At last these two seminal Merle Travis albums are available in their gloriuos integrity.
If you are a guitar aficionado this is it: almost the holy grail of american fingerpicking style
The Merle Travis Guitar is an only instrumental electric gutar set, with definitive versions of Saturday night shuffle, My Bluebell and many more. It was originally issued in 1956. A previous release of this album shuffled tracks from both LPs, but this is the right one.
Walking the strings is the acoustic set and it includes vocals on three tracks and Travis's typical spoken introductions , which are welcomed. This was a compilation of recordings from the early fifties late forties. It repeats (better say reinterpret) some of the electric set tracks. This way you get twice amazed.
Loads and loads of Travis Picking to enjoy.Chet Atkins would develope and somehow smooth the style, but I like Travis more.
Sound quality is very good. It includes the original liner notes and some extra comments.
If this was not enough it adds some extra tracks, so we have 39 tracks on a single CD.
This is a must for guitar players.
For the rest is also very enjoyable but could be a little too much, and perhaps you could do with one of the compilations including the major vocal hits also.
This is a great album of instrmental guitar pickin by the master himself! Especially the first set "The Merle Travis Guitar". The sound quality is light years ahead of the Bear Family box set of the same tunes. The second set "Walkin The Strings" is a little rough around the edges due to it's age, but still good to hear Merle on an acoustic set. Great Guitar Stuff, by a Great Guitar Legend!
I bought 3 other Merle Travis compilations before I finally found the best one. Unless you like over-produced, 1970s country music, don't waste your money on any of the other compilations. "Walking The Strings" is Travis' signature album, and while I'm not crazy in love with all the cuts on this 2-cd combo, the guitar of Mr. Travis makes up for what is lacking on some songs.
There's no denying Merle Travis's place in the top ten of great country guitarists. This two LP set on one CD is a 'must have' for any fingerstyle player or fan of this technique. Travis plays with effortless perfection on these tracks. Anyone who aspires to play this style of guitar needs to check out this CD for a masterclass in phrasing, tone and taste. Thanks to Merle we had Chet Atkins, and now there's Tommy Emmanuel taking over the chair to forge new heights in fingerstyle guitar. But it all began with Merle Travis, and this CD is a superb example of his truly unique style.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered this one CD, that is really two LP's released many years ago. I did know that Merle was the creator of the Travis stye of picking, that almost every guitar picker now uses, but I wasn't sure what his music would sound like. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. I love this stuff so much I am now going to seek out anything else I can find available by this picking wizard. His choice of songs was also a plus.
Merle Travis' style of finger-picking is still among the best today, and he widely imitated........he influenced people like Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. These two albums found in this collection are among his best works, including many favorites of his loyal fans out there: such as Rockabye Rag, Blue Bell, Walking the Strings, and a few stirring religious numbers.