Web Exclusive! CD Review: Sam Mitchell, Bottleneck & Slide Guitar (Reissue)

March 25, 2009


Originally released in 1976, this 19-track CD was recorded for both musical and educational purposes by the late roots guitarist Sam Mitchell. In the accompanying booklet, blues and folk music scholar Bruce Bastin lays out the argument (now taken for granted) that bottleneck/slide blues and Delta blues are not synonymous, and that, in fact, the technique was common to several styles from diverse geographic locations. Also included in the booklet are brief notes on each song played on the CD—including the guitar tunings. The songs cover the complete range of bottleneck styles, including classics such as “Crossroad Blues” and “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.” The original release has also been enhanced by the inclusion of sheet music/tab for 13 of the songs in PDF format. This disc makes a great introduction to the various bottleneck styles, as well as providing lots of great performances by a master guitarist. —Barry Cleveland

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