Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ritchie Allen - The Rising Surf

First playing guitar on Sandy Nelson’s "Teen Beat," then as a session man for many Gary Usher-produced surf sides, Richie Allen would cut two stellar albums of pier-shooting, California magic of his own for Imperial Records.

If you were young in coastal Southern California in the 60s, then you'll find that The Rising Surf brings back days filled with surf and sun. While the sound is definitely dated, in a good way, it is so evocative of that time and place that entertainment value overcomes any qualms about the simplicity of the music. Though I enjoy the entire disc, my favorite cut is definitely The Quiet Surf, followed by Put It On and the famous Rumble. Only the silly Swanee River Twang detracts from the beach party ambience of this set. There are a lot of early surf bands that modern pundits proclaim as "the best" or "essential". I won't say this CD is either, because I haven't heard them all. But I will say that if you like the twang of surf guitar occasionally joined by a funky honking saxophone, then check out The Rising Surf. I give it three stars for music quality, but five stars for its entertainment value which makes it a solid four-star value overall.

The Rising Surf 2. Surfer’s Delight 3. Undercurrent 4. Foot Stomp U.S.A. 5. The Quiet Surf 6. Breakin’ Out 7. Skeg-Along-Pete 8. Ground Swell 9. Push Off 10. Swanee River Twang 11. Put it On 12. Rumble

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