Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Spotnicks - The Spotnicksdotdotdot
artworkThese legends recorded lots of material, much of it pretty commercial, yet there's something credible about most of their work. This album is fairly representative.
Picks: Orange Blossom Special, The Spotnicks Theme, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Thundernest, Hava Nagila, Moon Shot, The Rocket Man, Spanish Gypsy Dance

Track by Track Review


Orange Blossom Special dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The echoed guitar replacing the fiddles on this classic country theme is really quite stunning. The rhythmic backtrack, especially the damped rhythm guitar is very effective. Very fun.

The Spotnicks Theme dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Everyone needs a theme. "The Spotnicks Theme" is a chunky near cowboy surf romp with great twang and a fun beat, slowed down only by the vocal chorus.

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

Exotic percussion and a cowboy beat under upfront rich guitar... this is quite an adventurous arrangement of the Stan Jones classic. Rockin', rich, and rumblin' in a nearly surf vein.

Galloping Guitars dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A faux galloping beat bumps under a playful twang melody. "Galloping Guitars" is very adult contemporary oriented, but with rock instrumentation as was fairly common during this era. Quite fun.

The Old Spinning Wheel dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This old standard is echo-guitar layered into rockdom as only European artists could at the time. There are some cool percussion bits in the break, but the arrangement is very much MOR.

Thundernest dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Well now, "Thundernest" borders on the neighborhood of presurf in its own way. You just have to close your eyes and imagine reverb and Southern California. Echo drives it, but in the muted lines, it's fairly obvious how to make this a surf tune.

Amapola dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a solid, though only moderately interesting cover of the traditional "Amapola." It shines a bit, but doesn't capture my imagination.

Hava Nagila dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Arranged much like The Shadows with an even more MOR arrangement, but much more reverent to the source. Violins, chorus, and an easy but snappy sound. The principle arrangement will sound familiar to Challengers fans, though they borrowed it.

Moon Shot dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is pretty spunky, with an infectious performance and big string bending twang. "Moon Shot" is a cover of The Fireballs' "Gunshot."

The Rocket Man dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a solid cover of a traditional Russian song often called "Meadowlands," "Samovar," and as here, "The Rocket Man." Punchy, twangy, and echo sustained.

Spanish Gypsy Dance dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A flamenco based piece with a military beat and rich guitar. It's restrained, yet commands attention. Quite nice.