Country: Guitar & Piano
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Steely Dan album reviews

 

Chet Atkins Guitar LegendNew Riders of the Purple Sage Live

Guitar & Piano
Country

Charlie DanielsChet Atkins Guitar Legend

 
Steely Dan Profile

Country guitar and piano excellence

Our page of country guitar and piano excellence expands the realm of the stereotype of country music. This would include its roots of the Nashville scene, bluegrass, rock bands that emphasize country leanings that emphasize pedal steel or mandolin, and related items.  

In many respects country music takes elements of many musical styles to form its own category of music. It removes the earthiness feel of bluegrass by electrifying the acoustic instruments given them a punch. The aspects of rock country music incorporates is a taste of nashville with cleaner guitar tones, plenty of acoustic guitars, and often using instruments such as pedal steel, mandolin, and/or fiddle within their songwriting. To the nashville sound they added more punch in the beat and changed the shift in composing from pop and instrumental excellence, to the framework used in popular rock songs.  Placing more of an emphasis on songwriting rather than showing off the instrumental skills gives it more of a commercial appeal.

Chet AtkinsCharlie DanielsNew Riders of the Purple Sage

Guitar and piano jams

Chet Atkins

Chet Atkins is one of the best guitar players period. He is best known as a Country and Nashville player. However, he ventured into Jazz, Pop, Gospel, and Blues with stellar results. He could also impersonate Django Reinhardt as well as anyone else, no easy task. You can tell in Chet's playing that Django was an influence.  He covered a few of his songs through the years, too bad he didn't record a whole album. 

He headed up RCA's Nashville division, and besides working as a Session player he discovered talent, one of whom is Floyd Cramer who graces many Chet Atkins albums with his excellent piano contributions.  

Chet Atkins catalogue is quite expansive. Below are recommendations of some his recordings that we enjoy.  Some of Chet Atkins collaborations with other guitar greats are among his best offerings, and in that tradition  we recommend his albums with Les Paul, Jerry Reed, Merle Travis, and Mark Knofler. 

Guitar and piano jams
Guitar Legend The RCA Years - This is our number one Chet Atkins  compilation recommendation packing 50 songs onto two discs.
The Essential Chet Atkins spans nearly 40 years and has 20 tracks of bluegrass, country, jazz, blues, pop, and more.
Guitar and piano jams

Chester & Lester /   Guitar Monsters is 
includes the two Chet Atkins and Les Paul collaborations. Their 1976 album Chester & Lester won a Grammy, Randy Goodrum on piano.

 

Me & Chet / Me & Jerry  compiles the two classic albums that guitar legends Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed made. 

Guitar and piano jams

Charlie Daniels

Charlie Daniels could have just as easily fallen into our rock category. His music really meshes a combination of country, blues, and rock, which is topped off with inferences of bluegrass to yield a sound of it's own. 

Charlie Daniels title track from his 1976 "Saddle Tramp" sure has inferences of the Allman Brothers. One of his better songs.  

With an abundance of good music spread over so many albums we find that one of the greatest hits collections is a great way to go. There are single, double, and triple disc options.    

Guitar and piano jams

The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band is a superb two disc collection of Daniels career. It includes the classic "Saddle Tramp" as well as the hits.

A Decade if Hits:  There are quite a few Charlie Daniels single disc collections, none are comprehensive, but orientations. 

Guitar and piano jams

Roots Remain is a three disc box set and a fairly definitive collection of Charlie Daniels catalogue.  

How Sweet The Sound - 25 Favorite Hymns And Gospel Greats: If you like gospel songs you'll enjoy this double disc of Charlie Daniels' renditions. 

Guitar and piano jams

New Riders of the Purple Sage

The New Riders of the Purple Sage country rock sound take their roots, and perhaps their success from their collaboration with some members of the Grateful Dead. Their friendship was fruitful in 1970 and 1971 during which time the New Riders of the Purple Sage opened up many concerts for the Grateful Dead, would feature Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel while warming up for the lengthy Grateful Dead sets that would follow. Tapes of these shows are not too difficult to track down. 

They not only shared the staged, but also collaborated in the studio. Jerry Garcia was a major contributor on the New Riders of the Purple Sage's first album and took a minor part on their second album. Likewise, David Nelson performed on one track, "Cumberland Blues," on the Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead album, and several Purple Sage members appear on American Beauty.  Their friendship continued through the years, and David Nelson joined Garcia's short lived band The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band that took New York's Broadway by storm in 1988 playing acoustic guitar, back-up vocals, and lead vocals on a few songs.

Guitar and piano jams

Live: Worcester, MA 4/4/73  This two disc live performance has G Dead pianist Keith Godchaux sitting in for the set.  A  fairly definitive collection.

New Riders of the Purple Sage -Their self titled debut album features the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia on pedal steel, etc., Commander Cody on piano, and more. The 2003 reissue has bonus tracks.  

Guitar and piano jams

 

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