Chet Atkins is one of those guitarists that stands the test of time. He knew how to play that guitar whether it was country to rock n’ roll. He has played with many country musicians including Jerry Reed, whom he discovered. Just like Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins seems to be a forgotten guitar legend these days. But listening to his compilation record “The Guitar Genius”, released in 1963, I can honestly say, what a brilliant guitarist. He makes it sound so easy!!! Where are the country guitarists like him these days?
The album itself includes several songs that are composed wonderfully. “Heartbreak Hotel” which is an instrumental is brilliantly done. The guitar work alone makes the entire album. “Swanee River” is another good tune. Chet uses several scales throughout this song which you normally wouldn’t hear in country music. The entire album showcases his various talents in the music genres. Lot’s of melodies and various tempos. Plenty of riffs and leads make this album great. The songs have lots of harmony between all of the instruments that help to showcase Chet’s style of playing. Vocal wise, I do not like it. Jim Atkins, Chet’s older brother is the vocalist. He is a classic 1950’s western or easy listing vocalist.
If you’re a young guitarist, then you need to listen to some of Chet’s work. It’s jazzy, bluesy, it’s progressive, but yet, it’s country, it’s pop, and it’s rock n’ roll. It’s everything thrown into the pot and it’s good. So check it out and learn some of the scales that Chet is using. You’ll be amazed!
A1 Heartbreak Hotel 2:24
A2 Swanee River 1:36
A3 Blackjack 2:19
A4 I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time 2:06
A5 Darr’s ‘N Wind Wat Waai 2:23
B1 It’s Now Or Never 1:59
B2 Out Of Nowhere 2:56
B3 Hidden Charm 2:26
B4 Even Tho’ 3:12
B5 When Day Is Done 2:26