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Legends of Western Swing Guitar

 
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  • Artist: Various Artists Publisher: Vestapol
    Hard Copy   $24.95  Item Number:  Vestapol 13062

    Legends of Western Swing Guitar

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    featuring Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, Bob Kiser, Jim Boyd, Cameron Hill, Jimmy Wyble, Benny Garcia, Art Greenhaw, Tommy Morrell, "Junior" Barnard & Muriel "Zeke" Campbell

    The guitar in Western Swing holds a particularly important place. Many guitarists have made major contributions in the field, but the cornerstone remains Eldon Shamblin, whom Rolling Stone magazine once called the "World's Best Rhythm Guitarist." His sophisticated, swinging and moving chords forever impacted the music. Coupled with him were early lead players like Muriel "Zeke" Campbell, who performed dazzling single-string solos on records up to two years before Charlie Christian joined the Benny Goodman Sextet.

    As a genre of music, Western Swing is a unique blend of jazz, blues, cowboy, western, gospel, and Spanish sounds. The repertory of any Western Swing band includes tunes associated with each of these schools of music, but a consistent style flows through every performance. The roots of Western Swing are not easy to trace. Most pinpoint the Light Crust Doughboys (formed circa 1931) of Fort Worth, Texas as the first example.

    Legends Of Western Swing Guitar presents the playing of Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, Bob Kiser, Muriel "Zeke" Campbell, Benny Garcia, Cameron Hill, Jimmy Wyble and Junior Barnard in rare black & white archival films from the 1940s to recent performances recorded in color from the last decade. As well Tommy Morrell, a guitarist of a younger generation, is also included. His playing highlights not just the passing of a flame but new places the torch can be carried.

    Titles include:

    1. The Kind of Love I Can't Forget 
    Eldon, Billy Dozier, and Bob Kiser
    2. Oh Susannah/Tiger Rag" 
    Light Crust Doughboys (Muriel "Zeke" Campbell, guitar)
    3. Milk Cow Blues 
    Eldon Shamblin and Benny Garcia 
    (with Tommy Perkins on drums and Norm Cochran on bass)
    4. Amazing Grace 
    Eldon Shamblin and Tommy Morrell
    5. Stay A Little Longer 
    Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys 
    with Cameron Hill, rhythm guitar and Jimmy Wyble, lead guitar
    6. Stardust 
    Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, and Bob Kiser
    7. If the World Keeps on Turning 
    Muriel "Zeke" Campbell with Art Greenhaw on rhythm guitar
    8. Tennessee Waltz
    Eldon Shamblin and Tommy Morrell
    9. San Antonio Rose 
    Eldon Shamblin and Benny Garcia 
    (with Tommy Perkins on drums and Norm Cochran on bass)

    10. It Had To Be 
    Eldon Shamblin and Tommy Morrell
    11. Hubbin' It 
    Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (with Junior Barnard on guitar)
    12. Faded Love 
    Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, and Bob Kiser
    13. Back Home Again in Indiana 
    Eldon Shamblin and Tommy Morrell
    14. Rosetta 
    Eldon Shamblin and Benny Garcia 
    (with Tommy Perkins on drums and Norm Cochran on bass)

    15. Maiden's Prayer 
    Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, and Bob Kiser
    16. Ridin' on Down 
    Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (with Junior Barnard on guitar)
    17. Miss the Mississippi and You 
    Muriel "Zeke" Campbell (with Art Greenhaw on rhythm guitar)
    18. There'll Never Be Another You 
    Eldon Shamblin and Tommy Morrell
    19. Time Changes Everything 
    Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, and Bob Kiser
    20. Now or Never 
    Jim Boyd and His Men of the West
    21. Panhandle Rag 
    Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, and Bob Kiser
    22. I Hear You Talkin' 
    Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (with Junior Barnard on guitar) 
    23. San Antonio Rose 
    Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, and Bob Kiser

    Running Time: 60 minutes

    Download PDF Booklet

    Review:  The cornerstone of western swing is its slippery lead guitar, which straddles the boundary between country and jazz. The swing bands of the 40s and 50s generated an amazing group of players, most of whom are captured on this new Vestapol video, including 23 clips recorded between the 40s and the present.

    Most prominently featured is Eldon Shamblin, the guitarist who virtually defined this style during his years with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Shamblin is shown here in 15 numbers recorded relatively recently with collaborators including Benny Garcia, Bob Kizer, Billy Dozier, and Tommy Morrell. Watching these veterans effortlessly swapping leads on tunes like "Faded Love" and "Time Changes Everything" is a delight. For me, the best part of the video consisted of classic footage from western films showing Bob Wills' Texas Playboys, The Light Crust Doughboys, and Jim Boyd and His Men of the West performing at the height of their powers.

    Some of these clips are a bit schlocky, perhaps, but they showcase some amazing playing. This nicely sequenced compilation is a godsend for fans of western swing guitar. – Dirty Linen

     

     

    Video Sample

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