Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Slacktone - Hour Of Blue Sparkledotdotdotdotdot
artworkOn the night of February 3rd, 2001, the incomparable Slacktone dropped into the famoud Pit for an hour of live surf music. Dave Wronski - guitar and Dusty Watson - drums were supported by guest Sam Bolle (Agent Orange) - bass, replacing Mike Sullivan who was unexpectedly absent. Sam had played with both Dave and Dusty, but never as a trio. He rose to the occasion admirably, learning the songs on the way up in the van. To hear the show, you'd never know it. A small entourage of fans were on hand, including Ferenc Dobronyi (Pollo Del Mar) and 10 year old buddng guitarist Tye. Kicking off at 7 PM, the performance was exilerating.
Picks: Coffin Closer, PCH, Mysterioso, Tiki Bar Crawl, Skateboard Commando, The Wedge, Into The Blue Sparkle, Hit Man, Mr. Moto, Surf Party, Tidal Wave, Miserlou, Be My Baby / Don't Worry Baby / Fun Fun Fun, Walk Don't Run, Longboard Legato

Track by Track Review

Coffin Closer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The show opens with "Coffin Closer," a tune that starts with a dramatic opening before launching into that signature Dave Wronski power shred... Amazing precision and speed. Dusty Watson's speed and power are in sync, and Sam Bolle rumbles powerfully beneath.

PCH dotdotdotdot
Surfabilly Twango (Instrumental)

Slacktone launches right into one of their older tracks, a song named after a road (Pacific Coast Highway). Powerful fast skate thrash twang at 90 MPH. Yikes! What incredible speed these boys drive at. Where's my seat belt?

Mysterioso dotdotdotdot
Jazzy Spy Surf (Instrumental)

"Mysterioso" is one of my fave tunes from their first album. In the Pit, the band strikes a blow for real fire power on the waves with this grand song. Superb jazzy harmonics and gnarly rumble.

Tiki Bar Crawl dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a newer song with a primal twang and tribal beat. Oozing lust and a reverberating pulse, "Tiki Bar Crawl" captures the spirit of what Dave Arnson (Insect Surfers) called the "Huntington Beer Dance." Chunky and ooh-so suave, swimming in warm chords and shiny tone. Brilliant.

Skateboard Commando dotdotdotdotdot
Curbshootin' Speed Surf (Instrumental)

Revived from Dave Wronski's "glory days" of Jon and the Nightriders, "Skateboard Commando" continues to be a vital and fiery instrumental, and in the trio format, it rocks very VERY mightily.

The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Raging Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's mighty firestorm "The Wedge" is magnificently powered to new heights with high potency playing and extreme energy. Absolutely glorious!

Into The Blue Sparkle dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Title meanings aside, "Into The Blue Sparkle" is one fine composition, full of intricacies and warm whammy. The ultra suave beat and glorious melody simply sparkle, like the view from inside the tube on a sunny tropical day. Magnificent!

Hit Man dotdotdotdotdot
Speedster Spy Surf (Instrumental)

Originally coming to life with Jon and the Nightriders, this fiery powerhouse splashes with a watery spy feel and a rock solid drive. Big grins here.

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdotdot
Old School Surf (Instrumental)

One of the great compliments to the writing of Paul Johnson is the morphability of his work. "Mr. Moto" was written for two guitars delicately playing against each other, supported by piano and drums, and with no bass. In a rock solid trio format, it only gets more powerful. It shines under a refined recital and a forest fire assault like Slacktone's. This is one hot version.

Surf Party dotdotdotdot
Old School Surf (Instrumental)

The Astronauts hit with this theme from the film of the same name. Their three guitar lineup seems so much less powerful than this driving trio performance. The watchwords are suave and power. Grand.

Tidal Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of Slacktone's most aggressive songs is fired with both barrels... a monster wave racing at 100 MPH towards an unprotected harbor with three foolhardy surf punks corkscrewing just below the crest... wow!

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The signature surf shredder is revamped under the machine gun playing of this potent trio. Fiery is an understatement... rapid double picking, bursts of glissandoes, dissonant whammied chords, and raw power. Amazing!

Be My Baby / Don't Worry Baby / Fun Fun Fun dotdotdotdotdot
Old School Surf (Instrumental)

Phil Spector's amazing "Be My Baby" (the Ronnettes) drifts so gorgeously across a wave, glissando driven and suavely reverbed. It drifts in and out of the Brian Wilson's (the Beach Boys) "Don't Worry Baby" with a liquid romance. It closes with a slow verse from "Fun Fun Fun." Stunningly gorgeous.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdotdot
Old School Surf (Instrumental)

With a careful nod to the Ventures, Johnny Smith's (Johnny Smith's Kaleidoscope) pre-surf classic is warmly plaid. The rich whammy and twin amp tone make this shine.

Longboard Legato dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fine silky melody is richly delivered with silky whammy and precision. A very smooth number featuring Dave Wronski's twin note / twin amp tone, "Longboard Legato" is a marvelous adventure in the richness of the genre, and an ambassador for the longboard generation.