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Redd Volkaert – No Stranger to a Tele

 
No Stranger to a Tele

Anybody who’s paid any attention to guitarists in the past decade or so won’t be too surprised when I say what a nice album this is. Redd, as many of you probably already know, is a genial-looking fellow who resembles a lepraucaun and plays the living hell out of a Telecaster. He’s spent the last couple of years on the road with Merle Haggard, and here he’s just oozing country.

The title cut kicks things off with some killer bends, nice jazzy/country chordal work, and some booming twang. You get the picture. Like the title says, Redd is right at home on the Tele. There are plenty of cuts like that one. He’s flashy, but never a show-off – at times he’s downright subtle. And he shows he’s comfortable in a number of genres. The slow-rumbling boogie of “31/2 Minutes Left” features incredible bluesy rock playing with licks that’ll leave your jaw hanging open. “Chee-Z” could be the theme from a lost spy movie, and Redd’s all over it.

Another nice aspect of the album I wasn’t ready for was Redd’s singing. He’s got a rumbly baritone that fits the traditional country songs perfectly. It’s a voice not unlike Haggard’s, but without as much “lived in-ness” as Merle’s.

If you’re a Tele freak, Redd’s one of those guys who makes albums you must own. And if you’re just a fan of traditional country music, you should check it out.



This review originally appeared in VG‘s June ’01 issue.

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