Jimmie Tarlton

Steel Guitar Rag

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Although they were recorded in the early to mid-'60s in association with Pete Welding, the 19 tracks here sound like music from another era. Tarlton sings in a pleasing baritone with an uninflected style, without artifice -- he sounds like the real version of what Bob Dylan has tried for in his country covers -- and his fingers slide, strum, and glide over the fretboard, sounding like at least two guitars at once and a multitude of voices. The repertory is almost entirely traditional and arranged by Tarlton, who sounds like he's coming from a place at least 100 years before Jimmie Rodgers. Some of the tracks reveal the presence of an audience, others are the product of a studio, but the sound is generally first-rate, regardless.

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