Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Teisco Del Rey - The Many Moods Of Teisco Del Reydotdotdotdot
artworkTeisco Del Rey has been writing about strange and cheap guitars forever. He collects them, having hundreds stored everywhere. In the early eighties, he had a band called Cowabunga (fitting, eh?) that did Surf vocal and instro covers. He did a session in San Jose with the Mallards in the late eighties before moving from the Bay Area to Austin. He started gathering up studio musicians from various Austin bands for sessions for his own enjoyment under names like Lords Of The New Surf. Eventually, these tracks showed up on his first CD on Texicali, which was later released on Upstart. He's a character and a fine player.
Picks: Ridin' The Wind, Camel Walk, Dimples, The Wedge, Teisco Redentor, You're Gonna Miss Me, Los Surf, Pier Pressure, I Almost Lost My Mind, The Hearse, Small Fry, Storm Warning

Track by Track Review


Ridin' The Wind dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Teisco Del Rey's guitorgan plays the crap out of the classic Tornados tune. Very fun.

Camel Walk dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ca-mel meck! This is a very tribal cover of the ultra cool and super rare Camel Walk, finely vibrated from the gut. It has more Middle Eastern belly dance runway sense than just about anything out there. melodic, undulating, and infectiously sleazy.

Dimples dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

John Lee Hooker twango thump... a solid blues instro for the dimly lit corner bar.

The Wedge dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's classic reconstitution of A Run For Life, with round dribbling double picking. Solid Surf from the fingers of the "champion of cheap guitars." The arrangement is based on the one Dick used on the "Tigers' Loose" album.

Teisco Redentor dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

From the bowls of Cristo Redentor comes a delicate guitorgan blues groan. It's almost suffering as it plays, like "St. James Infirmary" always does.

You're Gonna Miss Me dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Roky Erickson, guiding light of the 13th Floor Elevators, and resident crazy (like a fox), penned this magnificent punk epic in '66. By the time it got to Teisco Del Rey, it became a melodic near-surf instro. Intense, driving, and none too soon. A bit fuzzy, driven, and cool.

Los Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Melodic, fluid, and slightly sad, the melody has the feel of a Paul Johnson tune, while remaining true to the more reverby surf. Nicely played, and with a friendliness in the melody. Excellent.

Pier Pressure dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pier Pressure" is not as surfy as the title might imply, but it definitely rates as cool. Glissandoes fly, notes splash, and the general bent is rolling break. Quite nice.

I Almost Lost My Mind dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

A strollin' blues, with a raspy sax lead and a grodie guitar chord progression. Saucy, but surfless.

The Hearse dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Done slow and mean, the way Al Casey did it, and likely the way Lee Hazelwood wrote it. This is none too lean. It's heavy, rhythmic, thunderous, and awesome. Mighty fine.

Small Fry dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's classic from the Good Guys album, this presentation is more surf and quite satisfying. The guitar tone is richly full, and the band is right in the pocket. Highly infectious and energetic. Solid melodic surf.

Storm Warning dotdotdotdot
Dr. John Surf (Instrumental)

A shimmering reverbed blues guitar opening, then a thrashy throbbing vibrato surf and trash wrangling of the Mac Rebenack tune. Chompin' intense stuff here.