When Ray Charles signed his precedent-shattering contract with ABC-Paramount in 1959, he was determined to make good on an early ambition to be the most versatile recording artist the music business had ever known.
Beginning to build a repertoire of songs that you can play comfortably is the first important step in getting started in the Country Blues. But once you've got that repertoire-building process started, it can be enormously helpful to become acquainted with the Blues in a more general, less song-specific way, learning the various stylistic pathways that enable experienced blues players who have never met or played together before to sit down and make music together. When you see that happen, it seems like magic, but it's really just a matter of their knowing and understanding the language of the blues.
Bear Family, the venerable German label that does reissue boxes of U.S. artists better than any American label – with the possible exception of Mosaic – has taken the cream of Kitty Wells' career and issued one of the most historically important collections in the history of country music. The Queen of Country Music is a four-CD box, with exhaustive biographical and session notes by Charles Wolfe that document, in their entirety, nine years of Ms. Wells career, from its inception through to its turning point and superstardom, the years 1949 to 1958; there are 114 tracks in all.
Monty Don conducts his personal 'grand garden tour' around Italy, including the retreats of the affluent north and horticultural gems of the south.
Guitar Apprentice teaches you real hit songs in a rhythm game format by breaking them down into easy portions on multiple levels, showing you exactly what and when to play. By watching the scrolling fretboards and playing as they drop in to place, you'll never be lost or overwhelmed. On the first level, you play only a chord or two. By the time you reach the highest level, you're playing the entire song like the original recorded version. Grab any real guitar, pop in a DVD, and you're ready to rock – even if it's the first time you've picked up a guitar!