Johnny Barakat & The Vestells / Johnny Fortune

Rare Surf, Vol. 3

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AllMusic Review by

There are only two acts represented on the third of AVI's surf band compilations, Johnny Fortune and Johnny Barakat & the Vestells. In contrast to most of the other acts in this series Johnny Fortune actually recorded and released a whole album, Soul Surfer (cut with Fortune's ten-year-old brother on drums for the title track), which appears on this CD in its entirety, and a single, "Soul Surfer," that did well enough to get him on TV, on the Lloyd Thaxton Show, among other venues. It isn't bad, even if it wouldn't make Dick Dale look too hard over his shoulder at the younger competition -- Fortune's sound is lithe and dexterous, not so much overpowering as simply lively. Johnny Barakat and the Vestells, by contrast, have a heavier sound, the honking sax sharing the spotlight with the guitar in a more conventional surf band configuration, in what is essentially more conventional dance-type music. The sound on their contribution is somewhat flawed after the Johnny Fortune stuff, a bit substandard but not fatal. The notes are exceptionally well detailed, much more so than many reissues of much more prominent artists.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
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blue highlight denotes track pick