Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Jim Mesi Band - Shut Up And Playdotdot
artworkJudging from this album. I'd say that Lonnie Mack is Jim Mesi's main influence. It would be entirely dismissible from a surf perspective if not for the inclusion of interesting versions of "Pipeline" and "Misirlou."
Picks: Memphis, American Bandstand, Pipeline, Song For Christopher, Walk, Don't Run, Hideaway, Fessin' 'n' Fussin', Mr. Smarty Pants, Sleep Walk, San-Ho-Zay, Mad House, Misirlou, Short-Guy Shuffle, Wham, Albeta Street Blues

Track by Track Review


Memphis dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Thick stereo guitar twango owing much to Lonnie Mack's version of the Chuck Berry classic. Very fun, but very original.

American Bandstand dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is the theme to the American Bandstand TV show. Its fifties updated sound is quite appropriate for the theme. Bluesy and fun.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf Blues (Instrumental)

"Pipeline" starts passed the glissando, then when a glissando comes, you know why. It's choppy - not very smooth. The arrangement is kind of Memphis soul at the beach. Interesting, but far from essential.

Song For Christopher dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

"Song For Christopher" is a slushy blues with churning Leslie organ and lots of B. B. King-isms. Not memorable.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Johnny Smith's often covered song is nicely done in a post Ventures groove. It's rounded out, a little bluesy, and warm. Very nice track.

Hideaway dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Freddie King's "Hideaway" is done in a fairly straight forward blues format. Nothing to write home about.

Fessin' 'n' Fussin' dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Great piano work holds "Fessin' 'n' Fussin'" together. Like a softened Professor Longhair thing, it's a softish and warm blues with an endearing character.

Mr. Smarty Pants dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Fifties guitar rag styling with a blues basis. Very nicely done, but not memorable.

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Santo and Johnny's "Sleep Walk" is seldom really rearranged. In some ways, what the Jim Mesi Band has done with it is quite remarkable. It has a bluesy flow and fifties piano plink that run right alongside some very nice guitar work.

San-Ho-Zay dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is really quite a pleasant version of Freddy King's "San-Ho-Zay." It's not remarkable, but it is quite enjoyable to listen to.

Mad House dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

With a rapid fire Sir Douglas Quintet rhythm, "Mad House" bounces for all it's worth. Very fun and frantic.

Misirlou dotdotdot
Surf Blues (Instrumental)

Among the tracks here, "Misirlou" is quite a departure. It's a long way from firebrand, but it stands up well and is arranged differently enough to keep it fresh. Pretty cool in its own way.

Short-Guy Shuffle dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Grodie string bending, fifties guitar boogie shuffling, and a steel guitar. Big fun on the hay ride.

Wham dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is very VERY Lonnie Mack-like - perhaps too close. Hot playing and smooth sound, but not much originality.

Albeta Street Blues dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Slow tortured blues with some very fluid playing. Pretty, but unremarkable.