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Toolin Around Woodstock:featuring Lev CD (2015)

Artist: Arlen Roth

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Warm and friendly celebration of rootsy rock and b

by on 2/25/2008

Guitarist Arlen Roth is best known to other guitarist (and those who employ them) rather than to the music-buying public. His work with Eric Anderson, Paul Simon, Pete Seeger, Rick Wakeman, Livingston Taylor and Loudon Wainright III have shown Roth to be a talented and flexible player, and his well-regarded series of instructional materials have shown him to be as adept at teaching as he is at performing. But his own releases, sprinkled throughout the decades from the '60s onward, have never broken as widely as his session work. His latest set, much of it cut live-in-the-studio, includes heavyweight roots-music friends Levon Helm, Bill Kirchen and Sonny Landreth. The set list is heavy on familiar covers, but the players' depth, and the depth of their musical friendships, gives this a dimension well beyond the songs themselves. ¶ Though Helm's name was added to the title, Roth gets his share of the spotlight, both with his strings and with his voice. His work with a volume control on Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk" is as mesmerizing as the original's steel, and his edgy playing on an instrumental arrangement of Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man" is a worthy substitute for the vocal. Helm, fully recovered from a bout with throat cancer, drums throughout, provides a superbly earthy vocal on the opening rendition of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen," and serves up a suitably pained take on Buck Owens' "Cryin' Time." Bill Kirchen, the master of the Telecaster, proves an excellent duet partner (both guitar and vocal) on a cover of Joe South's "Games People Play," and Sonny Landreth's slide guitar adds boiling energy on "Tumblin'" and lazy blues on "Deep Feeling." ¶ Roth's daughter Lexie (who's released her own album, "One Long Blink") is gussied up with strings and her dad's bluesy guitar on Willie Nelson's "Night Life," and she sings a duet with Helm's daughter Amy on a cover of Betty Everett's "Just One Look." A 41-minute bonus DVD shows the group at work and provides an interesting look at how musicians communicate in the process of creating music. Roth's low-key approach to this project, the musical talent of his guests, and the tight bonds of friendship between the players make this a warm celebration of rootsy rock and blues. 3-3/4 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2008 redtunictroll at hotmail dot com]

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Product Overview


Label Redeye Distribution
SKU 206830577
UPC 625989575624
UPC 14 00625989575624
Format CD
Release Date 10/16/2015
Author Arlen Roth
Product Attributes
Artist Roth,Arlen
Music Format Compact Disc

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Warm and friendly celebration of rootsy rock and b by on Feb 25, 2008