The fully instrumental On Guitar; Rags and Classics is Dave Edmunds’ first completely instrumental album. The album was inspired by some of Edmunds’ favourite guitarists including Merle Travis and Jerry Reed, includes seven brand new recordings, and the selection of tracks was chosen by Edmunds as classic singles and those that reflect his earlier influences.
The album was recorded at home over a four month period and has therefore prevented the overproduction that some albums can slip into, and allowed him the freedom of recording what he wanted and how he wanted it. Edmunds wanted to make clear that on the album, every note was created by hand, and therefore was not just a guitar track laid on top of the original backing track, making him the only one in the studio when recording. This approach could have produced a substandard finish, fortunately this is not the case, and the album instead feels more personal.
It is refreshing to hear a guitarist’s skills, as it is the prominent element on an album, rather than being hidden behind vocals. It is interesting to hear the guitar track taking the melody on these well-known tracks, and how it gives a completely different spin on the song. The skill shown by Edmunds on his guitar representation of the melody is so accurate that you can almost hear the vocals being sung at you through the sound of guitar.
The track listing is a good variety of well-known songs finishing interestingly with Mozart’s ‘Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, Molto Allegro’ which is a brilliant addition and showcases Edmunds’ skills on the guitar. The track order is well mixed and each song leads well onto the next, making it clear that everything on the album has been thought about before release, making the album as a whole a much better.
As the first fully instrumental album released by Edmunds, hopefully there will be more of a similar ilk to come as On Guitar; Rags and Classics is a great listen, well-crafted and very relaxing.
On Guitar; Rags and Classics is available from Amazon.