Thursday, June 14, 2018

Al Casey - Surfin' Hootenanny (1963)

Al Casey - Surfin' Hootenanny (1963)

Al Casey has had a long and productive career as a multi instumentalist, contributing much spark and fire to notable Duane Eddy sessions in particular. His one lone moment in the national chart spotlight came when Duane's producer Lee Hazlewood had a falling out and Casey inherited "Surfin' Hootenanny," what would have been the Twang Man's next single. With Darlene Love and the Blossoms doing honors as the 'K.C.-ettes' and Al turning spot on the money sound bite impressions of Dick Dale, the Ventures, and old Duane himself, the combination was cool enough to get the 45 up to mid chart status in 1963. Certainly enough red vinyl biscuits went out the door for an album to be forthcoming, loaded with surf music classics. Hard to believe then that one of the world's greatest surf albums was only cut in just under six hours, but when Al Casey and producer Lee Hazlewood got together to assemble tracks for this, that's exactly how the scenario worked out. With Leon Russell on organ and Hal Blaine on drums, they blasted out a take of each tune , then pressed on. As a matter of fact, Casey had a gig booked that day as a member of the folk group the Raintree County Singers. Told by Hazlewood that they still needed a couple of tracks to fill the album. Casey kept the taxi meter running, came back inside the studio and blasted out a couple of takes of "Surfin' Blues," presented here as a 'two parter.' One of the great early surf albums, this is one of those collectors' items that truly deserves it rep.

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