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American Surf Treasures Volume 1 & 2
Gee-Dee Music
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2001-09-09
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Artist: Various (www.mp3.com/pauljohnson)
Title: American Surf Treasures Volume 1 & 2
Label: Gee-Dee Music
Genre: Surf-Instrumental

Paul Johnsonís importance to the development of surf-instrumental music, more specifically South Bay Surf, cannot be overstated. His contributions to the genre actually helped to create and establish the music as viable source of entertainment for teenagers nationwide during the early sixties. He is so important in fact, he stands side by side with The Ventures, The Shadows, Merrell Fankhauser, and Link Wray as one of the true pioneers and innovators of musical genre that has a colorful past and continues to grow and evolve today.

These two CDs are surely "American Surf Treasures" as they state. Volume one covers PJís work and his time spent with The Galaxies and Art Fisher of the Journeyman. It also gives you some choice cuts from the vaults of the Journeyman. Its obvious the admiration and respect PJ had for Artie and his group, not by only listing them as key players on this compilation, he also ask Artie to join him on some choice tracks of his own design.

PJ was ready to grow and move on as a developing and influential guitar player at all times, hence his continuing evolution in several different groups and metamorphosis into a fabulous solo career that is going with a full head of steam to this day (check out his MP3 site).

Volume two gives you a glimpse of some of the more progressive groups of the time chosen by PJ to record and be guided by his musical genius in the studio. The Nocturnes, Vibrants, Wheely McSidewalk & The Ball Bearings (how do you like that name!), and the Revelairs are given equal time with their priceless songs. It proves the influence, importance and respect that PJ had from his peers in the genre early on.

Some of these songs are surprisingly rocking for the time they were recorded. You can tell that the playing is slightly restrained so they would not veer off too far into the rock and roll sound that soon derail the surf-instro music phenomenon dead in its tracks.

Volume one has twenty-five tracks while volume two is bulging with twenty-eight tracks. How could I possible sight any one song as a standout? They are all a timeless pieces of surf-instrumental history that are forever linked together. There was not one song that I didnít enjoy. That says a lot for the selection and quality of the songs and the sound. The only drawback to the entire set is that the folks at Gee-Dee ignored PJís request to proof read the liner notes. Itís rife with errors. Itís a shame because it is very interesting and great reading that could have been given the care it deserved to go along with the immense quality and significance of the collection. Itís easy enough error to overlook when you sit and listen to the music, so donít let that stop you from picking up these priceless gems.

Volume One
1. Tally Ho
2. Andele
3. Rise And Fall Of Flingel Blunt
4. The Shimmy (AKA Side Two)
5. Wild Goose
6. The Moldau
7. One Mint Julep
8. Rockiní Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu
9. Big Shot
10. Scouse
11. Lanky Bones
12. Cominí Home Baby
13. Belly Button
14. Ramrod
15. Vamonos
16. (Itís Gonna) Work Out Fine
17. Squad Car
18. Mariah
19. Fink
20. Work Out
21. Bagís Groove
22. Surferís Blues
23. Surferís Rule
24. Artieís Blues
25. Rum Runner

*Tracks 1-14 are PJ & The Galaxies, 15-19 are PJ & Artie, 20-25 are the Journeyman.

Volume Two
1. Third Star To The Left
2. Sticky
3. Baha-Ree-Ba!
4. Space Probe
5. Surfer Street
6. Midnight Run
7. Journey To The Stars
8. HonkyTonk
9. Cominí Home Baby
10. Wipeout
11. Shootiní The Pier
12. Memphis Beat
13. Funky Beat
14. Surf Beat
15. San-Ho-Zay
16. Hawaiian Warchant
17. Ridiní High
18. Skokiaan
19. Scorpion
20. Zorchy
21. Stomp Crazy
22. Wild Fire
23. The Breeze
24. Fuel Injection
25. Whispering
26. Theme From "Blacksaddle"
27. Dark Eyes
28. The Cruel Sea

*Tracks 1-11 are the Nocturnes, 12-14 are Wheely McSidewalk & The Ball Bearings, 15-18 are the Revelairs, 19-24 are the Vibrants, 25-28 are the Revelairs.


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