Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
George Tomsco - HarLee Guitardotdotdotdot
artworkGeorge Tomsco is a consummate guitar player and writer. This CD is a collection of old tracks from his band the Fireballs and others he recorded with, plus a few recent tracks. Even in their poppiest mode, they were a great band. While a couple of these tracks are very adult oriented, the CD is a fine addition ton the library, and the music remains fresh and unique.
Picks: HarLee Guitar, Indian Nation, Fiero, Las Vegas Scene, Sweet Talk, Mexican Fun, Nearly Sunrise, Bandit Boy, Almost Paradise, Carioca, Power Packed, Clink Clink Classic, Walkin', Sneakers, Drum Riot

Track by Track Review


HarLee Guitar dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"HarLee Guitar" is a fun and bouncy song with a bit of biker edge and updated southwest twang. The relentless string of notes flow like water from the hands of George Tomsco. Powerful and very cool.

Indian Nation dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Many a fine instro has been written using "Indian" themes, this among them. "Indian Nation" is a fine instro with huge reverb on the floor tom. The melody riff is simple and very pleasurable.

Fiero dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This splendid instro is all decked out in traditional Fireballs energy and rhythm, with a catchy riff and great beat. "Fiero" is classic Fireballs writing. it has pre-surf written all over it.

Las Vegas Scene dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This Wes Dakus song sounds quite good, and it shows off his guitarista credentials. Slides and damped chords and warm sunny tones, an infectious rhythm, and excellent guitar work. Simple, but very effective. It's in the general vicinity of the Fireballs sound, but dryer. An infectious rhythm and crisp melody capture your ear and hold it. Excellent track!

Sweet Talk dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

A bluesy number that matches a whistled lead line with a dry guitar. It's unusual, but not very interesting, and it has a bit too much bachelor pad stupidity to it for my taste. A bit if Indian riffage in the middle does not save it from the nevermind heap.

Mexican Fun dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

George Tomsco and the Dots play an bouncy and infectious riff rocker that is clearly from the Fireballs coral. The trumpets and rhythms are Mexican, and the melody way too fun.

Nearly Sunrise dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This warble-lead guitar tune is not very interesting. As soon as you get used to the almost calliope sound of the tremolo maxed out, you forget the melody. Novel, but not significant or memorable. Pretty darn MOR as well.

Bandit Boy dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

With a clear pathway to the Fireballs' campsite, Gary Lee Swatford drives a catchy riff into camp, and the drums do a real number on the placid scene. An infectious and really fun track!

Almost Paradise dotdotdot
Pre Surf MOR (Instrumental)

Hinting at Adventures In Paradise, this is a very pretty track, despite being marred by violins. A proper surf arrangement would certainly help. Splashback currently include "Almost Paradise" in their set, which they fortunately do without the strings.

Carioca dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Now if you want to hear groundbreaking ideas, try this on for size. Long before Jack Nitzche growled out "The Lonely Surfer," the Fireballs were playing a really low lead lines (maybe even on a bass?). Really evil for it's day!

Power Packed dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

"Power Packed" is an unreleased track from 1961. It's the sort of song Paul Johnson would do wonders with. It's rhythmic, funky cool, and fun.

Clink Clink Classic dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

This track has a touch of Percy Faith overlaid on beautiful guitar work from George Tomsco. Despite its adult contemporary leanings, it's a very pretty melody and quite enjoyable track.

Walkin' dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This slowish song has a gentle liquidity about it, with extremely cool guitar playing and a lazy afternoon sound. Excellent all around!

Sneakers dotdotdot
Bachelor Pad (Instrumental)

More odd bachelor pad weirdness, not very Fireballs-like, and not very memorable, though it could certainly be surfed up with some hot double picking.

Drum Riot dotdotdot
Bachelor Pad (Instrumental)

This classic Fireballs tune is nicely produced and not too far from home. Funky, quirky, with grins displayed proudly. Very nice track!