Chet Atkins / Les Paul

Guitar Monsters

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Chet Atkins and Les Paul went at it again in Nashville after the success of their first encounter, and the results are just about as marvelous. Reportedly, there was a lot of tension at these sessions, with Paul being in a particularly foul mood and suffering from a cold, but it didn't seem to affect his splendid playing on tunes like "Limehouse Blues," the rollicking "It Don't Mean a Thing," and nine others. The tension may have given a bit of a real-life edge to the hilarious mutual joshing of "I'm Your Greatest Fan." The choice of tunes again falls mostly in Paul's territory, with old standbys like "Over the Rainbow," "Brazil," and "I Surrender Dear," but Atkins gets in Ralph Flanagan's lovable "Hot Toddy," and there is even a countrified take on Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Meditation." Atkins suavely handles both acoustic and electric guitars on these sessions, while Paul's brittle, everywhere-at-once electric guitar is heard for one of the last times on a full-length album.

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