Various Artists

Masters of the Steel String Guitar

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

This 18-song CD is taken from the 1999-2000 season of an American national tour of steel guitar players, spotlighting Wayne Henderson, John Cephas and Phil Wiggins, Eddie Pennington, Johnny Bellar, Linda Lay, and David Lay. Some of those performers don't play steel guitar here, but act as accompanists to the steel guitarists: Wiggins is a harmonica player and singer, Linda Lay a bassist and singer, and David Lay a rhythm guitarist and singer. Probably only Cephas & Wiggins will be familiar to the general popular-music audience. The disc's chief strength is variety, representing the steel guitar as it's employed in bluegrass, blues, folk, and country music. The performances are good-natured, well recorded, and not too long on innovation; it's pleasant virtuosity, for the most part, rather than something to really make you sit up and pay close attention. There's a mixture of vocal and instrumental performances, with Linda Lay's country singing highlighting the vocal ones. Without a doubt, the most interesting performer is Bellar, who gets some super-eerie tones from a resophonic guitar on his instrumental "Northern Lights."

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:56
2
1:47
3 3:27
4 3:17
5 2:06
6 4:08
7 5:09
8 4:31
9
4:07
10 5:09
11
4:54
12 4:03
13 3:16
14
3:10
15
3:12
16 3:25
17
4:05
18
3:51
blue highlight denotes track pick