Jerry Reed

Alabama Wild Man/Jerry Reed Explores Guitar Country

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One Way blessed Jerry Reed fans with five two-fers in 2000, each containing a pair of his RCA albums from the late '60s and early '70s. The introductory installment reissues Alabama Wild Man and Jerry Reed Explores Guitar Country, the first of which yielded a minor hit (twice) in the title track and gave the Georgia-born Reed an evocative but inaccurate nickname. The album tracks include several of Reed's fine ballads, one of many country versions of "Last Train to Clarksville," and a laid-back instrumental, "Twelve Bar Midnight." The only novelty besides the title track is "Broken Heart Attack," which humorously incorporates medical terminology. Jerry Reed Explores Guitar Country is one of Reed's best albums, a mostly vocal effort that strips away the horns and chorus to concentrate on his idiosyncratic fingerpicking style. The traditional songs in the set are transformed by Reed's hyperactive guitar and busy percussion tracks, resulting in a truly original sound. "Bluegrass (With Guts)" and "Swarmin'" add a banjo to the mix, and "Are You From Dixie (Cause I'm From Dixie Too)" receives an energetic, electrified reading that nearly reached the country Top Ten. Reed's blend of instrumental virtuosity, an irreverent approach to country tradition, and a wild sense of fun make for a delightful listening experience.

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