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Chet AtkinsEclectic Guitar ... CD
RCA/El (UK), Mid 50s. New Copy ... $8.99
Incredible, indelible guitar instrumentals from the early years of Chet Atkins – later to conquer civilization with his 60s Nashville Sound – here with mid 50s guitar exotica that really is eclectic and well ahead of its time! Chet's 60s production work ranges from absolute genius, with interesting writers and vocal talent (Bobby Bare, Roger Miller), to sappy mediocrity with less adventurous artists – but his own records hardly ever lacked imagination. These countryish & jazzier early recordings are by no means an exception! Recorded in both Chicago and Nashville and pulled from his wonderful early LPs for RCA, titles include "Sunrise Serenade", "Honeysuckle Rose", "Caravan", "Mister Sandman", "Minute Waltz", "St Louis Blues", "Alice Blue Gown", "Waltz In A-Flat", "Petite Waltz", "Tenderly", "Intermezzo", "Indian Love Call", "Gavotte In D" and much more. CD

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CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Charles Blackwell & His OrchestraThose Plucking Strings ... CD
Triumph/RPM (UK), 1960. New Copy ... $8.99
Plucking strings, but still plenty darn groovy – thanks to fab production work by British studio genius Joe Meek! The album's a rare early Meek production, but a key example of his talents – as Joe transforms what should be a sleepy strings session into a record that's far groovier than most from its time. Blackwell's approach to arrangements is already pretty darn great – with a "rock" styled bottom that has the strings leaping and dancing around – often plucked, as you'd guess from the title, and rocking over a syncopated set of rhythms. Meek's contributions, though, give the record an even cooler edge – almost unlocking the individual instruments to float together in a slightly cosmic sound at times – transforming many of the familiar tracks into more space age-styled instrumentals. Titles include "Skip To My Lou", "Puttin On The Style", "Freight Train", "Lonesome Traveller", "A Lover & His Lass", "Rock Island Line", and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine". CD