Chet Atkins


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The double-fold cover of this sleeper in Chet Atkins's huge catalogue depicts an old-fashioned general store in the country -- and in a sense, that's what this LP is, a throwback to some of his earlier, less-cluttered, more musical albums. It's a relaxed, friendly, assured package, where the jazz, rock, electronic and other elements in playing reveal themselves modestly within the countrified context. The leadoff track "Steeplechase Lane" is clearly the best thing on the record, a great nostalgic Jerry Reed tune, with beautiful finger-picking, harmonics, and staccato work by Atkins. The wheezy old Jimmy Durante signature "Inka Dinka Doo" is brought up to date (as of 1970) via a wah-wah pedal and "Tennessee Pride" is actually a tense country-rocker. Of the jazz-oriented standards, "Cherokee" finds him using octaves, harmonics, sophisticated chords, and a jazz organ backing, and "How High The Moon" is easily slotted into the Chet Atkins finger-picking groove. Lovely record; one of his best from this period.

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