Friday, April 30, 2010

Jazz & Heritage

It's that magical time of year: Jazz Fest has been going since last Friday and I've been going every day taking pictures for WWOZ. I've taken a lot more than these but some highlights that might be of interest to this blog:

Classie Ballou

classie ballou

Grandpa Elliot

has been popular because of some youtube video. He's a New Orleans street artist but his knee slappin' and demeanor was a pretty cool way to open the day

Voices of the Wetlands

was a supergroup of sorts and very well arranged. Check these two favorite characters out

Robert "One String" Gibson

is another New Orleans street artist, but of particular interest because of all the Unitar love I spread on this blog

Campbell Brothers


Lil' buck Senegal


since Mardi Gras Indians are so fun to shoot

Creole Wild West


And some general dancing at the Fais Do-Do Stage

Apologies for the oversaturation, it didn't look that way on my laptop screen.

Let me know if there's anything you want me to catch or want to know if I did catch. You can check out a few others either shot by me or anybody else at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

George Hudson DOUBLE DAMAGE - It's Twistin' Time / Dance Time

I'd been meaning to upload it's Twistin' Time for a little while so when I pulled out my thrift store purchase of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" and found George Hudson's "Dance Time" instead  (UGH, ROOKIE MISTAKE) I figured it was a sign that this must be posted.

That's not to suggest it's exactly mindblowing. These are twist records number a-billion and a-billion and one and though plenty of fun and worth it if you want another two twist records, there's not too much to make them stand out. Dance Time is the better record of the two, with a better swing and more exciting recording sound. However, if it's your thing It's Twistin' Time has a couple of pretty good organ-fueled instrumentals, where Dance Time only has one bluesy one. A whole lot of covers on these... and plenty off rip-off-might-as-well-be-covers. But who really cares?

Who is George Hudson anyway? I've been trying to get to the bottom of this and been kind of confused with what I've dug up. One site claims that his "Kings of Twist" are a supergroup including Hank Ballard, Jack Hammer, Chubby Checker and Joey Dee. If ze means that literally I don't know where that info's coming from and it seems way too sonically consistent for that to be the case. One site has said that he was a New York DJ and most of the singers, including Hoagy Lands, were uncredited.

I've even had a little trouble finding the cover for Dance Time because mine looked like this 

Ugh, you got me this time, Al

Anyway, here's the full track list of these two albums

It's Twistin' Time (Capitol T-1578)

A Side:

  1. It's Twistin' Time
  2. Blueberry Hill
  3. Baby Face
  4. Lazy River
  5. Little Twister
  6. The Railroad Twist

B Side:

  1. Kansas City
  2. Doodlin' Twist
  3. The Twist
  4. My Blue Heaven
  5. A Little Bit 'o Soap
  6. I'd've Baked a Cake

Dance Time (1962 Capitol ST-1697)

A Side:

  1. The Peppermint Twist
  2. Shimmy Shimmy Walk
  3. Do the Bug
  4. Come on An' Slop
  5. Do the New Continental
  6. Bronx Stomp

B Side:

  1. I'm Popeye the Sailor Man
  2. (Do the) Mashed Potatoes
  3. The Roach
  4. Do the Limbo
  5. Gonna Twist Along Without Ya Now
  6. Hully Gully Firehouse

These are zipped together here

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunil Ganguly - Swinging Hits

I'd reckon over the past year I've probably played more off of Sublime Frequency's Bollywood Steel Guitar Compilation over the radio than anything else, with a possible exception of the extremely similar Sound of Wonder. But I never really followed up on any of those artists because I figured chances of coming across their works were pretty slim. New Orleans' Domino Sound Record Shack strikes again, with this artist featured on Bollywood Steel Guitar! And it was so cheap too (cover's pretty beat up I guess (and looks like a half-assed attempt at a Boston album)). 

It's not exactly tough to figure out what a surf enthusiast would enjoy about an album like this, but that's hardly to suggest that their similar. Ganguly actually plays a Hawaiian steel guitar, and a lot of this is a lot more relaxed than most surf, though a little more exciting than your average 50's Hawaiian album. Some of these are funky, some of these are really weird. The real paragon of everything that makes this great is the sixth track, Hari Om Hari, featuring frantic drums, wild steel guitar and punctuated by goofy electronic effects.

If you want to know more about Sunil Ganguly he's really not that obscure, wikipedia page and everything. There are a few MP3 downloads of his other work, a few blogs mentioning him, but as far as I could tell know way to hear this album. And man, you should, I'd post a ton of this sort of stuff if I had any idea where to find it. This one, you can find here

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Frankie Freeman - Born To Raise Hell \ This Old Shack

When I showed this to my friend Ben he asked "have you listened to it? It looks too good to be true". I know what he means, and I think back to 45s I bought on a gut like "Hell Yes I Cheated" by the Virginia Dare Gang on Dare Records (maybe I'm mixing two records up in my head). That sounds bad-ass! But it ended up being mopey over-twangy country

Well, it's not as 100% funky as hoped, but it's about 80% there. Totally intending to be funky with all the attitude you'd expect from a label called Ghetto, it's just not guaranteed to set the dance floor on fire. But I don't want to undersell it either: it very well could

I don't know anything about any part of this 45 and searches for "Ghetto Records" really don't help. As always, info appreciated

Born To Raise Hell

This Old Shack

Friday, April 16, 2010

Lee Allen and his Band - Down on Bourbon Street

Lee Allen was a huge part of the New Orleans sound during the R&B era and backed up an absurd amount of new Orleans big names on his saxophone, and this is a sample of his instrumental outing. You can read about it all down there on the back cover or anywhere really, I just said that in case blog links wanted a blurb of this post. 

