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Released in 1979, Reflections closed a decade that saw Chet Atkins collaborating on a string of albums with some of his greatest friends and peers, including Les Paul, Jerry Reed, and Merle Travis. For this occasion, Atkins teamed with Doc Watson, a fellow fingerpicker with whom he shared an almost fraternal bond. They were born not far from each other, on opposite sides of a segment of the Great Smoky Mountains. But while Atkins eventually took his talents to the cosmopolitan production scene in Nashville, Watson stayed in Appalachia his whole life. Reflections is an album about shared history and memory, and though Chet’s name appears first in the billing, the music shows him revisiting the ground that Watson never left. Being around Watson obviously loosened Chet’s playing, and the razor-sharp precision that marked his collaboration with Merle Travis here becomes earthier. The easygoing shuffles of “You’re Gonna Be Sorry” and “Don’t Monkey ‘Round My Widder” are the sounds of two friends at home in the country, but it's the symbiotic picking of “Flatt Did It” that drives home the mutual affection of their art.


Born: June 20, 1924 in Luttrell, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Without Chet Atkins, country music may never have crossed over into the pop charts in the '50s and '60s. Although he recorded hundreds of solo records, Atkins' largest influence came as a session musician and a record producer. During the '50s and '60s, he helped create the Nashville sound, a style of country music that owed nearly as much to pop as it did to honky tonks. And as a guitarist, he was without parallel. Atkins' style grew out of his admiration for Merle Travis, expanding Travis' signature...
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