James Burton - The Early Years 1957-1969

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James Burton (born August 21, 1939, in Dubberly, Louisiana) is an American guitarist. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 2001 (his induction speech was given by longtime fan Keith Richards), Burton has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Critic Mark Demming writes that 'Burton has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest guitar pickers in either country or rock, (Burton is) one of the best guitar players to ever touch a fretboard.'
James Burton is also known as the 'Master of the (Fender) Telecaster.'
Since the 1950s, Burton has recorded and performed with an array of notable singers, including Bob Luman, Dale Hawkins, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, John Denver, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Lee Lewis, Claude King, Elvis Costello, Joe Osborn, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell, Vince Gill, Suzi Quatro and Allen 'Puddler' Harris. (wikipedia)
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In 1956 James Burton was 17 years old and was already a respected semi-pro guitarist. He'd been a regular on the popular Louisiana Hayride radio show in Shreveport for three years and was getting regular session work. The earliest recording on this excellent collection is a low key 1956 Carol Williams track, but a year later he hooked up with Ricky Nelson, and continued moonlighting as a session musician, playing on a succession of prime rockabilly cuts, including Dale Hawkins' 'Susie-Q' and Bob Luman's 'Red Hot' - both included here.
His work with Nelson attracted a considerable fanbase, including Elvis Presley and various Beatles and Stones, and there are four tracks here to represent their collaboration. The best, 'My Babe' and 'Stop Sneakin' Around' are full of energy, with Burton's guitar propelling the songs.
Over the 28 tracks, there's a surprisingly wide range of artists represented, including The Everly Brothers, Merle Haggard, Lee Hazlewood, and in 1967 he played on the Buffalo Springfield's 'A Child's Claim To Fame'. A 1969 Buddy Cagle track is the latest recording here, before joining Presley in Vegas in his famous TCB Band, then later hooking up with Emmylou Harris' Hot Band. But, as they say in the movies, that's a whole `nother story. 
(review, amazon.com)
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James Burton - The Early Years 1956-1969
(Ace Records UK 2011)
 1. Susie-Q - Dale Hawkins
 2. Red Hot - Bob Luman
 3. Shirley Lee - Bobby Lee Trammel
 4. My Babe - Ricky Nelson
 5. Cannonball Rag - James Burton
 6. Don't Leave Me This Way - Ricky Nelson
 7. The Creep - The Shadows
 8. Stop Sneakin' Around - Ricky Nelson
 9. Swamp Surfer - Jimmy Dobro
10. Make Up Your Mind Baby - Bob Luman
11. Fireball Mail - Jim & Joe
12. Blood from a Stone - Ricky Nelson
13. Real Live Fool - Lee Hazlewood
14. Daisy Mae - Jim & Joe
15. Everybody Listen to the Dobro - Jimmy Dobro
16. Guitar Player - Buddy Cagle
17. Jimmy's Blues - Jimmy Burton
18. Poor Boy Looking for a Home - The Green River Boys Feat. Glen Campbell
19. See See Rider - The Everly Brothers
20. Love Lost - Jimmy Burton
21. A Child's Claim to Fame - Buffalo Springfield
22. If You Want to Be My Woman - Merle Haggard
23. Moonshine - James Burton & Ralph Mooney
24. Corn Pickin' - James Burton & Ralph Mooney
25. Someday, Someday - The Shindogs
26. Why - The Shindogs
27. Just for a While - Carol Williams
28. Tryin' to Be Someone - David & Lee
 
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