Blue Mist (Shhh Pt. 6)

Bo Rhambo Combo Blue Mist b/w Diane 45 (Imperial, 1958)

I love. love. love these kinds of records. Bo Rhambo's brilliant 45 is a broad paint stoke of noir, a last cool gasp of post-war instrumental moodiness, as sound soon to be absorbed by surf bands and rephrased as rock & roll. By '58 Link Wray was already laying the foundation for the dark rock instrumental, but his ooze hadn't infected teen America. Not yet. The kids still needed a little tenderizing, a job for Duane Eddy, under the tutelage of Lee Hazelwood, before Wray's killer guitar inspired the surf & hot rod scene. Until then, a mournful saxophone played lead atop bleak dark alley noise. Before rock & roll took hold the noir instrumental was the soundtrack of cool.

Blue Mist back with Diane is Bo Rhambo's contribution to noir's rich catalog and what a contribution it is. Both songs are stark and move at the tempo of a slow crawling fog. I've heard album cuts this slow but never anything released as a 45, intended for commercial air play! I am very impressed that some producer was so caught up in this sound that he'd push such a single.

Bo Rhambo was based on the West Coast and had a short recording career, documented here. I picked this up for a couple bucks.

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