Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
|Before the rise of the Plugz, before Los Lobos, before War, east LA and surrounds spawned a whole scene, and after Ricky Rillera and the Rhythm Rockers and Ritchie Valens that was vital and real. The Faro / Rampart and Chattahoochee labels, among others, issued a long string of singles from the Blendells, the Atlantics, Cannibal and the Headhunters, and Thee Midnighters. Thee Midnighters were a large band, with eight members in formal suits rockin' with the kind of heart and soul that only East LA can produce. Their contemporaries are well documented in the various East Side collections, but it was the Chattahoochee label that reigned supreme with Thee Midnighters. They cut two instros, the most famous of which is a monster! Prepare for "Whittier Blvd."|
Picks: Whittier Blvd.
Track by Track Review
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)
This is it! "Whittier Blvd." may be the ultimate cruising song. High spirits, rockin' stompin' good fun, and great mariachi horns. This is one of a handful of songs that demonstrate the incredible power of a simple riff that's well written and turned to great effect through outstanding arranging. The bass line is more melodic than the lead lines, yet the guitar and horn section pummel while the rhythm section simply rocks. A must have of the era. It's not surf, but surf bands used to play it. "Whittier Blvd." ended up being their signature, and I think it was their only instro. Totally cool.