Review of “Instrumentally Disturbed” by Dan Forte in Vintage Guitar Magazine (April 2011 issue).
The eclectic bent of fellow Aussie Ben Rogers (who also plays acoustic folk with Vipers Dream and Djangostyle swing with the Ben Rogers Trio) serves him well in his Instrumental sylum surf outlet. This is his trio’s third CD since its 2005 debut. Whereas Welcome To Instrumental Asylum was more than half covers, Rogers writes all but three of the tunes here (with an occasional assist from drummer (sic) Nikki Scarlett and drummer Denis Close) – the covers being an overdriven take on Reinhardt’s “Anouman,” an unexpected ukulele/guitar reading of “Beyond The Sea” (Ian Whitcomb meets Peter Green?), and a deconstructed ride on “Tell Him” by the girl group the Exciters. “Last Coffee On Union Road” has a sort of vaudeville blues feel, with Rogers trading solos (on a Gibson Johnny A electric and National Tri-cone) with Martin Cilia of he early-’60s Australian surf combo the Atlantics. Like most non-American lead guitarists in instro combos, Rogers’ most obvious influence is the Shadows’ Hank Marvin as on “Never Seize To Amaze”), although he cops Duane Eddy’s deep tone perfectly for the intro to “Shfuffle,” and his jazz influence is back on “Eddie’s Hip Joint” – presented in both final and equally charming demo versions. Who knows? Maybe these dinki-di bands from Down Under will lead the charge for surf music everywhere. Oy!