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Rural Parlor Guitar

Various Artists

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iTunes Review

County Records’ Rural Parlor Guitar collects recordings of four self-taught instrumentalists, providing some of the clearest extant examples of guitar styles practiced in the United States since the 19th century. The term “parlor guitar” was popularly used to describe short fingerpicked instrumentals played at home by young ladies for their families' entertainment. Henry Worrell, who composed both “Spanish Fandango” and “Sebastopol” in the mid-19th century, did much to define the basics of the style. But in the hands of rural instrumentalists, the basic parlor style developed in a dizzying profusion of directions; later in the 20th century, elements of parlor playing styles could be found in the repertoires of bluegrass, country, and blues musicians. This album compiles the recordings of Lena Hughes, E.C. Ball, Lewis Thomasson, and Earl Blair, all of who play with crisp precision and enviable dexterity. Of the four, E.C. Ball’s playing is the most lively, complex, and countrified, but it's Lena Hughes whose unadorned, sincere playing best embodies the parlor style in its most traditional guise.

Customer Reviews

Rural Parlor Guitar

A precious swatch of a bygone era of home entertainment.

Rural Parlor Guitar
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Country, Music
  • Released: Jan 06, 2009
  • Clean

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