Les Paul

Les Paul and Friends: Tribute to a Legend

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Something of a companion piece to the 2005 Les Paul & Friends album American Made World Played, A Tribute to a Legend again finds contemporary rock musicians playing on tracks that, in most cases, also feature Paul himself. The guitarist was 93-years-old on the day the album was released, and it isn't clear how much he participated on the seven out of ten tracks on which he is credited. The term "tribute" does not suggest what the naïve potential consumer might suppose. As Slash (whose contribution, "Vocalese," does not feature Paul) puts it in his liner notes, "This is a record where instead of playing Les Paul's music & trying to imitate his inimitable style, it is a showcase of guitar players doing their own thing, but in tribute to his influence on our musicianship, techniques & use of effects." So, guitarists including the late Hiram Bullock (for whom these were his last sessions before his death on July 25, 2008), Jeff Golub, Joe Perry, Johnny Rzeznik, and Richie Sambora play, and Rzeznik, Sambora, Lisa Fischer, Mick Hucknall, and Joan Osborne sing a variety of pop/rock, blues, and funk songs, among them selections by U2 ("All I Want Is You") and Ace ("How Long"). It's more a tribute to the Les Paul guitar than to Les Paul the musician, but there is some effective string bending all the same.

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