Arlen Roth, “Slide Guitar Summit”

cd2What do Johnny Winter, Cindy Cashdollar, Rick Vito, and Jimmy Vivino have in common? They have recorded on Arlen Roth’s latest album, Slide Guitar Summit. The list goes on and on as Slide Guitar Summit reads as a “Who’s Who” revival of great musicians. Roth is no stranger to success. His last album, All Tricked Out, earned him four Grammy nominations.

With his slide guitar as the fuse, Slide Guitar Summit is a blues explosion. Roth’s album brings the delta blues to surface mixed with Texas and Chicago Blues for everyone to enjoy. If you love to dance to the Texas Swing, play along with your own instrument, or sit back and enjoy the slide, this album is for you.

Roth’s opener, “Do what’s Right,” is an incredible Texas Swing number that’s heavy on the slide guitar. Jack Pearson wrote this fast moving piece. Another, “Stranger on the Shore,” has a Duane Eddy sound, but finely tuned with the help of Cindy Cashdollar’s lap steel guitar. Then onto a song written by Roth, “Sonny Skies,” an instrumental with the track named after Sonny Landreth, master of the slide guitar on this album.

But it’s “Rocket 88,” another Texas Swing piece that gets me with the great Johnny Winter on slide guitar. This session is Johnny’s last before his death. He has influenced so many guitar players.

Other tracks, “Dixie Chicken,” a southern rock piece sounding like something from Ronnie Van Zant, while “Poor Boy Blues,” renders a strong Mississippi Delta sound. Another favorite is Arlen’s instrumental “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” nicely done. Slide Guitar Summit’s last track is an instrumental version of “Amazing Grace.”

Slide Guitar Summit is sweet music packed in fourteen tracks. Having Johnny Winter on the album, with so many seasoned musicians, makes Slide Guitar Summit legendary. At times, it sounds as if they are playing as one. Tom Hambridge is an excellent job producing this album. I’m JR Miller with High Note Reviews, and this is Arlen Roth having a Slide Guitar Summit.

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