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Chester & Lester/Guitar Monsters
Chet Atkins
Chester & Lester/Guitar Monsters
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

They weren't joined at the hip, yet Chet Atkins and Les Paul were far closer than many realize. Chet's half-brother Jimmy Atkins played rhythm guitar in the Les Paul Trio in the '40s. Both Chet and Les's playing reflected ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Chet Atkins
Title: Chester & Lester/Guitar Monsters
Members Wishing: 9
Total Copies: 0
Label: One Way Records Inc
Original Release Date: 1/1/2000
Re-Release Date: 10/27/1998
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Classic Country, Instrumental, Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 046633512022

They weren't joined at the hip, yet Chet Atkins and Les Paul were far closer than many realize. Chet's half-brother Jimmy Atkins played rhythm guitar in the Les Paul Trio in the '40s. Both Chet and Les's playing reflected Belgian Gypsy jazz virtuoso Django Reinhardt's influence. They not only created records of monumental importance to guitarists in all genres, but their signature model electric instruments advanced guitar technology. In other words, ample common ground existed for these 1970s collaborations. The first, Chester & Lester, won the pair a Grammy in 1976; Guitar Monsters was the 1978 follow-up. Recorded in a loose, lighthearted atmosphere that bypassed country (except for the tongue-in-cheek "Give My Love to Nell"), these albums explored their roots in the big band era. In some cases, such as "It's Been A Long, Long Time" for Les and "Hot Toddy" for Chet, they revisited songs they recorded years earlier. Les, downplaying his electronic wizardry, proved that he didn't need it to dazzle. Chet, who'd come to favor sterile perfection over passion, unleashed his old intensity in the presence of a fellow virtuoso. --Rich Kienzle

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CD Reviews

Old guys that shine
Steven H. Dymond | Englewood, CO USA | 02/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This double album (Chester and Lester AND Guitar Giants) is a particularly fun CD-it was my first sojourn. As a guitarist who now appreciates what I used to think of as kitsch or corn pone, this album not only showcases each player's virtuoso style from Chet's extraordinary clean Gretsch guitar fingerpicking and great arrangments to Les' Les Paul and his incomparable trills, fills, speed runs and his Paulveriser (the echo unit and /or chorus). These are the guys who pioneered electric pop guitar excellence and electronic innovations. I cannot recommend a better album for those who would like a taste of each player. Some cool tunes, some fun chatter included in the studio giving insights into these two old pros."
This is Great Music!
Brandon S. | Oklahoma | 08/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

".... This is some great instrumental music, very guitar oriented. I was younger when I heard this music, I was 14-15, and listening to the typical Joe Satriani kinda music. However, i'm a jazz fan, and I am not the biggest fan of country music, but this music is That one word can explain the whole collection: it is no more or less. These guys are having a great time here, and what is really cool is that instead of trying to play better than the next guy, they seem to complement each others playing. ....I have very few qualms with this music. If it had been bad, this music would've never been voted for Grammy's and sold so well. It is in fact quite good music. My biggest complain is with Les Paul and his guitar tone. It is quite dry, with a lot of echo and reverb, and a little distant in the mix. It works on some tunes, but the fact that he uses the same guitar and the same tone on pretty much every tune gets sort of annoying at times. On the other hand, Chet Atkins does a nice job of alternating between his warm electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and he really makes the most of his instruments, tonally. There is some phasing and some other sort of effects on the guitars in places here, and the music definetly sounds dated in places, especially with all of the electric piano. Besides these little nit-picks, this is very lively, fun, exciting music. There is no distortion here, no heavy rock licks, just some old fashioned country/jazz/Django-esque playing going on here. It's a great listen, and if you are stuck in a primairly rock instrumental world, try listening to the music here. It is really great. ...."
Outstanding guitar
Edmund | Oceanside, CA United States | 01/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Chet Atkins and Les Paul are both guitar geniuses, each with their own unique style, which blend perfectly on this CD. The sound on this CD is amazing. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys perfect high fidelity sound and outstanding musicians. Ed Quasebarth"