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Queen of the Flat Top Guitar

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iTunes Review

Though Lena Hughes recorded Queen of the Flat Top Guitar the mid-‘60s, these 11 brief, near-perfect guitar instrumentals hearken back to a much earlier period. For connoisseurs of American folk music, the crisp, open-tuned guitar work of “Galloway Boy” or "Cedar Brook Waltz” is the musicological equivalent of a fly trapped in amber. These simple, beautifully played compositions exemplify a 19th-century style of American music known as “parlor guitar”: short, fingerpicked compositions intended to be performed in the home. Composer Henry Worrell—author of standards like “Spanish Fandango” and “Sebastopol”—helped popularize the style, but in the hands of instrumentalists like Hughes, parlor music evolved from a casual entertainment into a powerful expression of American folk culture. Parlor-style playing had a huge influence on the work of instrumentalists like Maybelle Carter and Sylvester Weaver, who helped define the rudiments of country and blues guitar techniques. Here, Hughes has a clean, assured style that lends real emotional weight to her performances and makes Queen of the Flat Top Guitar a must-listen for fans of American traditional music.

Customer Reviews


Totally for the person who doesn't listen to mainstream music. Absolutely fantabulous. I have never heard anything like it and I think its really cool.

Simple and Good

Such good parlor music. Using open tunings, and downstroke with thumb, the music is very moving.


Discovered this artist listening to "All Things Considered" on NPR. Plan on buying this soon.

Queen of the Flat Top Guitar, Lena Hughes
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Customer Ratings