Pickin' on the Who

Pickin' On

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Pickin' on the Who Review

by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

When one listens to the opening guitar strum of "Pinball Wizard" on Pickin' on the Who, it almost sounds like the real thing. Or at least it does until the banjo and then the mandolin kick in. Clearly Pete Townshend never imagined bluegrass versions of "My Generation" and "I Can See for Miles," though even he slipped in a fiddle at the end of "Baba O'Reilly." David West serves as the master of ceremonies on this CMH entry, playing guitar, banjo bass, and mandolin. He's occasionally joined by harpist Tom Ball and fiddler Gabe Witcher. It's interesting how West mixes and matches instruments to get the right sound. For instance, how would one reproduce the synthesizer part at the beginning of "Won't Get Fooled Again"? Well, it turns out that the mandolin is capable of offering an intriguing approximation. There are also versions of "See Me, Feel Me/Listening to You," "Behind Blue Eyes," and "You Better You Bet." The last cut, "Who Is Who," is a CMH original by West, and it seems to capture the spirit of classic rock. This collection should appeal to at least two groups: Who fans who no longer listen to the Who, and bluegrass fans who never realized that "Squeeze Box" would work as the perfect breakdown for the next square dance.

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