Monday, October 06, 2008

The Marksmen - "Night Run" b/w "Scratch" (Blue Horizon)

Here we have a heapin' helpin' of guitar instrumental goodness. If both of these sides sound like The Ventures to you, it isn't surprising to learn that there is a very strong Ventures connection. This is a 1960 collaboration between two guitar players, one of whom was Nokie Edwards, the Ventures' own lead guitarist.

The other figure in this connection is a guitarist by the name of Gene Moles, who previously had played on the Jimmy Thompson TV show and on the very first recordings Buck Owens made for Capitol in 1959. Later, he met Edwards and got together to record three songs, two of which make up this record. Moles also wrote songs that The Ventures would later record.

"Night Run" basically takes the melody from one of Brahms' "Hungarian Dances" and slows it down to fit into a rock 'n' roll mold. "Scratch" is a more straightforward instrumental piece, later covered by Eddie and the Showmen on the flip of their "Squad Car" single in 1963. Both songs have that twangin' guitar sound that the Ventures made popular. But they both hold their own in that they're both instro swingers in their own right. See if you don't agree.


Stuart Shea said...

These are both excellent sides. You're right--they really swing, and aren't at all just simple Ventures cops. "Scratch," in particular, has a nice fusion of country and R&B going for it...thanks!

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