Albert Lee

Hiding

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Four years in the making, Hiding (1979) is the debut long-player from multi-instrumentalist Albert Lee (guitar/keyboards/bass/mandolin/vocals). After the dissolution of Heads Hands & Feet in the mid-'70s, Lee became a seminal contributor to the lucrative session musicians scene in Nashville, TN. Although he'd formed a band, Lee was better known for his work with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, and even the Everly Brothers. Many of his A-list colleagues joined in for this affair, which coupled his astute countrified sensibilities with a few rockers just to prove that he hadn't lost his edge. Although much of the material had been cut with former Heads Hands & Feet mates Pete Gavin (drums/vocals), Ray Smith (bass), and Charles "Chas" Hodges (piano), a majority of the effort was overhauled. The two sides that would remain intact are the cover of John Reid's rocker "Now and Then It's Gonna Rain" -- which had first appeared on Reid's Fa├žade (1976) platter -- and the walking-blues cadence on "Come Up and See Me Anytime." The latter highlights Lee's precise and clean fretwork, recalling Chet Atkins' action and sound. Kicking off the festivities is what could quite possibly be considered the definitive reading of "Country Boy." Lee initially recorded the track with Heads Hands & Feet, although the title would gain further significance as the hot-steppin' version on Ricky Skaggs' 1984 disc of the same name. The easy-flowing rural ballad "Billy Tyler" is marked by both Mickey Raphael's distinct harmonica wail and equally sublime vocals from Emmylou Harris. "Are You Wasting My Time" allows Lee to weave a delicate mandolin lead over the slightly melancholy waltz. "Setting Me Up" isn't quite as slinky as the original; however, the backing harmonies from Don Everly add an interesting texture absent from the Dire Straits rendering. Universal Music Japan issued Hiding on compact disc featuring a 24-bit/96-kHz digital remastering from Rubidium Atomic Clock. While a bit on the pricey side, the high-definition results speak for themselves.

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