Les Paul is 90 years old now. It is amazing that the man is still rockin’ after all these years. The only other person I can think of that performed at that age is Andres Segovia - another great guitar player.
Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Billy Gibbons, Buddy Guy, Steve Miller, and Keith Richards, these are a few of the legends that join the man that made it all happen for them, Les Paul. Paul is the first electronic wizard of the electric guitar. His innovations in sound and recording would change music’s performing and recording methods forever. This is his tribute from a few of the people that became famous because of his work.
Les Paul & Friends-American Made World Played is an incredible album. In fact, it is one of the very best recordings of 2005. Paul plays on every track. I was stunned when I heard the quality and sound of this album. Each performer digs deep to give their very best on each track. There is no doubt each contributor felt inspired to be in the presence of such an icon.
Some of the snippets from Les and Mary Paul’s show are at the beginning of some of the tracks, which makes it more interesting and it gives listeners a chance to hear a piece of history. Steve Miller’s "Fly Like An Eagle," redone by Miller with the help of Paul, is a great remake of the classic rock track. Prior to the track beginning there is an actual recording of Miller singing as a little boy and Paul commenting on how he was going to go places. He was right on the money. Paul performs his well-covered tune "Caravan." He sounds bright and crisp for a 90-year-old, bringing the classic track into modern times. Sam Cooke’s incredible vocals make an appearance on the soulful "Somebody Ease My Troublin' Mind," while Eric Clapton and Paul add some blistering blues-rock riffs. It is the most memorable track on the album. Everyone will have their own favorites I am sure, and there certainly are enough great songs to choose, 16 to be exact, so take your pick. Ritchie Sambora does a killer job with "Let Me Roll It." His vocals are so impassioned and right on, he never sounded better. "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo" matches the old guard Edgar Winter with the young buck Kenny Wayne Sheppard. They prove to be a lethal combination as Winter sounds magnificent while Sheppard does his usual astounding string bending to give the song yet another rebirth.
The energy and quality you will hear from start to finish on this CD is remarkable. When I first heard about it, my anticipation began immediately. I never felt let down once listening to this. The combination of familiar rock, blues, and pop tracks will surely attract a wide range of listeners.
This album is all about Les Paul and the great artists that followed his example. It is a thrilling recording that will most definitely sell a truckload of copies and I would not be surprised if it gets a Grammy nomination. It is that good, so do not miss it!