Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Virtues - Guitar In Orbitdotdot
artworkWhile instrumentals were a regular part of the hit parade during the fifties, guitar instros were few and far between, and then were usually limited to one hit wonders. Frank Virtue's band had a couple of hits, based on quirky rockabilly boogie woogie riffs. This CD collects a whole pile of his tracks (22 to be exact) with his band the Virtues.
Picks: Guitar Boogie Shuffle, Honky Tonk, Via Con Dios, Guitar In Orbit, Guitar Twist, Caravan, Virtues Stroll, Shimmy Shimmy Guitar, Woodchoppers Ball, Guitar On Fire, Poinciana, Night Train, Begin The Beguine, Dream World, Anna, Love You, Anniversary Song, Cotton Candy, 3rd Man Theme, Bye Bye Blues, Lime House Blues, Sweet Georgia Brown

Track by Track Review

Guitar Boogie Shuffle dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly Boogie (Instrumental)

This was a monster hit for the Virtues in the fifties, and defined the already overcrowded rockabilly boogie field. The track has been stereo-ized, using a fake spread induced to create a rather effective illusion of a fairly modern and natural stereo. The performance is great. The guitarists are Frank Virtue and Jimmy Bruno.

Honky Tonk dotdot
Honky Tonk R&B (Instrumental)

A pedestrian version of an over done tune.

Via Con Dios dot
Bleeding Edge Lawrence Welk (Instrumental)

Fifties schmaltzomeal.

Guitar In Orbit dotdot
Blues Boogie (Instrumental)

Fifties blues boogie.

Guitar Twist dot
Popabilly (Instrumental)

Chubby Checkers' corny hit. I supposed it could be said that Frank Virtue wanted to be the Rockabilly version of the Ventures or maybe Buddy Merrill.

Caravan dotdot
Schmaltzabilly (Instrumental)

It's cool... The intro, that is. It teases that a real nifty number is about to happen, but then, it transitions into dreadful schmaltz.

Virtues Stroll dotdot
Stroll (Instrumental)

An average blues stroll.

Shimmy Shimmy Guitar dot
Hollywood Rock (Instrumental)

Jeesh! Hollywood movie studio mung.

Woodchoppers Ball dotdot
Big Band Boogie (Instrumental)

It's the Woody Herman big band classic, like Buddy Merrill might do it.

Guitar On Fire dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly Boogie (Instrumental)

It's another version of "Guitar Boogie Shuffle," but without the annoying 15 ips tape delay echo. It's faster, cooler, and dry. Great. Oh yeah, there's a modicum of double picking.

Poinciana dotdot
Italian Food Rock (Instrumental)

Italian restaurant music, like the Challengers' "On The Move," but thinner and designed for octogenarians.

Night Train dot
Rail Rock (Instrumental)

Pedestrian cover - no not even that interesting.

Begin The Beguine dot
Insipid Billy Boogie (Instrumental)

Buddy Merrill and Lawrence Welk battle over who can be more insipid. Wait, on the outside, here comes Frank Virtue to win the race!

Dream World dotdot
Geritol Boogie (Instrumental)

Great introductory chords, cheesy lap steel, and your grand parents would have loved it. Pass the Geritol.

Anna dot
Welkabilly Boogie (Instrumental)

All you need is the Lennon Sisters. Argh!

Love You dotdot
Bachelor Pad Boogie (Instrumental)

Exotica bongos, John Barry big guitar... for agoraphobic bachelor pad inbreeds.

Anniversary Song dot
Indigestion Boogie (Instrumental)

If you were riding the express elevator, and heard a guitar double picked with limp wristed panache faking a mandolin, and suddenly felt need of Milk Of Magnesia, you'd have heard this.

Cotton Candy dot
Free Time Lizardry (Instrumental)

Exotic bachelor pad stupidity. It's what happens when you have tool much free time in a studio and no ideas.

3rd Man Theme dot
Aged Flicker Frolic (Instrumental)

Antiquarian movie music

Bye Bye Blues dot
Limpadelic (Instrumental)

Three Suns yukkage.

Lime House Blues dot
Limpabilly Blues (Instrumental)

No blues man was ever this limp. Makes Lawrence Welk sound like he has soul!

Sweet Georgia Brown dotdot
Mung (Instrumental)

Oh man! I'm so glad this CD is over...