Title - 'On Guitar .... Rags & Classics'
Artist - Dave Edmunds
Well, this is new! Welsh guitar icon, Dave Edmunds has just released an all-instrumental album of cover versions. Released via MVD Entertainment Group in the US, On Guitar ... Rags & Classics is a 10 song tribute to songs gone by, all done by the legendary hands of Edmunds.
I'll be honest, going into the reviewing of this two things were on my mind: Firstly, I love Dave Edmunds and everything he's ever done! Although, it should be made clear that it wasn't until after Love Sculpture had split, and Edmunds had a UK Christmas #1 single in 1970 with 'I Hear You Knocking' (a Smiley Lewis cover) that I truly got on board with his music; and secondly, I detest solo guitar albums!
Gary Moore, another of my favorite singer/songwriter guitarists was prone to a few of these, but I took them on the chin, because of all the other great stuff he brought out before and thereafter. Here on On Guitar ... Rags & Classics, Edmunds delves deep into his art, with the album kicking off with a searing cover of the Procol Harum classic 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale.' Then it heads into a grounded, bass rife 'I Believe I Can Fly' from R. Kelly. Both tracks are brilliant, quite evoking, and as much as the remainder of the album follows suit, these two are true highlights of this delicious new album.
A winding 'God Only Knows' (Beach Boys) is next, but the one, true stand out highlight of this album is next: a quite sumptuous cover of Kate Bush's smash hit 'Wuthering Heights.' My God, Edmunds rocks the crap out of this track, never once bending away from its original light though, it has to be said. Elton John's 'Your Song' is a run of the mill rendition, but he finds his form again on the frenetic Doc Watson track, 'Black Mountain Rag.'
Edmunds, who recorded this album, off and on, at his home, over a period of just four months, continues the breathtaking guitar work of his on the stoic 'Classical Gas' (Mason Williams). Having chosen a selection of what he considered to be classic singles from the past, but with a Fender Stratocaster guitar interpretation, along with others reflecting his earlier influences, the always delightful to hear Booker T. & the M.G.'s 'Green Onions' is next. The album then rounds out with both a hyper 'Cannonball Rag' (Merle Travis), before finally coming to a close with Mozart's 'Symphony No. 40 In G Minor, Molto Allegro.'
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