Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
3 Balls Of Fire - Soul Surfin'dotdotdotdot
artworkThis 1992 cassette release showcases the prowess of 3 Balls Of Fire when they attack surf standards (and a couple of left-turn hits as well). Each and every is track is reverent to the original, yet is encapsulated in Mike Vernon's unique cactus jazz sound. A fine set.
Picks: Pipeline, Perfidia, Sleepwalk, Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White, Walk Don't Run, Surf Rider, Island Girl, Risin' Surf, Rumble, Out Of Limits

Track by Track Review


Pipeline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A "Wipe Out" intro brings forth a somewhat jazzified "Pipeline" that has its own character. Vibrato shimmered, with slithery liquefaction of the notes, this version of the Chantays' classic surf archetype is both sultry and inviting.

Perfidia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Alberto Dominguez' beautiful melody is presented in a variation on the Ventures' hit version. A fine whammy express of slither and rhythm.

Sleepwalk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Santo and Johnny's laps steel romancer "Sleep Walk" uses string bending to great effect. Quite nice!

Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song was a hit in the fifties among the MOR crowd, causing the ladies to swoon and the gents to go limp. "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White" gets a much more credible treatment at the hands of 3 Balls Of Fire. Excellent.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Johnny Smith's "Walk Don't Run" is modeled on the Ventures' 1960 single. Reverent and fluid.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Nokie Edwards' classic "Spudnik" is arranged like a dry version of the Lively Ones' liquid cover. Very pretty, with warmth and a desert surf feel.

Island Girl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

3 Balls Of Fire play this slow pristine and scenic song with visions of sultry palms and breezy sarongs. Very nice indeed!

Risin' Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Podolor's impeccable "Rising Surf" is nicely done. It rises from the sounds of the sea lapping the shore. It's a fluid version of this fine song, with a gentle yet gutsy sound. Mike Vernon's cactus jazz approach adds a romantic Spanish feel to the song. Excellent!

Rumble dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray and his Raymen defined minimalist rock instros with "Rumble." 3 Balls Of Fire treat it with respect and ample vibrato.

Out Of Limits dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

3 Balls Of Fire bring "Out Of Limits" out of the shrill shine of the Mar-Kets' original and into the harsh light of gutsy guitar. Different enough to be interesting and stand on it's own. Excellent cover!