1-CD with 24-page booklet, 24 tracks. Playing time approx. 59 mns.
A dream package for lovers of great pickin'. Joe Maphis not only played fast, but all those notes took shape and told a story. He was one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll and surf guitar. Here are all of his Columbia instrumentals from 1955 to 1960, plus a rare Republic single from 1960. 24 tracks in all. Titles include Fire On The Strings, Guitar Rock 'n' Roll, Town Hall Shuffle, Water Baby Boogie and Navajo War Party. Four titles feature Larry Collins!
JOE MAPHIS : FLYING FINGERS
VIRGINIA, LATE 1938
17 year old Joe Maphis hoped for great things when he traveled from his home in Cumberland, Maryland to Fredericksburg, Virginia to audition for Blackie Skiles and the Lazy K Ranch Boys. Based at WFVA radio there, the six piece band was an oddity. While the Carter Family, Roy Acuff and other Southeastern acts were hot in Virginia, the Skiles outfit played a mixture of cowboy songs and Western Swing complete with twin fiddles, a thousand miles from that music's core audience in Texas and Oklahoma.
Even after Joe played, the band was skeptical. Desperate to make a good impression, he went for broke, picking up and playing every stringed instrument in the band: fiddles, guitar, banjo and bass. Impressed, one of the Ranch Boys told Skiles, "Blackie, we don't need him, but we better hire him. If we don't, (competing bandleader) Jack Richey's gonna get him." Joe Maphis became the newest Lazy K Ranch Boy.
Otis Wilson Maphis was country's first flashy guitar-slinger. Clad in a flashy Nudie suit, a Stetson topping his craggy, Lincolnesque countenance, Maphis stood onstage, popping off cleanly-picked cascades of notes on his Mosrite doubleneck electric. Every passage spotlighted his lightning-fast technique, excellent taste and distinct tone. At times he'd switch to fiddle or banjo in mid-song, earning the nickname ‘King of the Strings’. He never sold as many records as Chet Atkins or Merle Travis, whether recording for tiny labels like Lariat, MacGregor and Republic or bigger ones like Columbia and Starday. His innovations, however, are beyond question. Most notably, he was among the first, if not the first, guitarists to flatpick fiddle tunes, creating a tradition of flashy guitarists from Jimmy Bryant to Doc Watson, Roy Clark, Albert Lee and beyond.
Maphis's influence has gone even further. Before James Burton, Joe was Ricky Nelson's first lead guitarist. As a studio musician, he played anonymously on scores of pop and country records, along with film and TV soundtracks. Joe's musical protégé, rockabilly guitar legend Larry Collins of the Collins Kids, took the deep influence Joe had on him into other areas. Surf guitarists like Dick Dale have readily acknowledged debts to both Collins and Maphis. Echoes of Joe's twangy leads can be heard in the enduring work of the late Don Rich on Buck Owens' 1960s classics and even in the more recent work of Richard Bennett. Though he never read music, he earned respect from schooled Hollywood arrangers who hired him to work on TV and film soundtracks. And he made it look simple.
|Flying Fingers 1|
|3:||Guitar Rock And Roll|
|4:||Randy Lynn Rag|
|6:||Twin Banjo Special|
|7:||Fire On The Strings|
|8:||Bully Of The Town|
|9:||Town Hall Shuffle|
|10:||Floggin' The Banjo|
|11:||Tennessee Two Step|
|12:||Katy Warren Breakdown|
|13:||Bye, Bye (& LARRY COLLINS)|
|14:||Early American (& LARRY COLLINS)|
|15:||The Rockin' Gypsy (& LARRY COLLINS)|
|16:||Hurricane (& LARRY COLLINS)|
|20:||Mavajo (War Party)|
|22:||Marching Through Georgia|
|23:||Water Baby Boogie|