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Country Guitar Thunder

Joe Maphis and Merle Travis

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Album Review

Merle Travis recorded his portion of this album in association with veteran flat-picker Joe Maphis (maybe the fastest guitarist that ever lived) during 1977 and 1981 in Nashville, Tennessee, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Charlotte, North Carolina. It's an all-instrumental album made up of duets and Maphis solo-featured numbers, and material ranging from traditional pieces like "Irish Washerwoman," "L'il Liza Jane," and "John Henry" to movie and television theme music ("Ballad of Thunder Road," "Bonanza"). The sound is crisp and vivid, as well as surprisingly warm, and these guys knew how to make the stereo separation work for them. Six of the 16 tracks are Maphis numbers, but the rest is a dazzling interweave of playing by two of the greatest country guitarists that ever lived. And it's budget priced, to boot.

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Country Guitar Thunder, Joe Maphis and Merle Travis
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