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CD REVIEW: Brad Paisley - Play
By Don Sechelski - 11/24/2008 - 07:51 PM EST

Artist: Brad Paisley
Album: Play
Label: Arista
Genre: Country/Rock
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Best Songs: Cliffs Of Rock City, Kim, Turf's Up
CD Review:

I must admit, I'm not much of a fan for Top 40 Country. But I love great guitar playing. Brad Paisley is probably the best guitar player in Nashville right now. Several years ago, I bought his Mud On The Tires LP just to get the instrumental version of Make A Mistake With Me. I was delighted then, to receive a copy of his new, primarily instrumental CD, Play.

When I put on the first cut, Huckleberry Jam, I knew I was in for something special. His precision guitar work stands out from the rest. This high tempo rocker features Paisley's guitar in a mad romp with Justin Williamson's fiddle and Randie Currie's pedal steel. When Turf's Up came on, I realized the Paisley was paying his respects to surf guitar legend, Dick Dale. He captures Dale's intensity perfectly and then takes it a step further.

Then, as I listened to Kim, Come On In and Les Is More, I began to realize that this was Paisley's tribute to all the guitar greats who had influenced him. I heard large doses of guitar legend, Eric Johnson, pioneers Chet Atkins and Les Paul, as well as lesser known greats John Jorgenson and Redd Volkaert. Blues legends, B. B. King and Albert Lee join Paisley on songs as well as current guitar stars, Steve Wariner, Vince Gill, and Keith Urban. Even Paisley's mentor, Buck Owens, chimes in posthumously. His tribute to his grandfather, More Than Just This Song, tells how his grandfather first put the instrument in his hands. Cliffs of Rock City echoes the Eric Johnson classic, Cliffs of Dover. I listened with awe as Paisley called up all the greats with his guitar and named them perfectly by playing in their style.

Paisley is surrounded by top Nashville veteran pickers on Play and the production of Frank Rogers is outstanding. Play is a delight and a must for anyone who loves the sound of an electric guitar in the hands of a master.

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