Saturday, March 08, 2008

Instro Madness

It's a chilly, snowy Saturday morning here in the midwest. It's a great day for staying in the house and blasting records. Today, I thought that I'd share a few recent finds.

I went to the St. Louis record show, last Sunday. A couple of days before that, I went out "in the wild", hitting up antique malls and thrift stores for discs. I had pretty good fortune, finding lots of cool stuff.

For whatever reason, a decent percentage of the best of it wound up being instrumentals. Being that It's Great Shakes loves the instros and I don't seem to post enough of them here, I thought that I'd make up for that by doing four in one fell swoop.

Jimmy Gordon - Buzzzzzz I don't know a thing about Jimmy Gordon, including whether or not he released more records. One thing I do know is that "Buzzzzzz" is a pretty great guitar rocker. The title is also self-descriptive for a tune loaded with fuzz guitar. What makes it cooler still is that 1963 seems to be the date of release, meaning it pre-dates the garage brigade by a couple of years. "Buzzzzzz" starts off with a few splashes on the cymbals and then kicks right into heavy fuzz mode. A second, non-fuzzed out guitar also adds to the festivities.

Clifton Chenier - Hot Rod I remember reading a bunch of guys online once, trying to name instruments that weren't "rock and roll". They decided the accordion fell into that category. Obviously, they'd never heard the Sir Douglas Quintet nor this tune. Zydeco legend, Clifton Chenier rocks like mad on his accordion and some cool, upbeat, bluesy guitar is tossed in for good measure. I just love the marrying of styles in "Hot Rod". Sorry to burst your bubble guys but the accordion certainly can be an effective rock and roll instrument. Here's your proof.

The Comsats - Astronaut When I found this one, I had it pegged for either a surf rocker or Tornadoes style space instro. Turns out neither is the case. "Astronaut" is an r&b tinged, upbeat rocker. It has generous doses of Ike Turner-esque guitar, pounding drums, honkin' sax and rockin' piano. It travels at about 100 miles per hour and fades out, just when you're sure it's gonna crash head-on into something. I have no idea who these guys were but I'd sure like to.

The Soul Set - Flunky-Flunky Brian wrote something about this one a few months back and, since I just found a copy, thought I'd write a bit too and give everyone a chance to hear it for themselves. About all I know about this record is that Frank "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" Virtue is listed as arranger and co-writer on the label. Did he play on this? Anyway, "Flunky-Flunky" is a great soul groove, with more of those pounding drums and a heaping helping of organ. As Brian mentioned in his write-up, this tune was probably originally intended as a throwaway, yet winds up being THEE side, as the vocal "Mickey's Funky Monkey" on the flip is pretty decent but can't measure up to THIS.


Devil Dick said...

hot damn!

You beat me to it! I had jimmy gordon all lined up and ready to go!!!

total davie allan and the arrows style guitar buzz freakout!!!

nice collection. cheers!

Todd Lucas said...

Yeah, good call. I really should have mentioned Davie Allan in my little review.

Jason X said...

Holy Crap that Jimmy Gordon track is FANTASTIC! I've always been pleasantly surprised with the Challenge label. This track just made my want list! Thanks for the post

jothman said...

tanx for sharing - i love instros

Euphonic said...

Yeah, somewhat mystifyingly, the catalogue number would seem to point to a 1963 date... but "Buzzzzzz" actually made it to #121 in Billboard in November 1966. It sure sounds like a typical 1966 record too.