Chet Atkins

Guitar Country/More of That Guitar Country

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Chet Atkins is a great guitar player. His fingerpicking style set the pace in the '50s, leading budding guitarists to play his LPs at slower speeds to discover the master's technique. Atkins' genius, however, has not always come across in the recording studio. As author of the Nashville sound, he has often found it expedient to add background singing, strings, and syrupy arrangements to his records. These problems crop up on Guitar Country/More of That Guitar Country, but they are less "problems" than distractions. Atkins, even in less than perfect situations, still plays guitar like no one else. He covers a number of classics -- "Sugarfoot Rag," "Freight Train," and "Nine Pound Hammer" -- but also shows himself to be a "with it" guy by tackling "Blowin' in the Wind" and Donovan's "Catch the Wind." Atkins' trademark style of combining chords with a steady bassline comes across wonderfully on Johnny Cash's "Understand Your Man" and the original "My Town." One would be remiss for not mentioning that More of That Country Guitar kicks off with "Yakety Axe," a lovely guitar romp like no other. It is perhaps odd, now that most music comes on CDs, to realize that many LPs lasted no more than 30 minutes. This, however, has allowed Collectables to put both of these records onto one CD, giving the listener nearly 60 minutes of prime Chet Atkins. For guitar players and fans, Guitar Country/More of That Guitar Country will be an enjoyable release.

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