Sizzling Strings is a 1959 instrumental album from Lanham's group, the Whippoorwills, and The Fabulous Guitar is his 1961 solo album. This two-fer collects both albums on one CD, and the sonic and stylistic differences between the two are slight. Both are heavily oriented toward instrumental versions of pop hits and jazz tunes with mellow guitar leads that emphasize melody over virtuosic display. In fact, compositions by such cowhands as Stan Kenton, Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman far outnumber country songs. Only "Air Mail Special" and the Delmore Brothers' "Sand Mountain Boogie" work up a fret-happy steam, and the remainder provides pleasant, if not jaw-dropping evidence of Lanham's guitar mastery. Listeners looking for guitar wizardry may not immediately appreciate Lanham's subtlety, but fans of instrumental music bordering on easy listening may enjoy these jazzy, laid-back takes on such chestnuts as "Tea for Two" and "In the Mood."
Sizzling Strings/The Fabulous Guitar Review
by Greg Adams