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Heatin’ Up with the Sounds of Summer

Summertime is the Beach Boys, the Ramones, reggae and R&B, whether it’s classic or contemporary. It isn’t northern Scandinavia joik, neo-classical chamber jazz or Tuvan throat singing. “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Rockaway Beach”? Yes! Penderecki’s “Anaklasis for Strings & Percussion”? Not so much.

Granted, it’s not an exact science, but there’s something about tone and tempo that makes a particular song appropriate for hot days as ice tea and open windows.

Which brings us to our annual summertime CD. Known internally as the “BBQ Beat” project, it’s the ever-popular counterpart to our other solstice standby, the holiday compilation. (One of the oddities of these two discs is that, due to the length of time it takes to assemble the completed packages, the summertime set is completed when the weather is cool while the Christmas mix drags into the dog days.)

Timothy Jones – the mastermind behind both annual favorites – has put together a CD for the summer of ’10 that serves up a sizzling assortment of summertime sounds. Heatin’ Up includes tried-and-true oldies ranging from surf-rock (Dick Dale) to jazz (Ramsey Lewis), from pop (Bobby Darin) to doo-wop (the Clovers), with a generous helping of New Orleans treats tossed in for good measure.

For a tasty sample of what’s in store, check out Dick Dale and his Del-Tones’ surf classic “Miserlou” from 1963. And keep cool.

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