Chet Atkins: The Greatest Songs of Mister Guitar by Mark Reinhart

This is a great book for people interested in music and music history, budding and accomplished musicians and music buffs. The author is genuinely knowledgeable about Chet Atkins, his music and his life. It is reflected in the book and the passion really comes across to the reader.

As well as a short biography of Chet Atkins, the book delves into the details of each of the musicians songs. In each discography, there are dates and details about where the recording was made, the musicians who participated in the sessions and the background on the songs. Most importantly and interesting to musicians, is the details Reinhart provides with information on chords, tuning and what guitars Atkins used to record the songs.

One of the things I particularly enjoyed was the background information on the songs themselves. I was never that interested in country music until I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN and received a wonderful education in American Folk music and how it evolved into what is now country. The lines between country and rock and roll were much tighter when Chet Atkins was starting out and the discography really delves into the history of where these songs originally came from.

I think most guitarists would definitely love to have this book as an addition to their music library. For those with an interest in the history of U.S. music and American Folk traditions, this is a great book with lots of background. Don’t be deterred if your interest is more hard rock or any genre other than country, this is a book by musicians, about musicians and musicianship with particular relevance for guitarists and guitar purists.  Well worth the purchase price.

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