Fingerpicker extraordinaire Pat Donohue's 2000 release, American Guitar, is a collection of his own compositions and American standards, played in his signature rootsy, jaw-dropping style. While Donohue's own pieces showcase his mastery of fingerpicked acoustic guitar, his arrangements of "Arkansas Traveler," "Maple Leaf Rag," and "The Star Spangled Banner" are equally impressive. With "Maple Leaf Rag," Donohue takes a song that is identified as much with one particular instrument (in this case, piano) as any piece of American music, and seamlessly transfers it to the guitar without missing a note. From start to finish, American Guitar offers top-notch performances that are impressive without being cerebral or sterile. Indeed, a sense of playfulness and fun are present throughout. What really sets Donohue apart from the pack is that he somehow conveys that he's enjoying himself as much as the listener.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Vanderhoff