14 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Arlen Roth, a well-known guitar teacher and the originator of the Hot Licks video series, is caught here putting down some definitive riffs and tunes with Woodstock, N.Y.'s best-known drummer—Levon Helm of The Band—at his professional home studio. Helm's laid-back but funky drum style was something to behold. His vocals were also always first-rate, even after surgery from throat cancer, and he brings a strong, authoritative voice to Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen," a classic bar-band staple that gets everyone in the mood. He works similar magic on Buck Owens' "Cryin' Time." Joe South's "Games People Play" gets a nice workout between Roth and Bill Kirchen, while Bob Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man" receives an instrumental overhaul that smolders with tension and various guitar voicings, making it an immediate highlight. "Tumblin'" teams up Roth with Sonny Landreth for some definitive slide work. While surely attractive to fans of guitar virtuosos, the songs here transcend mere technique. Roth has ensured that anyone can appreciate the gold-standard musicianship here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Arlen Roth, a well-known guitar teacher and the originator of the Hot Licks video series, is caught here putting down some definitive riffs and tunes with Woodstock, N.Y.'s best-known drummer—Levon Helm of The Band—at his professional home studio. Helm's laid-back but funky drum style was something to behold. His vocals were also always first-rate, even after surgery from throat cancer, and he brings a strong, authoritative voice to Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen," a classic bar-band staple that gets everyone in the mood. He works similar magic on Buck Owens' "Cryin' Time." Joe South's "Games People Play" gets a nice workout between Roth and Bill Kirchen, while Bob Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man" receives an instrumental overhaul that smolders with tension and various guitar voicings, making it an immediate highlight. "Tumblin'" teams up Roth with Sonny Landreth for some definitive slide work. While surely attractive to fans of guitar virtuosos, the songs here transcend mere technique. Roth has ensured that anyone can appreciate the gold-standard musicianship here.

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