Soulful Strut

The instrumental “Soulful Strut” peaked at #3, selling a million copies with the gold record awarded by the RIAA in January 1969, less than 3 months after the track’s release in 1968. The original artists were Young-Holt Unlimited (also known as Young-Holt Trio), who were from Chicago. Drummer Isaac “Redd” Holt and bassist Eldee Young were formerly members of Ramsey Lewis’ jazz trio.

As far as I can tell, the Ventures never covered this huge hit, although it was normally their practice to do their own versions of popular instrumentals.

So, I thought I’d give it a try for them. However, I did it in early 60’s surf-rock style, which probably would not have been their approach in 1969 or 70.

Whatever. Let’s file this one under my heading of “Anachronistic Surf Rock”.

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December 21, 2018 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

I Venture Alone

“I Venture Alone” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more complex musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. With this one I tried to get a feel similar to an early 60’s slow dance in the style of surf rock and the Ventures.

December 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm Leave a comment

The Friendly Beasts

“The Friendly Beasts” is a traditional Christmas song about the gifts that a donkey, cow, sheep, camel, and dove give to Jesus at the Nativity. The song seems to have originated in 12th-century France.

I have given the carol a guitar instrumental setting in the style of the early 1960s.

 

December 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm Leave a comment

Too Young

“Too Young” was written by Sidney Lippman, with lyrics by Sylvia Dee. It was published in 1951.  The best-known version of the song was recorded and released by Nat King Cole that same year. It was a million-selling record and reached the #1 position on the Billboard chart, staying at #1 for 5 weeks and altogether on the Best Seller chart for 29 weeks.

In 1972, a 14-year-old Donny Osmond had an international hit with the song; it peaked at #13 in the USA that year.

I was inspired to arrange the song after hearing a beautiful 1974 rendition by guitar great Nokie Edwards. My version does not attempt to recreate his, but is more in a Duane Eddy style.

December 2, 2018 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Ten Seconds to Heaven

“Ten Seconds to Heaven” is based on “Stranger in Paradise”, which in turn was taken from music composed by Alexander Borodin (1833–1887).  “Stranger in Paradise” was from the 1953 musical “Kismet”.

“Ten Seconds to Heaven” was released in 1965 by the Ventures as the “B-Side” to their single “Bird Rocker”, which was based on music by Tchaikovsky. It also appeared on the 1965 album, “The Ventures Knock Me Out”.

My version is more of an adaptation of the Ventures’ approach than a cover.

November 27, 2018 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

The Lute Number

“The Lute Number” was one of five tracks on the Shadows 1964 EP “Rhythm and Greens”. As the title suggests, the song has a Renaissance feel reminiscent of “Greensleeves”. Songwriting credit is shared by all four members of the group.

November 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm Leave a comment

Hodad Hubba

“Hodad Hubba” is another original instrumental composition in which I try to combine the feel of 60’s instrumental guitar rock with a somewhat more complex musical and harmonic language than was typical for that genre. With this one I tried to get a feel similar to the early 60’s style of surf rock and the Ventures.

November 15, 2018 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

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