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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Real Gone Music - Chet Atkins and Les Paul - Guitar Monsters - New Release Review

I've just received a copy of the newly released, Guitar Monsters by Chet Atkins and Les Paul. This recording, originally released on vinyl back in 1978 is seeing cd for the first time. Sure, some of these tracks are tongue in cheek but the guitar work is masterful. With 5 pages of liner notes written by Chris Morris this is one that open minded guitar enthusiasts need to check out. Opening with Limehouse Blues, the guitar aces play a "Nashville Jazz" version of a classic tune. The riffs are both Spanish and gypsy influenced and the track is really quite cool. A very intimate rendition of Over The Rainbow is played by showing a lot of emotion and the pristine style that both players are known for. Meditation, has a distinctive era style but again allowing both players the room to show their own independent styles from country jazz to gypsy jazz. The arrangement on this track is really super. Lazy River, another classic track, is given juxtaposed styling for each player showing just how different each guitarist is but how well they meld together. On It Don't Mean A Thing, Atkins starts the track off with the standard 6/4 rhythm and unmistakable Chet style. Les comes in and plays city riffs over the rhythm. I can't say I ever realized how much these guys sounded like older gypsy jazz until now. Stephane Grappelli would have been a nice featured guest. Les does some outrageous riffs on this track. On blues based I Surrender Dear, Atkins takes the lead and plays it straight. Paul plays really clean riffs as filler. Of course they trade throughout. This is a great track. It is likely my favorite on the release. Brazil, although a bit too "jazzy" for me is an absolutely outrageous guitar demonstration. On Give My Love To Neil, the guys do some "campy" singing but when it comes time, they have no problem creating a really hot swinging guitar duel. Finishing the release is Hot Toddy, a light swing track. The guys are both absolute masters and it's hard not to just sit back in awe of the incredible work that they have laid out here.

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