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Thee Midniters - In Thee Midnite Hourdotdotdotdot
artworkI was glad to see that Norton has issued a set of tracks from Thee Midniters. I've long had a soft spot for these guys. they were a large band, with two drummers at times, several guitars, keys, horns, bass, and singers. Their infectious sound was immediate and inescapable the summer that Whittier Blvd. was on the charts in LA. Four instros here - no surf, just primal East Side coolness from a legendary band. Dig it!
Picks: Whittier Blvd., Down Whittier Blvd., Thee Midnite Feeling, Dragon-Fly

Track by Track Review


Whittier Blvd. dotdotdotdot
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.

Down Whittier Blvd. dotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

"Down Whittier Blvd." is very much a lesser tribute to Thee Midniters signature song. It's lower energy and less inspired music are a disappointment, yet it sure does have that wonderful East Side Sound! It's just not as fiery cool as "Whittier Blvd.."

Thee Midnite Feeling dotdotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

"Thee Midnite Feeling" is quite a bit like a variant to "Love Special Delivery," the other great Thee Midniters song. This is a very cool period live jam kinda song with a real sense of the sweaty bars they used to play. The demented warble of the whammy chords is a nifty touch.

Dragon-Fly dotdotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

This is one of those instros that I have long held a love-hate relationship with. It's not very well recorded (lots of varying levels), yet it is very much what Thee Midniters were all about. Fiery and spirited, and boomy moody. It's a very saucy number with a catchy one-note rising hook.