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Chester & Lester is a beautiful and fun album by two masters. It was recorded in the mid-’70s when Chet Atkins was in his fifties and Les Paul was in his sixties. The latter had been in retirement for a decade before the recording of this album. Nashville studio musicians, including Randy Goodrum on piano and Larrie Londin on drums, back up the master guitarists, but this is by no means a country album. In fact, this album swings on classics such as “Birth of the Blues,” “Avalon,” and “Caravan.” Other classic songs, including “It’s Been a Long Time” and “It Had to Be You,” are beautifully rendered, featuring Les Paul’s instantly recognizable ringing bell tone and Chet Atkins’ fluid, slightly twangy sound. The recording has an informal feel, with between-song banter (and even some joking in the middle of songs) included on the record, which adds to the enjoyment and warmth of this album. The listener knows that the musicians are having a great time. According to the liner notes, only two songs have any overdubs, so, “You hear the music just as it came down.” And it all “came down” beautifully.

-AMG

DOWNLOAD:
Chet Atkins/Les Paul-CHESTER & LESTER (1977)
224kbps

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