Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Paul Revere and the Raiders - Mojo Workoutdotdotdot
artworkBesides from maybe Doug Clark and his Hot Nuts, Paul Revere and the Raiders were the consummate party band, defining what frat rock could rise to. Born of the Northwest cauldron of the early sixties, PR&R moved from rockin' instros into anthemic party stomps before graduating to pop rock masterpieces. A handful of instros from their Columbia period appeared as B-sides and album tracks. This release captures them at full tilt live in the Columbia studios in 1964 before an invited audience and at rehearsal, plus on released studio sides. Overall, this is pure party... and instrumentally, it's highlighted by a half-dozen rockers with some decent guitar work... not surf, but hard rockin'. Oh yeah, and there are two takes of "Louie Louie" and two "Louie - Go Home."
Picks: Night Train, Peter Gunn, Whole Lotta Nothin', You Can't Sit Down, Night Train, Comin' Home Baby, I'll Be There, Blue Fox

Track by Track Review


Night Train dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This live take from the Columbia studios shows off the band's purest party ethic. Once James Brown had made "Night Train" a standard, it became a nearly mandatory set add-on. Endlessly rockin' this pumped with energy and spirit. The sound is a little less rich, but the drive overcomes that fully.

Peter Gunn dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

With the Pacific Northwest hat on tightly, the madmen of rock and roll pump out this sax raspy assault on the temple of "Peter Gunn." This tune has been rocked powerfully by many, from the Pirates (Mick Green) to Davie Allan and the Arrows. Paul Revere and the Raiders give it the party anthem treatment to great effect. The guitar is relegated to a support role beneath the nasty sax, but it surely rocks.

Whole Lotta Nothin' dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This James Brown styled number romps in a mid tempo rhythm frenzy with false stops and a great walking bass line. Interrupted by great lines like "I'm kinda ugly now, I smell like I'm dead, but I'm gonna try and play my guitar behind my head," this surely musta been a standard break tune. Very cool. It's not the Merced Bluenotes tune.

You Can't Sit Down dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Dartells' "You Can't Sit Down" is dramatically introduced before becoming a Dave Lewis styled rocker. Tasty stuff.

Night Train dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is the studio version that backed their first Columbia single "Louie Louie." It's pure joy, rich with crisp sound and precision funk. The guitar is very nice, slightly reverbed, and very percussive. Excellent sax work, and as a bonus, the session producer was Roger Hart under the executive guidance of Mitch Mitchell.

Comin' Home Baby dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is actually quite a saucy rendition of Herbie Mann's jazz classic. It's from a rehearsal at the Columbia studios. Very cool sax work, and chatter between the musicians enhance the reality of the take.

I'll Be There dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This very soulful slow dance number reeks of sock hops, cast iron bras, and corsages. It's not particularly special, just a solid glimpse into the pimple years.

Blue Fox dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Your basic rockin' riff... a little "Night Train" sax, and tasty damped guitar chords, interspersed with "Señor, it's a blue fox?" and more. This tune was standard fare in their set back then... destined for a novelty instro B-side.