Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Surfaris (Bob Berryhill) - With Lead Guitarist Bob Berryhilldotdotdot
artworkThe Surfaris were about as important as they get. They also had more than their share of trouble over the years, including major personnel conflicts. One of the after affects of that strife was the resurrection of at least three versions of the Surfaris. For most of the seventies and eighties, the Surfaris appeared at fairgrounds and clubs in various forms, and sometimes simultaneously. There was the Surfaris led by Jim Pash and backed up by original Surfari Jim Fuller), Ron Wilson and the Surfaris lead by the voice and legendary drums of Ron Wilson and backed up by latter day Surfari Dale Beckner, plus the Surfaris with Bob Berryhill. This is the current version of this last band. This is a 3 song CD-EP. The musicians are Bob Berryhill (guitars) and his son Gene Berryhill (bass/synth), accompanied by Doug Dawson on drums. All three songs are new originals from Gene Berryhill's pen. The sound is both surf and synth based. I think it's really Gene's project, not Bob's.
Picks: Thrasher, Secret Cove, Hot Surf Sunday

Track by Track Review


Thrasher dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a choppy, percussive track. The guitar has the surf sound, but the arrangement is entirely nontraditional. It's like the rhythm to George Of The Jungle, tribal, guitar and bass synched, pumping thunder. It seems to me to be more of a quirky riff than a melody, but it's odd enough and clever enough to carry it off.

Secret Cove dotdotdot
New Age Surf (Instrumental)

This track is a keyboard track, accompanied by surf guitar as a second instrument. It has a post new age sound, more rhythmic and energetic than that would suggest, and certainly more interesting. An almost "Palisade Park" sound is suggested in the keys, a cross between calliope and shopping mall Wurlitzer. I usually dislike this sort of thing, but I find it easy to listen to, and entertaining. There's very little here that trades on the surf genre, but it is a good listen.

Hot Surf Sunday dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

No ice cream social here. We find a surf guitar dominated rhythm and a keyboard melody. It would fit well into a surf video. It is more surfy than "Secret Cove," but less than "Thrasher." This track more than the others hints that Gene's orientation is out of the mostly atmospheric eighties techno bands - just a guess, but the influence seems to be there.