Steve James

Two Track Mind

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A rarity in today's field of acoustic blues pickers; a guitarist with encyclopedic knowledge who never sounds academic. James embraces a wide scope of fingerpicking styles -- Piedmont school ragtime, hokum ("Huggin' and Chalkin'"), country (Sam McGee is the source of two tunes here), and slide (his showstopping take on Sylvester Weaver's "Guitar Rag") with super technique, humor, and a relaxed ease that borders on cockiness. Only one original here, but that situation was to be rectified on Steve's follow-up.

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