Sunday, May 12, 2013

RED VOLKAERT "For The Ladies" (1998)

RED VOLKAERT "For The Ladies" (1998): As a youngster in Vancouver, British Columbia, Redd Volkaert learned how to play guitar from his dad. By the time he was 16 he was playing in local bars and clubs in Vancouver. After an 8-year stint in Alberta he left the Great North woods for Los Angeles, playing clubs, teaching guitar, and working on demo sessions. Moving to Nashville in 1990, he began doing studio session work and road dates with artists like Ray Price, Lacy J. Dalton, Clinton Gregory, and Dale Watson, eventually winding up in Merle Haggard's band, The Strangers. In fact, out of a long line of prestigious players, Volkaert is the most critically acclaimed of Merle's guitarists. In 1998 HighTone Records released Redd's first solo adventure, Telewacker. Soon to follow was the critically acclaimed No Stranger To A Tele. Guitar Player Magazine stated: "With No Stranger To A Tele, Volkaert showcases his jaw-dropping musicality as he wantonly jumps between hardcore honky tonk, western swing, and rock." In 2000 Redd moved to Austin, Texas, and has quickly become a participant in its thriving live-music scene.(Amazon)Volkaert's day-job as one of Merle Haggard's Strangers has shown him to be a virtuoso of the Telecaster. For his "third" album, Hightone has assembled tracks from his first two albums, augmented them with a few pieces recorded with The Twangbangers (Bill Kirchen, Joe Goldmark and Jack O'Dell), and added two live videos. The result, naturally, follows the template of his earlier releases, focusing on Volkaert's extremely fluid and fluent Telecaster picking. He crosses through various shades of blues, country, swing and pop, with playing that brings to mind everyone from former Stranger Roy Nichols and blues legend Johnny Winter, to rock instrumentalists like Hank Marvin, Nokie Edwards and Link Wray.
Highlights include the lyrical, twanging swing of "No Stranger to a Tele," the honky-tonk "You're Still on My Mind," the Buck & Don inspired "The Buck Stops Here," and a multi-guitar attack on the classic "Truck Drivin' Man." The latter, along with "She Loves Anything That Swings" and a live take of Voelkert's signature "Telewacker," includes Bill Kirchen, Joe Goldmark and Jack O'Dell as The Twangbangers (whose own album is also available on Hightone). The low-end reverb of "Chee-Z" brings to mind the classic '60s instrumentals of The Shadows and Ventures, and the picking on "Breakneck" shows off Volkaert's incredible technical abilities alongside those of steel player Jim Murphy. (Country Roots)trax:
01 No Stranger to a Tele 02 She Loves Anthing That Swings 03 T'wango 04 You're Still On My Mind 05 The Buck Stops Here 06 Truck Drivin' Man 07 Home In San Antone 08 Chee-Z 09 Back To Back 10 Breakneck 11 It's A Minor Thing 12 Telewacker
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