I was looking for this for a while, mainly because I loved my 45 of Cat Walk/Creole Alley and had to find the LP it was put out on. Not to mention the outrageous cover, with a tasseled stripper clearly pasted on to make this look CRAZIER. As I expected, this isn't a proper full-length and was made well after the fact, what I didn't really realize after when I bought it was that almost all of these songs were on his main LP "Walkin' With Mr. Lee". So what's the point? Cat Walk/Creole Alley are in my opinion his best two songs, it has a CRAZY cover, and a much fatter (and in this case scratchier) recording than my CD copy of Walkin' With Mr. Lee, which seems to have all the fun sucked out of it. And I suppose if I post it up here, the rest of y'all won't drop $40 on this just to hear the difference. Purchasing music is good, go buy the actually available Walking With Mr Lee. In fact, do it tomorrow on Record Store Day.

If you've never heard any of this instrumental stuff, I'll give you a warning. Some of this can get very laid-back. If you want some jumpers, just follow the track titles. If it sounds jumpin' it probably is. When he's good though, I think he's one of the great examples of how the saxophone was once king in Rock & Roll, a fact now forgotten.

Go ahead and give it a spin

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Snake Charmers - Gorgon EP

I can't show you the real cover of this 7", but I know I'm not the only one that sees a barebreasted human female on a cover and thinks "this is probably pretty good". Don't worry, it's included with the songs. This is a simple 7" of a trashy rock & roll band with one instrumental ("Drag").  Joe Truck has been in a couple of bands such as Chop Shop and Scarecrow and the late Paul Morden has been in The Brickbats and The Memphis Morticians. 

Outstanding EP? Maybe not, but I've been digging the bands I just mentioned and I never mind a little pornography

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Storm Surge of Reverb: Surf Radio Show has moved timeslots

Apparently the citizens like the weekly shock therapy that is my radio show, so we're moving to Mondays from 4-6PM CST. You can stream it at

If you want to check out playlists I'll be posting them at surfguitar101 here

and also making updates to this facebook fanpage

I think in the past I've posted links to where I sometimes put archived shows. I think I'll keep dumping them there

Monday, April 5, 2010

Aki Aleong and his Teen Twenty - C'Mon Let's Dance

The Black Sea Surfer just posted Aki Aleong's excellent 1963 surf album which pushed me to get this up here. I bought it intrigued by the monster surf instro "Body Surf" but is there more to him than that? Just look at the guy in the picture down there (and the blurb) of course there is! He looks so happy to put this album out! This 1962 album is full of dance scorchers at a high energy level. Just listen to that yell introducing "Mashed Potatoes". It makes me wanna do it! New Orleanians, dig the cover of Eddie Bo's "Popeye". There's some great instrumentals too, including "The Fly" and "Pony-Time". Seriously, this is one of the more fun twistin' albums I own. And you would hope so if he really has a 20 piece band backing him up (no, it doesn't sound that way). Then again if they're all teenagers who knows.

Go ahead and twist

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Deuce Coupes - The Shut Downs

I've got to be completing my Crown Records collection by now. This is the same gist: a few instrumentals amongst some pretty good vocal tracks, backed by Jerry Cole and a whole lot of engine sounds. I can't say that any of these really stand out to me, but it's still a solid enough album. I know y'all go nuts for anything surf or drag related anyway, so it's not like anything I say about it really matters. Here, see what Pipeline magazine has to say:

For the “Shut Downs” album I was already pretty aware how it was going to sound before the needle touched down into the grooves, having previously heard to rest of the Crown hot-rod releases – and I wasn’t wrong ! Acclaimed studio sessionman Jerry Cole was once again the uncredited main force behind the long-player and his distinct single-layer vocals, coupled with his rhythmic guitar and an accompanying sax, are the most noticeable factors in all of the label’s auto releases – and in fact, such is the similarity between each offering that I’m sure many of the melodies are simply adapted and re-used accordingly (it’s just that I haven’t worked out which ones they are yet …). Yes, they sound under-produced and fairly basic … but each release does manage to stick one or two tunes in the memory bank and they’re all worth a listen – but not one after the after for sanity’s sake.
In the instance of this particular album it’s the opening number, “With My Baby”, that gets the feet tapping and makes you wonder where on earth you've heard it before (answer - Cole rewrote it and included again on the later album by the Winners - see elsewhere) whilst the subsequent track has Cole clearly thinking in Dick-Dale-mode … and that’s not a bad thing …

By the way, this is not to be confused with the Del-Fi records Deuce Coupes. In fact, I'm not entirely sure whether the artist here is The Deuce Coupes or the Shut Downs.

Anyway here's a link to it and a tracklist

Side A

  1. With My Baby
  2. 36 Window Coupe
  3. Two Fast Cars
  4. Starters Nightmare (instrumental)
  5. Oil on the Track

Side B

  1. Body By Fisher
  2. Turn Her On Buddy
  3. Goin, Goin, Gone (instrumental)
  4. Goggles Got A Hole In It
  5. Deuce Coupes