Jimmy Bryant - Frettin' Fingers: The Lightning Guitar of Jimmy Bryant (2003)

Jimmy Bryant - Frettin' Fingers: The Lightning Guitar of Jimmy Bryant (2003)
Flac (tracks, .cue, log) | Genre: Country, Instrumental Country | Label: Sundazed Music | 676 MB

CD 1:
01. Bryant's Boogie
02. Red Headed Polka
03. Railroadin'
04. Stainless Steel
05. T-Bone Rag
06. Truck Driver's Ride
07. Liberty Bell Polka
08. Bryant's Shuffle
09. Yodeling Guitar
10. Georgia Steel Guitar
11. Pickin' The Chicken
12. Comin' On
13. Lover
14. Seranade To A Frog
15. Bryant's Bounce
16. Whistle Stop
17. Hometown Polka
18. Jammin' With Jimmy
19. Two Of A Kind
20. Old Joe Clark
21. Arkansas Traveler
22. Country Capers
23. Low Man On A Totem Pole
24. Cotton Pickin'
25. Sleepwalker's Lullaby
CD 2:
01. Statosphere Boogie
02. Flippin' The Lid
03. Deep Water
04. Shuffleboard Rag
05. Caffeine Patrol
06. Pickin' Peppers
07. Chatterbox
08. Frettin' Fingers
09. Pushin' The Blues
10. Rolling Sky
11. The Night Rider
12. Hillcrest (Opus 3)
13. China Boy
14. Ha-So
15. Tobacco Worm
16. Strings
17. Long Walk Home
18. Frettin' Fingers
19. Whistle Stop
20. Peach Grove Express
21. Rattle Dance
22. Scottish Eagle
23. Julie's Gone
24. Buggy Ride
25. Blow Your Hat In The Creek
CD 3:
01. Fender Bender
02. Model 400 Buckboard
03. Laughin Guitar
04. Joy Ride
05. Corn Ball
06. In The Heart Of A Clown
07. Tabasco Road
08. Come Alive Polka
09. Lazy Guitar
10. Shinbone
11. Trevor's Theme
12. Liverpool
13. Boogie For Guitar
14. Steel Guitar Rag
15. 12th Street Rag
16. Little Rock Getaway
17. Caravan
18. Down Yonder
19. Georgia Boogie
20. Tico Tico
21. Indiana (Back Home Again In Indiana)
22. Ten Wheels
23. Stumbling
24. Voxwagon
25. Sugar Foot Rag
Here's the kind of gargantuan production that only Bear Family in Germany has usually undertaken for vintage American country artists: a three-CD set, encompassing 75 songs and nearly three hours of music recorded by guitar great Jimmy Bryant from 1950-1967. This is on Sundazed, however, and it's good to see an American label taking a chance on a major archival collection on a not-too-famous performer that by its nature is going to rule out casual buyers. Many listeners will be sated with a single-disc compilation of Bryant's work (particularly the tracks on which he collaborated with pedal steel guitar master Speedy West), and the wholly instrumental format might make this hard to listen to in one sitting even for committed fans. But Bryant's guitar is consistently inventive -- and unsurpassed in its sheer speed -- throughout these sides, making it worthwhile not just for specialist Bryant and country swing fans, but also for students of virtuoso guitar in general. The highlights of this package are, as you would expect, Bryant's 1950s Capitol collaborations with West, which take up about half the three CDs. These two brought out the best in each other, and if West might be a little better known due to the relatively exotic flavors of his flashy steel playing, Bryant was his equal for mind-bending fluidity. Some of the compositions are less memorable than others, but at their best, as on "Bryant's Bounce," "Bryant's Boogie," "Stratosphere Boogie," "Pickin' the Chicken," and "Arkansas Traveler," they're truly astounding, landmark achievements in high-paced country swing and boogie music.
Although much Bryant-West material has been reissued elsewhere (particularly on the Bear Family box Flamin' Guitars), this set does offer much even to those who have other Bryant-West anthologies in its inclusion of 37 tracks that Bryant recorded without West in the 1960s. True, these weren't up to the groundbreaking level of the earlier recordings, due to both generally less impressive compositions and less sterling instrumental support. Bryant's skills and speed, however, were undiminished, at times yielding tracks on par with anything he recorded, like the dazzling "Laughing Guitar" and "Blow Your Hat in the Creek," and the shrieking remake of "Whistle Stop." At other times some contemporary trends impinged on the arrangements, not always to bad effect; he sounds a little like the Ventures on 1962's "Ha-So," and between Link Wray and Duane Eddy on "Long Walk Home." It's not always enjoyable when touches of exotica and easy listening jazz make their way into the proceedings, though Bryant almost always maintains command of the tracks, with help from some highly esteemed Hollywood and Nashville session players, including Charlie McCoy, Barney Kessel, and Shelly Manne. And even hardened Bryant collectors will find something new here in the form of five previously unreleased 1966-1967 recordings, including an impressive remake of "Frettin' Fingers" (the 1955 original, done with West, is also here). The 32-page booklet, with extensive commentary by country expert Rich Kienzle as well as some appreciative memories from family members, is assembled with as much high-standard care as the rest of the release.
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