Various Artists

Branson USA, Vol. 1: Pickers & Fiddlers

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Branson USA, Vol. 1: Pickers & Fiddlers is an odd collection. Although Branson wasn't a country mecca until the '90s, all of the performers here -- Earl Scruggs, Merle Travis, Red Foley, Johnny Paycheck, Buck Owens, Bill Monroe and Hank Williams Jr. -- had their heyday well before Branson came along, and only a handful played Branson. Nevertheless, the collection is an entertaining collection of traditional country and bluegrass that emphasizes blazing instrumental technique. You may have to be a committed country instrumental fan to enjoy this colelciton, but if you are, this budget-line compilation is very entertaining.

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