Yikes! Here’s a truly awe-inspiring display of guitar playing. Recorded live on German television, Jerry Donahue, John Jorgenson, and Will Ray take you on a roller-coaster ride that will leave you sitting on your easy chair with your mouth wide open.
Things open with “Inspector Gadget.” They show off their great chemistry right off the bat, then Jogenson rips off the top of your head with a magnificant solo. Ray’s not far behind and the song sets the tone for the entire show. Donahue’s subtle bends and killer blues playing dominate “Went On a 12-Bar Bender.” Jorgenson’s gorgeous playing is highlighted on “Son Becomes Father” which ends up being a tour de force for him. Will Ray shines on “Sweet Dreams.” They all are featured on pretty much all the cuts and there is not a boring guitar moment on the video. I love it when people refer to these guys as country players. That would definitely be a miscatagorization. In fact, Grand Old Opry folks would proabably keel over in the aisles if they saw Jorgenson’s Eddie Van Halen-meets-Bill Monroe soloing on “Orange Blossom Special.” Incredible stuff.
Guitarists will also love to look at the guitars, especially Jorgenson’s collection. If you buy one performance video this year, pick this one. The Hellecasters have their own website at www.hellecast ers.com, where you can check them out.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb. ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.