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At The Castle

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Album Review

The Wailers had coalesced from a crude instrumental combo with hits like "Tall Cool One" into a storming rock'n'soul outfit by the early 1960s, and the Spanish Castle in the DMZ between Seattle and Tacoma was their home turf. Modeling themselves somewhat on the scale of a small-change soul revue, they sported instrumental workouts from the band built around Mike Burk's propulsive and exciting drumming ("Shivers," "Sac O'Woe") and Rich Dangel's bluesy guitar playing ("San-Ho-Zay"), along with the triple threat of vocal turns from piano/organ pounder Kent Morrill (a nice reprise of "Dirty Robber" from the Golden Crest album) and featured band vocalists Rockin' Robin Roberts ("Rosalie," "Since You've Been Gone") and Little Gail Harris ("All I Could Do Was Cry," "I Idolize You"). These are the Fabulous Wailers you hear on this disc: a groundbreaking band in their prime on their home turf. An added bonus to this ultra-important live album — and make no mistake about it, every Northwest band from the Kingsmen to the Raiders to the Sonics on down were influenced by this band and this record — are the inclusion of two bonus tracks, both sides of the original Etiquette/Wailers/Rockin' Robin Roberts single of "Louie Louie" and "Mary Ann." Undoubtedly one of the most influential albums in Seattle rock & roll history.


Formed: 1958

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s

The historical importance of the Wailers is undeniable. They were one of the very first, if not the first, of the American garage bands. Backing Rockin' Robin Roberts, they revamped an obscure R&B song called "Louie Louie" into a 1961 local hit that served as the prototype for the countless subsequent versions of the most popular garage song of the '60s. And their stomping, hard-nosed R&B/rock fusion inspired the Sonics, who took the Wailers' raunch to unimaginable extremes. While they anticipated...
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At The Castle, The Wailers
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