Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Shuttleducks - Wide Eyed Reverbdotdotdot
artworkThe Shuttleducks are a family trio from Los Gatos. Andy Hospodor - guitar and his two sons Joe (11) - guitar and Andrew (13) - keys, jam and have a ball with surf instrumentals. This is honest and charming backyard fun, the way so many surfbands started out back in the day. Overall, it's a haunting sound with a few warts and young dreams fulfilled.
Picks: Pipeline, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Wipe Out, Telstar, Apache

Track by Track Review


Pipeline dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a vibrato throb and distant spookiness, Andy plays lead with a charming reverent feeling, while Andrew and Joe accompany him with accent chords. The Chantays' "Pipeline" 1962 hit defines the genre in many ways.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Joe employs big surfy twang and pick dynamics to give "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" a big wave rider cactus edge. It was written by Stan Jones as a cowboy vocal, but it was the Ramrods' classic hit from 1962 that defined it.

Wipe Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's more than a little strange to hear the Surfaris' 1963 drum standard "Wipe Out" without a drummer. Andrew fills the drum solos with keyboard drum sounds and Joe plays the lead melody on this mix of old and new sounds.

Telstar dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very eerie translation of 1962's "Telstar" led by Andrew. Imagine sitting quietly in a church waiting for a wedding to begin. Just out of sight, a woman is playing classical melodic extracts to set the mood. Suddenly, you realize that she's swirling out a spooky version of "Telstar." Yes, it's like that!

Joe Meek wrote many an instrumental melody. One of his house bands, the Tornados, recorded "Telstar" with great benefit of Meek's knob and compression magic.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lead and bridge duty are carried by Andy and Joe, with Andrew providing atmospheric keys. Song writer Jerry Lordan wrote "Apache" and passed it around the producer circuit. In 1961, it was a hit in the UK for the Shadows, and in the US for Jorgen Ingman. Since then, it's been covered by a myriad of artists. This arrangement is miles from any other, with a very eerie, almost gothic sound.