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on October 13, 2004
This album from these two masters of guitar fingerpicking will leave anyone who loves the guitar, country, blues, or melodic rock delighted. I have been a Mark Knopfler fan since early Dire Straits, and learned about Chet Atkins from Mark. Anybody Mark thinks is great is definitely worth a listen. I became a Chet Atkins fan a bit late in life, and this album was a big part of that.
This CD shines precisely because it is not flashy or showy; rather it is imbued with craftsmanship and quality musicianship in every bar. The whole album is strong, but I am especially fond of "There'll Be Some Changes Made" in which Chet and Mark trade good humored jabs about their musical heritage, "I'll See You in My Dreams", a mastercrafted classic, and the laid back "Tahitian Skies." Throughout the CD the vocals are relaxed and effortless, and although Knopfler has an appealing if somewhat gravelly voice, Atkins is a little more atonal and wavering in his singing style. Of course the focus here is not vocal performances, but guitar virtuosity, and that is abundant.
This is a CD that will be appreciated by all guitarists who grasp how truly difficult it is to produce a recording this melodious and synchronized, regardless of how easy these two masters make it look. "Neck & Neck" is highly recommended.