Chet Atkins

Music from Nashville, My Hometown/Chet Atkins

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Chet Atkins' sleek, elegant guitar-playing almost single-handedly ushered in the so-called Nashville sound in the 1950s and 1960s, and in retrospect his perfect tone and easy grace on the guitar on his solo albums almost seem closer to smooth jazz than country. This set combines on a single disc two of his mid-'60s albums for RCA's Camden Records imprint, 1966's Music from Nashville, My Home Town and 1967's Chet Atkins, and the two outings fit together seamlessly into an impressive look at this amazing player. Atkins was a master musician working in a genre all too often prone to caricature and posturing, and he did it all without wearing a big hat. If Atkins wasn't exactly perceived as a guitar god by the public, perhaps because everything he did seemed so smooth and effortless, other players certainly knew what he could do. He was the ultimate guitar players' guitar player. Among the many highlights here are the brisk "Prancin' Filly" that opens things, the soulful "Sidewalks of Nashville," a lovely version of "Make the World Go Away," and the bubbling take on "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Bad" that closes things on this two-fer. He even sings here -- although just barely -- on "Solo Soul." Atkins' many albums are remarkably consistent, and these two 1960s outings make for a fine introduction to this quietly masterful musician.

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