Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Viceroys - At Granny's Paddotdotdot
artworkThe Viceroys were big stuff in Seattle in the early-mid sixties. They were managed by KJR morning drive DJ and local promoter Pat O'Day, who's on air character Granny Peters is the subject of the album, and who's stamp of approval was required to get much beyond the garage in those days. The east coast discotheque scene spawned the more familiar likes of the Dartells and Joey Dee and the Starlighters. That sound was a mere stones throw from the northwest small combo intro sound, which Dave Lewis defined structurally, and the Viceroys embodied. They held sway for several years on the Seattle scene. The Viceroys were Jim Valley, Mike Rogers, Al Berry, Bud Potter, Fred Zeufeld, and Fuller. This LP was released in 1963 on the local Seafair-Bolo label.

The Viceroys changed their name to the Surprise Package in 1967, and American Eagle in '69.

Vocals on this disc include Ray Charles' soulful "Mary Ann," previously unreleased version of "Louie Louie" that's a bit like a cross between the Kingsmen and the way Little Caesar and the Consuls did "Hang On Sloopy," the repetitious "Please Please Please," the dance tune "Bacon Fat," the Dodie Stevens inspired "Until," the Dave Clark Five-ish "Sha La La," a previously unreleased take of the Righteous Brothers' "Little Latin Lupe Lu," the poppy "That Sound" that reminds me a bit of Harpers Bazarre or the later Mojo Men, a post Beatles arrangement of Larry Williams's "Slow Down," a splendid slightly fuzzed version of the Kinks' glorious "Tired Of Waiting," and a plaintiff cover of the Rolling Stones' "The Last Time" with ringing guitar riffs.
Picks: Granny's Pad, Blues Bouquet, Goin' Back To Granny's, Get Set, David's Mood, Dartell Stomp, Tiger Shark, Heartbreak, Sack O' Woe, Come On, Granny's Medley, Buckin' The Wind, Jerkin' Around, Blues On Broadway, Manhattan Mood, Comin' Home Baby

Track by Track Review

Granny's Pad dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Al Berry wrote slowish horn rocker. It was a single for the band, which prompted the release of this album. In the Dave Lewis mold, it is and infectious and fun track, sorta R&B with a great jazz combo piano lead. "Granny's Pad" was backed by "Blues Bouquet."

Blues Bouquet dotdotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

This Mike Rogers original is a splendid blue jazz instro, full of the fluid blues based motion required for the R&B instro market of the day. Almost like the Rhythm Kings' "Blue Soul" ("Am I Blue"), this sports a shimmering vibrato guitar lead over an in-sync Leslie organ that sounds almost like Dave Myers' guitar in "Passion." It's slow and sultry. This was the B-side of "Granny's Pad."

Goin' Back To Granny's dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

"Goin' Back To Granny's" is a band original, heavily influenced by Dave Lewis' northwest R&B organ stylings, but lead by the horn, and sporting a guitar break. It's a progression based dance number that was sure to be a hit at the frat parties in Seattle. It is choppy in the mold of the Marques' "Last Night." This was a single backed by "Get Set."

Get Set dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mike Rogers wrote this horn and guitar instro. It's a simple R&B jam riff based number, sounding almost like it could have come from east LA's Rhythm Kings or Soul Kings. This was the B-side of "Goin' Back To Granny's."

David's Mood dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Dave Lewis' tune is played faithfully by the Viceroys, but led by the horn instead of the requisite organ, which carries the rhythm role. It's funny how many of the northwest bands recorded his tunes, including the Kingsmen.

Dartell Stomp dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Dick Burns (Dartells) wrote this, and it was a hit for his band. This version is right true to the original, but it uses the Viceroys' dance combo sound as its vehicle, and is slowed down some and less intense. This was a single backed by "Granny's Medley" ("Medley: Granny's Pad / Louie Louie / Going' Back To Granny's")

Tiger Shark dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This splendid instro focuses more on the guitar. "Tiger Shark" sports tribal drums and great ride cymbal action, buffered by the console organ. The song's structure and style are mighty close to surf, lacking only the reverb to be so labeled. A great and simple riff, and a magnetic performance come together here, showing the potential of this band's guitarist. "Tiger Shark" was written by Jim Valley. It was a single, backed by "Please Please Please."

Heartbreak dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Adapted for instrumental presentation, this organ lead R&B progression is melodic and well suited for the band's format.

Sack O' Woe dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Covered by Jack O' Fire among others, this Cannonball Adderley tune is a natural for the pre Booker T. & the MG's northwest combo sound. Bluesy and soulful horn lead lays over a whirling, almost groaning organ bed.

Come On dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Rockin' in the teen clubs and armories of the northwest, the Viceroys displayed good judgment in the covers they chose. This slow R&B riff is perfect for their sound, solid and small combo ready.

Granny's Medley dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

What a splendid merger of the band's two singles sandwiched around the number one mandatory northwest anthem, Richard Berry's "Louie Louie." Recorded live and totally charming. Both of their tunes are full length, while "Louie Louie" is but a single verse led by the guitar. This was the B-side of "Dartell Stomp." The Medley is "Granny's Pad" / "Louie Louie" / "Going' Back To Granny's."

Buckin' The Wind dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

"Buckin' The Wind" is a previously unreleased instro with a soulful piano lead and blues basis. It seems more like the kind of track that goes well behind a smoky bar scene that actually as a center piece.

Jerkin' Around dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

This is a previously unissued instrumental in the general mold of Northwest organ-sax instro. Jammy and groovin' with R&B undertones and a frat mentality.

Blues On Broadway dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

This is a slow very bluesy number, with low moody keyboard churning like Graham Bond used to use. "Blues On Broadway" is saucy in a smoky bar kinda way, with excellent sax lines and real soul. Previously unreleased.

Manhattan Mood dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

"Manhattan Mood" is the sort of song that used to run under lonely foggy night walks under the streetlights with the brim of the hat pulled down over the eyes scene in the forties and fifties black and whites. Very cool!

Comin' Home Baby dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

Long one of my favorite R&B instros, "Comin' Home Baby" is well suited for the Viceroys' soulful organ and sax sound. This is very well done, with a sense of adventure and a genuine soul groove. Excellent take.