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Church Street Blues

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 28, 1983
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 28, 1983)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugar Hill
  • ASIN: B000000EZ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,700 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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By Mostly Mozart VINE VOICE on March 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
At this writing, this recording is twenty years old, yet it sounds as fresh and new as any recording available. There are, I think, two reasons for this. One is that the tunes themselves, from folk standards such as The Last Thing On My Mind to early country classics like Any Old Time to fiddle tunes such as Cattle In the Cane, are good music. The more important reason, though, is that Tony uses his astonishing technique not to show itself off, but, rather, to play the tunes the way he thinks they should be played. When I listen to this CD, I don't think, "Man, can he play the guitar"; I think, "What great music!" Virtuosity abounds, but Tony understands that virtuosity doesn't have to mean playing faster and more intricately than anybody else, even though you can.
It's just Tony on most of these tracks. His younger brother Wyatt joins him on three tracks. Come listen to what one or two great musicians can do.
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Format: Audio CD
If you're a bluegrass fan, but get a little tired of the same ol' progressions in G and C, then this is the disc you are looking for. Tony Rice brings an incredible amount of skill to this album where you'll find only one song performed in G and C, several in minor keys, and all of them with interesting but pleasing progressions. This is one of the few discs that one can listen to year after year.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My wife thinks this is pretty dated, but I listen to it often. This recording was foundational for a whole generation of flatpickers, and while I don't try to play this way, I appreciate the music, and the way it impacted what came on its heels.
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Format: Audio CD
"Church Street Blues" is an excellent recording, and a unique one among the Rice canon. In most of his iconic recordings he is surrounded by a cadre of the best string musicians alive. On this recording we get just the man and his guitar. On three of the tracks brother Wyatt plays rhythm guitar while The Master gives a flatpicking clinic - Cattle in the Cane, Jerusalem Ridge and Gold Rush. His voice is in the peak of powers - earthy and yearning - and he is perfectly accompanied by his own virtuoso guitar work on a collection of tunes: Church Street Blues, Streets of London, Orphan Annie, House Carpenter, Last Thing on my Mind, Pride of Man and Lightfoot's Masterpiece: Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Rice chooses songs for melody and story and he delivers them with impact:

"Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the Streets of London - I'll show you something to make you change your mind."

"Oh God, the Pride of Man - beaten in to dust again."

"The Church Bell chimed - it rang twenty-nine times - for each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald."

This is as good as a recording can be featuring only a man, his voice and his guitar.
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By A Customer on January 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
another great tony rice cd. he's more than bluegrass, and nobody can play like he can. very enjoyable listening.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a perfect Sunday morning , shake the cobwebs out of your head kind of album. A quiet album, featuring just Tony and his brother Wyatt on acoustic guitars, it evokes the warth of the sun peeking through the window on a gorgeous morning. Tony was in fine vocal form here, exhibiting the rich voice that sadly , he has been robbed of in the years since. I believe there is not a better Tony Rice album available. It does not necessarily demonstrate the ultimate in his pyrotechnic capability on the guitar , but it doesn't need to. Tony Rice sneezes off riffs that other guitarists work their entire lives to attain. This album sports great song selection, sympathetic accompaniment, and is just an easy listen ( without being "easy listening".)I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves the sound of rich full acoustic guitar, fine tunes, and one the most wonderfully resonant voices anyone has been gifted with.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the album that allows you to listen to Tony with the very least other stuff (i.e. excellent musicians) in the way. If you are curious why Tony is held in such reverence by bluegrass and acoustic listeners, try this one. But beware, he does manage to make it all sound so very easy, and I promise you, it isn't.
What you are listening to is the very, very best.
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By E-Ohio on February 27, 2015
Format: MP3 Music
Tony Rice is an excellent purveyor of "folk-grass" crossovers. He is at his best with Appalachian variants of folk ballads. "House Carpenter" (Child #243) is an example of an authentic folk ballad by Tony and "Streets of London" as a modern folk-like tune.
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