Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Trashmen - Bird Call!dotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis incredible box set collects a broad spectrum of Trashmen cuts, some live, some studio, many previously unreleased, and many quite rare. The time capsule begins with Jim Thaxton and the Travelers and ends with the Huey Meaux tracks. The booklet chronicles the band from cradle to grave with lots of detail and photos. A stunningly good set that's simply essential.
Picks: Cyclon, Malaguena, Malaguena, Guitar Boogie [rehearsal], Yellow Jacket, Rumble, Let's Go Trippin', Bird Bath, Tube City, Goofy Foot, Untitled, Church Key, Raw-Hide, Stick Shift, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Greensleeves, Green Onions, Walk, Don't Run, Hava Nagila, Bad News, On The Move, Baja, Blue Feeling

Track by Track Review


Cyclon dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a pretty routine fifties styled rock instro from Jim Thaxton and the Travelers, more progression than melody, with a pumping piano, a walking bass line, and a thin lead guitar. It's pretty obscure, but not terribly interesting, except for it's historical significance as one of the precursors to the Trashmen with Tony Andreassen, Dal Winslow, and Steve Wahrer in the lineup.

Malaguena dotdotdotdot
Flamenco Surf (Instrumental)

Ernesto Lacuona's great song, first turned into a surf classic by this Minneapolis band. It's a fiery infectious must-have track. Major energy and finesse. There is no finer flamenco surf than this. Infectious, rhythmic, powerful.

Malaguena dotdotdotdot
Flamenco Surf (Instrumental)

Ernesto Lacuona's great song, first turned into a surf classic by this Minneapolis band. It's a fiery infectious must-have track. Major energy and finesse. There is no finer flamenco surf than this. Infectious, rhythmic, powerful.

Guitar Boogie [rehearsal] dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Captured at a rehearsal in April of '63, this performance of a classic rockabilly guitar boogie is fun and driven, but too repetitious. Previously unreleased.

Yellow Jacket dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty strait forward cover of the Ventures' tune. Lively and well played, "Yellow Jacket" was captured live at the Crossbow Ballroom in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in July of '64. Previously unreleased.

Rumble dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray and his Raymen's "Rumble" features stunning whammy and a sultry pace. Big surf danger oozes from this fine performance. It may be the most interesting of the period surf takes. Recorded live at the Crossbow Ballroom in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in July of '64. Previously unreleased.

Let's Go Trippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the Crossbow Ballroom in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in July of '64, the band preambles to an enthusiastic audience by announcing that a "live album" is being recorded. This is a fairly tame performance, yet is quite interesting. Previously unreleased.

Bird Bath dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

When the ever nutso Trashmen decided to cover the Revels' "Church Key," they had to personalize it, like everything else they did. So, it became the demented "Bird Bath," with the gargling bird splashing in the water... The performance is hot, and the sound is pure surf.

Tube City dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an original tune with wonderful changes and intense delivery. Mostly fast and powerful, but the changes bring a slow pointed and stinging part waiting for the waves of accent. Marvelous. This has long been on my faves list. It is very infectious and powerful.

Goofy Foot dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Trashmen deliver a pretty hot cover of the Lively Ones' "Goofy Foot." Lots of surf feel and drive, and excellent guitar work.

Untitled dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This uncredited additional track appears at the end of "Goofy Foot." It's a hot riff rocker in the key of surfabilly.

Church Key dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a previously unreleased take of "Church Key" cut at the Kay Bank studios in November 1963. Rock solid, great sounding, and with really long drums solos waiting for less inspired calls of "Church Key." Unbelievably more moronic and frat like. Very cool.

Raw-Hide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This outtake from the November '63 sessions rocks mightily and drips reverb. Tuff, hot, and surfy. Big twang and Trashmen flair. A single blown note may be why this take of Link Wray and his Raymen's "Raw-Hide" hasn't previously surfaced, but it's a great track.

Stick Shift dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Duals had a hit with this track. It was a fave among surf fans, even though it was not a surf song. What the Bellamy brothers lacked in surf attitude and sound is squarely implanted by the Trashmen. There's no doubt here that this is a perfect surf pounder. A melodic progression based tune with hot rod motors and delightful damped reverb lead lines. Previously unreleased from the November Kay Bank sessions. Totally cool.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Cowpoke Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine rendering of the Stan Jones song. It has the energy of the Ramrods' hit, and the solid surf pound of the Trashmen. It's moody and has a decidedly Southwest feel as well, unlike the Chantays' version. The double picked middle part is totally powerful. Magnificent.

Greensleeves dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf guitar does for this folk classic what it did for "The Breeze and I." It becomes both infectious and powerful, maintaining the delicacy of the original intent, and holding sway with powerful double picked reverb drenched dribbling notes. Mighty fine track.

Green Onions dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surfed up and chunky, this is a fine guitar version of the Booker T. and the MG's organ hit. It has lots of flair and cool dribbling guitar notes. Cool track.

Walk, Don't Run dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A previously unreleased reverby outtake from the November 1963 sessions at Kay Bank. Excellent surf, tight Ventures tribute, and infectious energy. Way cool.

Hava Nagila dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Dick Dale arrangement with deeper reverb via that dribbling guitar sound of the Trashmen. Fast, powerful, hot, infectious as all get-out. Necessary surf.

Bad News dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bad News" is a variation on "Church Key," as was also known as "Bird Bath." It's way faster, and much more frat-rock friendly. Highly spirited, and more demented than ever. Too fun!

On The Move dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a relatively postsurf instro, less melodic, more chord progression oriented, blues based, and lighter weight. While dryer, it still sports the rhythmic power of this band. A fine track.

Baja dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A previously unreleased demo of Lee Hazelwood's "Baja," recorded in September of '66. Always a great song to hear, the Trashmen treat it with great reverence.

Blue Feeling dotdotdot
Surf Blues (Instrumental)

Previously unreleased from August of '66 at the Whiskey A Go-Go in Minneapolis, this blues instro is clean and sultry, and reverby too. A very cool jam on a hot night.