Jim Waller and The Deltas – Surfin’ Wild (1963)

LPFrontCover1The R&B-inflected surf combo the Deltas formed at Fresno State College in 1961. Eventually billed as Jim Waller & the Deltas, the band featured a lineup of Waller on piano and organ, Terry Christofsen on guitar, Ray Carlson on saxophone, Terry Christenson on drums, and Eddie Atkinson on bass. The Deltas released an LP of instrumentals called Surfin’ Wild on Arvee Records in 1963 (Sundazed reissued Surfin’ Wild on CD in 1995). A 45 single, “Bells Are Ringing”/”Super Hawk,” appeared later in 1963 from Warner Brothers while the Four Seasons-like vocal side “Give My Love a Chance” was issued in 1964 by Cambridge Records. The band disbanded in 1967.

An R&B-inflected surf combo, Jim Waller & the Deltas formed at Fresno State College in 1961 and featured a lineup of Waller on piano and organ, Terry Christofsen on guitar, Ray Carlson on saxophone, Terry Christenson on drums and Eddie Atkinson on bass. This energetic little gem is a CD reissue of the band’s sole LP on Arvee Records from 1963.

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Raucous and fun, these dozen instrumentals sound more like King Curtis then they do Dick Dale, and they underscore how much pure surf instrumentals were influenced by straight, horn-driven R&B. Christofsen does get in his share of reverb-laden guitar riffs, but the Deltas were mostly about the sax and organ mix, and it is a sound that is both refreshing and familiar. Highlights include the title track, “Surfin’ Wild,” the lovely and intricate “Latin’ia” and the room-rattling stomp of “Body Wompin’.” (by Steve Leggett)

Oh yes, really exciting stuff from the early Sixties !

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Personnel:
Eddie Atkinson (bass)
Ray Carlson (saxophone)
Terry Christofsen (guitar)
Terry Christenson (drums)
Jim Waller (keyboards)

The Deltas - Photo

Tracklist:
01. Surfin’ Wild (Waller) 2.11
02. Exotic (Morgan) 2.27
03. Trippin’ At Trestle’s (Carlson) 2.16
04. Work Song (Brown Jr.) 2.29
05. Latin’ia (Nunes/Wilder) 2.29
06. Church Key (Darnold/Knowles) 2.18
07. Body Wompin’ (Waller) 2.20
08. Surfin’ (Wilson/Love) 2.48
09. Surf Walk (Waller) 2.51
10. Vesuvius (Hafner) 1.57
11. Waikiki Wipeout (Waller) 2.31
12. “Bal” Beat (Waller) 2.41
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13. Intoxica (Hafner) 2.53
14. Let’s Go Surfin’ (Waller) 2.42

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