Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hawaian Guitar Banjo Ukulele & Guitar 1926-1949
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop
Roy Smeck was one of the earliest nonclassical guitar virtuosos, and his expertise on Hawaiian guitar, banjo, and ukulele is well-documented on this CD. Influenced by such greats as Eddie Lang, Ikey Robinson, banjoist Harr... more »
Roy Smeck was one of the earliest nonclassical guitar virtuosos, and his expertise on Hawaiian guitar, banjo, and ukulele is well-documented on this CD. Influenced by such greats as Eddie Lang, Ikey Robinson, banjoist Harry Reser, and steel guitarist Sol Hoopii, Smeck carved out a big-time niche as a "string wizard" on the vaudeville circuit. Unable to sing very well, Smeck had to grab the audience's attention with a dazzling barrage of stage tricks and gimmicks. These tricky novelty numbers are featured here, while many of his more tasteful accompaniment records are absent. Smeck was clearly a master musician and a gifted entertainer; unfortunately, many of these tracks would no doubt be more impressive witnessed as a stage act. Still, this CD is highly recommended. --Terry Zwigoff
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Four decades before Jimi Hendrix played guitar with his teeth, Roy Smeck was biting the strings on America's vaudeville circuit. An astonishing instrumentalist already, Smeck had to compensate for his lack of a singing voice by developing jokes and visual guitar gimmicks. Among his tricks were simulating a banjo duet on a single banjo, or playing Yiddish, Chinese or Scottish instrumental versions of "Yes Sir, That's My Baby." Roy could play anything with strings on it, and he could do it upside down, behind his back, or both. Eventually Hollywood discovered him and he was featured in the first talking picture ever. Ironically, "talkies" proved to be the downfall of vaudeville, and with it went Smeck's career. But to this day, Smeck remains America's original guitar hero. His virtuosity is rivaled by few, and this superb collection by Yazoo features 14 intrumentals with nothin' fancy but incredible playing."
Dazzling, fireball fingerpicking
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 11/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hotshot trick guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Roy Smeck tore up the Vaudeville circuit in the 1920s and early '30s, playing a dazzling mix of jazz, blues and Hawaiian-style music on guitar, banjo, mandolin and ukulele. He also became a world-famous author of countless music instruction books... This CD samples some of his best Hawaiian-style recordings of the 1930s, ranging from straight Hawaiian music to ragtime-y material and jazzy flights similar to Django Reinhardt's early stuff. Cool record, though you have to be really into instrumental material to sit through the whole disc. Nice sound quality, too!"
COMPUTERJAZZMAN | Cliffside Park, New Jersey United States | 08/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Roy Smeck could play any type of stringed instrument and play it like a man posessed. This CD covers the years 1926-49. He was truly a guitar whiz, and you will be amazed by his dexterity! If you like this type of music, you will probably also enjoy the music of Sol Hoopi and "King" Benny Nawahi."