Sam & Kirk McGee

Look! Who's Here: Old Timers of the Grand Ole Opry

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Some of the biggest fans of old-time music have selected this as their number one "can't live without" or desert island disc. It was recorded in the home of Kirk McGee, and the sound has both the warmest possible analog depth and the ambience of a relaxed home recording, leading to performances that are gems. The decision to sequence a contrasting series of solos and group pieces highlighting all three of the players leads to more variety than usual, with the selections complementing each other beautifully. The recording was produced with much love by Mike Seeger, and that doesn't just mean putting his name on it -- he actually organized and recorded the sessions. A few highlights include Sam McGee's banjo instrumental "Needlecase" and miraculous guitar performance of "Buckdancer's Choice," his brother's "Rock House Joe," and the rollicking "House of David Blues," a good number for a band to crank out at their next bar mitzvah. This album comes with enclosed notes, including biographies and discographies of the participants and information about each song (including some lyrics). Listeners may want to make sure this booklet is in a safe place when some of the rave-up numbers inspire them to start jumping up and down, whooping.

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