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MERLE TRAVIS 'Dapper Dan & Other Classics' BACM-253-CD

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Though Merle Travis was a prodigious talent, and very influential as a guitarist as well as a songwriter, much of his recorded output was pretty weak, mainly due to junky backing. This 24 track British compilation is pretty representative of his recording career at Capitol Records in the 1940s and 50s, with very few of his better songs, and only a handful of cuts that show his distinctive guitar picking (both his style and technique were incredible). There are 5 great instrumentals on this disc, including the classic WALKING THE STRINGS and BLUE SMOKE (Also MEMPHIS BLUES, UP A LAZY RIVER and a nice OLD KENTUCKY HOME). For some folks these may be enough to warrant the cost of this album, unless and until someone comes out with an all-guitar tune re-issue like his old "Walking The Strings" LP years ago.