Arlen Roth review….April 4, 2019….

ARLEN ROTH

TELE MASTERS

AQUINNAH RECORDS  AQ0414

REMINGTON RIDE–KEY TO THE HIGHWAY–WHITE LIGHTNING–BUNKY–RUMBLE–MRS. ROBINSON–SATISFIED MIND–ROADWORTHY–I CAN FIX IT–TENNESSEE WALTZ (FEAT. LEXIE ROTH ON VOC)–JOE’S BLUES–FUNKY MAMA–GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY–TUFF TELE–PROMISED LAND–A MINOR THING

Arlen Roth is one of the most influential guitar players on the planet, and has been for nigh on to 50 years, playing alongside or recording with an immortal list of legends, including Dylan, Ry Cooder, John Prine, and countless others.  Albert Collins notwithstanding, Arlen is one of the great “Tele Masters,” which also happens to be the title of his latest album for Aquinnah Records.  It serves as a beautiful tribute to all the “masters of the Telecaster” guitar.  To commemorate, a slew of top-notch Tele legends in their own right jumped at the chance to help on this set.

There are about a million highlights, the first being Arlen and Steve Wariner, with Cindy Cashdollar on lap steel, on the rousing instrumental, “Remington Ride.”  Brad Paisley joins the party for the raucous twang of “Bunky,” while Will Ray joins Arlen on one of our favorites, a reverb-drenched “Rumble.”  Arlen and Red Volkaert close the proceedings on a sweet minor-key Arlen original, “A Minor Thing.”  Producer Tom Hambridge is on drums, as he is throughout this mind-bending set.

Brilliant vocals are interspersed amongst the instrumentals.  Another favorite featured Jack Pearson on vocals for a killer “Key To The Highway,” while Steve Cropper adds  vocals to an ode to good ol’ Tennessee ‘shine that’s “worth the run for White Lightning!”  Our final favorite was, for us, the centerpiece of the collection.  Longtime Albert Collins fans will love Joe Bonamassa and Jack Pearson swapping licks on a searing tribute to The Iceman, “Joe’s Blues.”

Arlen Roth assembled an unbelievable line-up to honor the Telecaster and its greatest players, of which Arlen certainly is one.  Yep, they are all “Tele Masters!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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