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The Avalanches - Ski Surfin' (1963)

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The Avalanches - Ski Surfin' (1963)

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01. Ski Surfin' (Shanklin) - 2:28
02. Winter Wonderland (Bernard/Smith) - 2:27
03. Avalanche (Shanklin) - 2:35
04. Midnight Sun (Burke/Hampton/Mercer) - 2:59
05. Along The Trail With You (Shanklin) - 2:30
06. Sleigh Ride (Anderson/Parish) - 3:07
07. Snowfall (Thomhill) - 2:26
08. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm (Berlin) - 2:23
09. Winter Evening Nocturne (DeLory/Shanklin) - 2:23
10. Canadian Sunset (Heywood/Gimbel) - 2:52
11. Slalom (Shanklin) - 1:53
12. Baby, It's Cold Outside (Loesser) - 2:33

- Wayne Burdick (guitar)
- Tommy Tedesco (guitar)
- Billy Strange (guitar)
- Al DeLory (piano)
- David Gates (bass guitar)
- Hal Blaine (drums)

 

"Question: What do surfers do when it snows? Answer: they go ski surfin'!" That bit of copy offers nearly all the explanation necessary for this one-shot instrumental rock album, which attempts to create a cold-weather counterpart to the surf sounds that were all the rage when this was recorded in 1963. Judging from these dozen tunes, Ski Surfin' wasn't all that different from the seaside variety, with the favored music dominated by a wall of sharp, twangy guitars and a tight, percolating rhythm section, though the presence of pedal steel guitar and electric piano on some cuts does set this apart from standard-issue surf fare. Beyond the curious concept, what makes Ski Surfin' most memorable is the presence of a handful of top players on the Los Angeles studio circuit -- drummer to the stars Hal Blaine is behind the traps, legendary session guitarists Billy Strange and Tommy Tedesco handle the six-string chores, and David Gates, who wrote a handful of girl group hits before hitting pay dirt as the leader of Bread in the '70s, plays bass. Outside of a few recognizable melodies such as "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "Midnight Sun," and "Winter Wonderland," most of Ski Surfin' consists of "original" songs that could well have been written an hour before recording began, but the musicians on board deliver their typical fiery licks throughout, and while this is no lost classic of instrumental rock, it's a pleasing oddity for fans of '60s surf stuff who enjoy hearing some top-shelf players on a lark. ---Mark Deming, AllMusic Review

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 11 October 2017 09:01)

 

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