Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Weeks Best Guitar Cds - Week of 02/22/2011

Jeff Beck - Rock 'N' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul
   Huh...a tribute concert that is filled with people that actually have something to contribute instead of the latest pop star lightweights. Whoever you are Mr. or Mrs. decision maker,you get a huge "Thank you" from me. Anyone who's heard his album "Crazy Legs" knows Jeff Beck has the right chops and perfectionist nature to honor Mr. Paul. I have no idea who Darrel Higham is and had only a passing acquaintance with Imelda May and Trombone Shorty but I'll take unknown excellence over incompetent flavor of the month any day. You have my permission to forgive yourself if your reaction to Gary U.S. Bonds is "Uh..he's still alive?"  Brian Setzer is his usual stellar self and can't be blamed for the fact he's the most obvious choice of guest. (What's that? Rockabilly?...Current artists? Get me Brian Setzer,pronto!) For us guitar fanatics,Beck is of course,the highlight here, but I appreciate that making this an all instrumental show wouldn't have truly honored the full legacy of Les Paul's music. Having Imelda May prerecord vocal parts to sing live against to pay tribute to his multi-tracking genius and his pop hits with his wife Mary Ford was truly inspired. What better way to pay tribute to Les Paul than to follow his example and use technology to further your art. It's also available as a DVD.

Plenty more Cd reviews below...

Johnny Cash - Bootleg Volume 1: Personal File / Bootleg Volume 2: From Memphis to Hollywood
   Volume 1 is a reissue of 2006's "Personal File",a collection of songs Johhny recorded with just himself and his guitar. Volume 2 is full of outtakes,singles and demos for future classics like "I Wald the Line" and "Get Rhythm". Even more exciting is, it has plenty of Luther Perkins!

Alligator Records 40th Anniversary
   This two disc collection helps to remind me just how much of my collection comes from the folks at Alligator Records. Even their Christmas collection makes it into my Cd player every year. The numerous guitar highlights include Tinsley Ellis,Roy Buchanan,Elvin Bishop,Robert Cray,Luther Allison,Lonnie Mack,Johnny Copeland,Coco Montoya,Son Seals,Guitar Shorty and Buddy Guy. It's hard not to argue for the purchase of the individual albums but a first class collection like this is cool to have around as well.

G. Love - Fixin' to Die
  G.Love leaves behind the hip hop and gets down to basics. Turns out the "Special Sauce" must have been hip hop,because when you scrape it off of G. Love's burger you get the blues.Not that surprising.What WOULD be surprising is if I'm the only reviewer to make a lame special sauce joke.

Flying Burrito Brothers - Authorized Bootleg: Filmore East New York, NY Late Show
   This is the 1970 FBB's with no Gram Parsons and Chris Hilman moved over to bass guitar. Future Eagle Bernie Leadon and "Sneaky" Pete Klienow are around as well. Some tasty country style shredding on "Dixie Breakdown" and a cover of the Stones "Wild Horses" are highlights.

Johnny Winter - Live Bootleg Series 7
   Musically this gets an A+. While I do enjoy albums that are the "correct" album length of about 45 minutes long,charging $17 for them gets a D-.

Albert Collins, Robert Cray, Johnny Copeland - Showdown! ( Remastered)
   This is one of my favorites. Originally released in 1985,it's one of my first purchases when I started switching to these new things called Compact Discs. It was also my first (but not last) purchase these performers. There's a whole bunch to like here,three fine guitarists,all playing well. You also get the fun of comparing the ubiquitous Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster with the underrated Peavey T-60! This reissue offers a bonus track "Something to Remember You By".

Michael Chapman - Trainsong: Guitar Compositions, 1967-2010
   A bit of an unknown here in the U.S.,Chapman is a British progressive folk guitarist and a contemporary of John Martyn and Roy Harper. Although he is fairly prolific,little of his music has been released in America. This two disc set features recently recorded solo versions of some of his music.

 This week also sees the reissue of 1970's "Fully Qualified Survivor", a favorite among Chapman fans. It contains his most famous track "Postcards of Scarborough" and features Mick Ronson on guitar. Also reissued on vinyl!

Mississippi Fred McDowell - Downhome Blues 1959
  Two Cds worth of late 50's McDowell! Pretty much any slide lick you need to play the blues is in here Somewhere.

Magic Kingdom - Symphony of War
  Released late last year in Europe,Magic Kingdoms third album gets its US release. Guitarist Dushan Petrossi is quite popular among European shredder fans,hopefully this album will bring him a bit more well deserved exposure in the States. Given the band name and the album cover,it should come as no surprise they play symphonic power metal with fantasy based lyrics.

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