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  • Essential Listening 1
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Essential Listening 1


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Audio CD, August 20, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • ASIN: B00006GA49
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,039 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on August 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Instrumentals have been a mainstay of rock and country since their inception, and those driven by electric guitar have popped up repeatedly since the instrument's invention. From steel-and-guitar combos like Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant to Buck Owens & Don Rich's twin telecasters to British Invasion acts like The Shadows to innumerable surf bands to fusionists like Joe Satriani and recent instrumental bands like Los Straitjackets, the electric guitar has logged a lot of time in the spotlight.
The trio of guitarists that make up the Hellecasters (Fairport Convention's Jerry Donahue, The Desert Rose Band's John Jorgenson, and session picker Will Ray) are all masters of the six-string sting. Their talents include firebrand flat-picking, cozy slide playing, nearly inhuman string-bending and the sort of finger-tapping histrionics that fueled many of Eddie Van Halen's solos. What makes their music unique is that the guitar isn't spotlit for a solo, it's the basis. And it's not one virtuoso, it's three, trading licks and prodding each other to ever greater heights.
The band's fourth album, their first for Hightone, continues their application of legendary playing to a broad array of originals and a cover of Noel Redding's "Little Miss Strange." The glee in their trio playing keeps this from being an academic exercise, though the constant onslaught of guitar pyrotechnics may be too intense for all but the guitar aficionado. As catchy as some of the melodies are, the laid-back, languorous solos are generally outweighed by dramatic, heavyweight playing. Sure to be a favorite of guitar fanatics.
3-1/2 stars, if Amazon allowed fractional ratings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Guybert on June 29, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The Hellecasters (John Jorgenson, Jerry Donahue and Will Ray) are one of my all-time favorite bands. I first heard them on the theme to the Disney cartoon "The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show" and was blown away! I was just getting into my "own" music then, separate from the classic rock and Motown my mother always had on the radio (which is great too, of course) and they were some of my early instrumental guitar "heroes."

I decided to completely jump into their music, buying their 3 major releases simultaneously, sight unheard, so to speak. I was not disappointed. Top notch everything from beginning to end. And it all has a great sense of fun about it, which I also appreciate. From there, I've bought many of their individual efforts and love them all.

This collection attempts to put together a sort of "best of" album, and it somewhat succeeds, but unfortunately only has one track from their first album. (no idea why) It does, however, have two previously unreleased tracks ("Little Miss Strange" and "Bucket of Fish") and one that was only available before on the Guitars That Rule the World, Vol. 2 album ("Disnintonation", which is a great way to start the album). Those are great treats for any fan. But really, there are a lot of AMAZING songs missing from here, including their version of "The Orange Blossom Special", one of the best versions ever recorded.

So, in short, lots of good tunes, but you'll want more. A lot of their best wrok is not represented here. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Still, I can't give it any lower than 4/5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rasta Rich on January 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These guys were jamming,and were a valuable addition to my musical tastes and enjoyment...guitars blend so well,and keep the listener tapping their toes and feeling good...
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By maynbren on February 13, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Hellecasters are essential to have in my guitar library!
This CD has no flaws what-so-ever like some other re-records.
I will be buying the whole collection of Hellecasters.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD offers a good overview of the Hellecasters and there music. Be warned that once you listen to this disk you will immediately log on and buy everything the Hellecasters have ever recorded, made, touched, or sat on. These guys individually are Tele masters, but taken together they make magic. The best group I've come across in years; let's keep hoping for a reunion!
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