with the skill of the performance and the warmth of the sound. Standards covered a million times in a style that's not really my cup of tea found their way into my heart. Certainly off the surf path, but a very worthwhile diversion. While in some ways it is very close to the source, it is nonetheless very well done and very easy to like. Even the production values are true to the original period, with jangle rhythm guitar right and drums left, bass round and gentle, and guitar way out front and dead center. At this point, this is just a demo, but once out, I'd guess Pipeline Instrumental Review will go gaga over it!
Picks: Apache, Wonderful Land, Peace Pipe, Theme For Young Lovers, Shadoogie, Atlantis, F.B.I., The Savage, Gonzales, A Place In The Sun, Kon Tiki, Men Of Mystery, The Stranger, Frightened City

Track by Track Review

Apache dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A beautifully competent cover of The Shadows' version of "Apache." It's much more delicate, and to my ears, more endearing than the object of their tribute. Great whammy chords and perfect playing.

Wonderful Land dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Long echo sustain nods to the original. Easy to enjoy, well played, and featuring lush tone.

Peace Pipe dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Ultra delicate, electrically soft, and fluid. "Peace Pipe" floats in the evening air. Beautiful tone and echo-sustain. The muted lines are as delicate as they come.

Theme For Young Lovers dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Brian Welch's lovely melody is done with reverence and charm. This is very well done, and it's very easy to like.

Shadoogie dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Shadows' guitar boogie is a bouncy number with spunk and a great walking bass line. "Shadoogie" pumps it up.

Atlantis dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Off the first US Shadows album, "Atlantis" is done with perhaps a smoother sound and more fluid line. Strings are added for extra schmooze factor.

F.B.I. dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Superb string bending sets this apart from many of the covers out there. Bordering on demented, it adds character and charm. Quite fun.

The Savage dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Here we have a very enjoyable rendering of "The Savage." Fluid, twanged to the 'nth degree, and warbled to warp factor 2. Superb drums!

Gonzales dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rolling drums and driving rhythms support excellent tone as The Shadows' "Gonzales" unfolds. While not drifting too far afield, it has plenty of spunk and a superb beat!

A Place In The Sun dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Country slide guitar, lovely shimmering tremolo, and a very easy flow. This is a lovely track!

Kon Tiki dotdotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Perhaps my favorite early Shadows recording, "Kon Tiki" has been dear to me since coming across Surfing With The Shadows (US Atlantic). This is a splendidly reverent and charming version. Very much like the original, but warmer and smoother.

Men Of Mystery dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "Man Of Mystery," retitled with tongue in cheek, is full and fine. Excellent tone all around, with genuine Shadows feel.

The Stranger dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Superb whammy, and very reverent styling deliver a very strong rendering of this British classic.

Frightened City dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

As if it just fell out of the can after 50 years in hiding, Men Of Mystery hit the period nail right on the head. It's a little slower and less tortured than the original, but also fuller and smoother.