Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Retroliners - Character Clubdotdotdot
artworkThe sound straddles updated Tacoma R&B roots and early sixties soul-jazz instro 45 suave updated with full sound and some very nice drum work. It's quite a ways off the surf scale, yet has some related feelings. Pretty nice!
Picks: The Sidestroke, Barrio Norte, Eyes Of Bettie Page, Forbidden Surf Walk, BTO, Senora Amora, Methane Jane, Marco Martini, Last Call, Macro Wave

Track by Track Review

Members Only dotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

Soulful organ and dry guitar portray a foggy summer night with a soothing progression. "Members Only" is short, and perhaps limited to the single progression intentionally because of its warm up / introduction purpose.

The Sidestroke dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

With hints of "Comin' Home Baby" in the transitions, "The Sidestroke" has very good drums driving a soulful club instro reminiscent of the soul organ instros of the mid sixties. Very nicely done.

Barrio Norte dotdotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

Throbbing tremolo guitar, a surf beat, and moody soul keys paint a very cool image of sweeping landscapes with sound and an arrangement much like British R&B of the mid-late sixties. Wynder K. Frog comes to mind. Guitar-wise, "Barrio Norte" borders on surf. The composition and performance are very strong.

Eyes Of Bettie Page dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

On the rhythmic side, with great drums and a late night jazz club soul safari sound. "Eyes Of Bettie Page" verges on infectious.

Forbidden Surf Walk dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

A descending riff and very moody bass drive this track. Subtle keys and string slides, plus some atmospheric elements. The sound straddles updated Tacoma R&B roots and early sixties soul-jazz instro suave. Pretty nice.

King St. Groove dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

"King St. Groove" is a soul jam with a round sound and pleasant groove. The drums are easily the most interesting part, very well matched by the bass.

Intermission dotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

Organ and guitar in a gentle duet to take you out of the set. Pretty repetitious.

BTO dotdotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

Guts and a great rhythm section back some cool guitar riffs and soulful keys. While pretty riffy, "BTO" does capture and hod attention. Some really nice guitar work, with delicate liquid whammy, a touch of fuzz, and a more rock edge than others on this album.

Senora Amora dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

"Senora Amora" is a fun jam with choppy Jimmy Smith-like keys and a strong beat. It has spunk and sounds pretty full.

Methane Jane dotdotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

A solid beat and moody bass combine with ominous rhythm guitar and a sad melody for a very well written piece. "Methane Jane" is suggestive of fifties jazz 45's, but is very modern.

Marco Martini dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

The drums are well arranged, and the spy danger oozes from the dissonance. "Marco Martini" is eerie in a back alley kind of way.

Last Call dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

"Last Call" is a semi spooky number that suggests a set-ender. The keys are quite haunted. Very interesting production.

Macro Wave dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

Pumping fun and interesting licks play in innocent ways atop a frantic beat. I wasn't sure about this at first, but "Macro Wave" eventually caught me.

Pajama Room dotdotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

"Pajama Room" seems pretty jam session-like to me, though there is more to it than that. Not my cup of tea.

Memories Only dotdot
Soul Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and moody, "Memories Only" wanders on a forlorn and foggy bog just outside a churchyard cemetery. Just organ and bass.