Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Dawnbeats: Midnight Express/Drifting (Amp 45-8520)

This one comes to us from Columbus, Indiana, which is about 30 miles south of Indianapolis, where I live now. It's got two sides of instrumental madness with two speeds to fit whatever your mood is.

We'll start with "Drifting" first, because it's the slow side. There was a dance back then called "The Stroll" (immortalized by The Diamonds, of course) and this song had to have been crafted to fit that dance. Starting off with a stuttering guitar and moving into a more straightforward raunchy guitar setting, the melody is punctuated by a sax riff, followed by a cool guitar solo, followed by the same sax riff to the conclusion. Come to think of it, this kind of gives you the impression of just drifting along, going aimlessly through the dark night.

"Midnight Express" is the super-speed side and it's balls-out all right. We open with a piece of guitar twang followed by guitars, bass and drums going BUMP! BUMP! (pause) BUMP! BUMP! after which the rhythm section starts kicking in. This opening repeats itself before finally guitar, bass and drums are all operating on all cylinders, hitting the tracks at thundering speed. The sax man comes in and blows a righteous solo and disappears. The raw guitar-bass-drums madness riccochets along until we BUMP! BUMP! (pause) BUMP! BUMP! to a close. Ride's over. Everybody off.

Both songs clock in at 1:59 according to the label. Coincidence?
Who knows? Who cares? Either get on and enjoy the ride or wander along in the shadows. It's your choice.


Jim Colegrove said...

"Midnight Express" was a big local hit in my area, southwestern Ohio. In fact, The Dawnbeats played in the area and I got to see them once. A photo of them is on the cover of a reissue on Canetoad International, "Various Artists - Blast From The Past: Volume Two" - a Google search on the words in quotes will return the Web page to view it.

rick74 said...

My uncle, Bob Carrie(guitar) formed "The Dawnbeats" in the 60's.
And they are from Indianapolis and not Columbus.
Bob now works at a radio station in Mt.Carmel, Il.
He still stays in touch with some of the guys.
One of the members now lives in Martinsville, In which is south of Indy.

Columbus History said...

I also live in Columbus. I'm the webmaster of the Historic Columbus Indiana website.
I'm currently looking for any info regarding AMP Records. AMP was owned by Cloyd Hinkle. He also owned a real estate company and Hinkle's Music Store, 306 3rd St. in downtown Columbus in the 1960's.

If rick74 happens to check back here ... could you please ask your uncle if the Dawnbeats recorded the songs in Columbus Indiana?

Any other info you could provide regarding AMP would be greatly appreciated!

Columbus History said...

Larry Goshen from Indianapolis has written a book entitled Let The Good Times Roll. It's a book regarding singers and bands from 1950's to 1990's Indiana. A short Dawnbeats bio (along with pic) is in the 50's section.
The book may be out of print. If you are interested, it's well worth the money.