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Calling Up Spirits

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Album Review

After guitar legend Dick Dale's classic "Misirlou" was used in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction, a new generation of listeners were introduced to Dale's influential and endlessly energetic brand of surf rock. With a renewed interest in his work, why would Dale release a featherweight album like Calling Up Spirits? If listeners wanted another tired retread of jazz standards like "Fever," they'd buy a Kathie Lee Gifford album. Dale only manages to capture his manic energy on the cover version of Jimi Hendrix' "Third Stone From the Sun." If Dale's new fans want to truly appreciate his musical gifts, they should check out some of his early work — as represented by the 1989 Rhino compilation King of the Surf Guitar: The Best of Dick Dale for example — and do their best to avoid Calling Up Spirits.

Biography

Born: May 04, 1937 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dick Dale wasn't nicknamed "King of the Surf Guitar" for nothing: he pretty much invented the style single-handedly, and no matter who copied or expanded upon his blueprint, he remained the fieriest, most technically gifted musician the genre ever produced. Dale's pioneering use of Middle Eastern and Eastern European melodies (learned organically through his familial heritage) was among the first in any genre of American popular music, and predated the teaching of such "exotic" scales in guitar-shredder...
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Calling Up Spirits, Dick Dale
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