Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Sandy Nelson and the Sin City Termites - Nelsonizeddotdotdotdot
artworkAs rock drummers go, there are just a handful that really stand out over time. Today, Dusty Watson, Martin Jones, and Jeremy Rexford are at the top of the game. Back in the day, it was Ron Wilson, Cozy Cole, Hal Blaine, and Sandy Nelson. What I always appreciated abut Sand Nelson's drumming was its fluid style and very effective accents. Nelson's drumming conveys emotion, not just tribal rhythm. Only Ron Wilson played with such fluid style. These are live recordings, maybe with an audience, maybe not. Recommended!
Picks: Backfire, Midnight Cruise, Punch Up, Concussion, Stumble Home, Lock it in, Senior Beat, Surf Tune, Candle Light Drums, Moody

Track by Track Review


Backfire dotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

There's no mistaking Sandy Nelson's drums! Big guitar twang via long flowing chords and romping bridges recall Sandy's work in the golden era of rock instrumentals. "Backfire" is tribal, very fun, and feature superb drums!

Midnight Cruise dotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Upright bass and rootsy guitar play nicely with Sandy's liquid drums. The emotional connection with the drums is immediate. Vibrant and lusty.

Punch Up dotdotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Reviving a beat Sandy used with "Drums Are My Beat," this song is all about the drums. The amazing active-panned guitar chokes and fills are all fun. This is primal, tribal, urgent, glissando pumped, and gritty. The drums really drive it, and the chants are too funny!

Concussion dotdotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

The beat from "And Then There Were Drums" is the jungle foundation for this superb track. Lovely easy chords and bass flow like water across the percussion masterpiece that is the foundation for "Concussion." The emotional content of the drums is almost lurid!

Stumble Home dotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Stumble Home" is a sort of walking bass blues with really cool percussion and slinky guitar. This is an undulating jam with cool guitars and rubber drums... that means I imagine watching Sandy Nelson play, I'd think his arms were made of rubber. Very cool!

Lock it in dotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Great guitar action, rumbling low frequencies, and pulsing drums. "Lock it in" carries you through a dangerous place where senses work overtime and emotions run high. This is intense, like fifties back alley knife fight epics, but it's totally now!

Senior Beat dotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Big rock chords make the drums seem even more primal! The commanding beat and stinging guitar licks merge into a big wash of heat stroke. Yikes!

Surf Tune dotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

It's great to hear Sandy Nelson play a surfish song again. Great drums, double picked guitar, cool chords, pumping upright bass... really cool. There's so much power in Nelson's drums here, even when he's just playing a strait beat.

Candle Light Drums dotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Spooky, weird cavern haunting sound, easy echoed percussion, and bass danger rumbling beneath it all. "Candle Light Drums" is more a soundscape than a song, a picture of ancient spirits in dank caverns. Very effective, and bordering on psychedelic!

Moody dotdotdotdot
Tribal Roots Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Slithery slow slide guitar and Indian chants and stark cave moodiness make "Moody" seem like "Candle Light Drums" part two. Very dramatic, and all about images and danger. The voicings add primitive danger. Very cool!