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Brad Paisley - Play
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist
1/20/09

This is the CD that I have been waiting on for Brad Paisley to release. Paisley is the most talented telecaster player out on the country circuits these days, he's as good as the best session players and a real worker at getting great tone. Paisley is a well respected guitar player and he plain let's it loose here. There's plenty of country pickin', with jazz, rock, and blues thrown in for good measure.

Right now I'm listening to him jam it out with BB King on "Let The Good Times Roll." He really plays with a rock edge, using his tube amp to get some overdriven sounds. I do not hear any compression on this CD, where Paisley has used a Keeley compressor in the past, in a recent Guitar Magazine interview, Paisley says the only effect he uses is a Way Huge Delay.

Paisley plays tribute to practically every style on this CD. "Turf's Up" is a surfer rock type jam, that he nails like only he could. "Start A Band" with Keith Urban is great, Paisley and Urban really play well together, they already have plans to do another song in the future.

"Come On In" is his feature with the late Buck Owens, a typical Bakersfield type song that has that country swing sound. A real good capture of his roots in country music. Lots of hot picking with even some vocals, I think only four songs on Play have vocals, now that's instrumental.

"More Than Just This song" (with Steve Wariner), this has such a great soothing melody, a sweet tune. It's a song dedicated to a hometown hero who meant the world to him. Paisley and Wariner play some of the sweetest guitar you'll ever hear. Sometimes Paisley just digs in and brings out these tones from somewhere that are incredible. He really doesn't need a compressor to get great sustain.

In "Les Is More," Paisley has to pick up up a jazz guitar to play this tribute to Les Paul. Paisley shows that he has a light touch too, and just tinkles these sweet notes over a Humbucker pickup sounding a lot like the master himself. Lots of folk don't know that good country studio players are usually great jazz guitarists. Brent Mason is one of Paisley's influences and Mason put out a great CD with his brother last year called "Smokin' Section" which did just that, smoked, but it also had lots of swing and jazz on it.

I reckon my favorite song is "Cluster Pluck," a real hot country instrumental about Chicken Pickin', Paisley puts together a piece with all of his top influences, James Burton, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, John Jergenson, Brent Mason, Redd Volkoert and Steve Wariner. They all take turns doing some chickin' pickin', all I can say is WOW!

Paisley ends this masterpiece with an acoustic version of "What A Friend We Have In Jesus". I'm real happy for Paisley, he really gets to shine with his guitar skills on this CD and it is something that is a real treasure. Brad Paisley is riding at the top of his game.
 


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