Plays The Beatles (Let It Be Guitar)
Dance On, The Beatles as You’ve Never Heard Them Before.
At the start of this year I’d have sworn that Instrumental albums were ‘well out of fashion,’ yet I’ve received 9 so far; and saw the amazing Los Straightjackets reinvigorate this much maligned category at Sage Gateshead.
Which brings us to this little gem …….. and I’m truly baffled for how to introduce it; because I absolutely love it, but know 99.99% of the population will pass it by without a cursory glance.
More fool them I say!
It doesn’t really matter that I’ve never heard of Joel Paterson before; because as soon as I first heard the opening chords to All My Loving I knew I was going to be in for a rare treat; and it has been.
Every single track here is obviously instantly recognisable; such was the genius of Lennon and McCartney; but in Joel Paterson’s magic hands each song gets a loving overhaul; without losing any of the original sparkle.
Much like the legendary Bill Kirchen, Joel Paterson can pay homage to the greatest of guitar players, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Hank B Marvin and James Burton to name but four; without ever sounding like he’s making a pastiche.
While you and I normally associate Can’t Buy Me Love, Michelle and Something with their amazing lyrics; in these hands they manage to sound just as beautiful, melancholic and occasionally even transcendental.
Concentrating on The Beatles earlier works Paterson even manages to throw some curve balls too; re-introducing us to Things We Said Today, Drive My Car and a childhood favourite of mine; From Me To You with effortless grace.
It’s fair to say Joel Paterson knows his history; as I’d totally forgot about I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party (which becomes a bit of a hoedown here) and also Honey Pie; which gets a Classical meets Jazz guitar overhaul.
The first time I ever heard and saw a pedal-steel guitar was at Butlins Holiday Camp as a teenager in the mid 70’s in their Hawaiian themed bar as a similar sounding combo played the hits of yesteryear; and that’s exactly where the sublime This Boy, Girl and also the Farfisa organ drenched Can’t Buy Me Love takes me whenever I hear these versions; I can still picture my Mam and Dad dancing too.
Oh Lordy, what can I choose as a Favourite Track? I’ve always loved Drive My Car, and Joel and friends really do it justice; but the treatment given to Because is so gently exciting, I think it’s got to be that ……. or maybe And I Love Her?
Oh I don’t know!
Let It Be Guitar; Joel Paterson Plays The Beatles has been both a treat and a marvel over the last few days; and will undoubtedly be so again when it’s pulled down from the shelf when I’m feeling all lonely and melancholy.
I envy anyone under 40 hearing these tracks for the first time and presumably going onto to discover the alternate magic in the Beatles’ originals; because without these songs the music you buy today wouldn’t exist.
As JD McPherson says in the liner notes –
“ This ain’t your uncle’s Beatles cover record. This inspired recording is just what Doctor Robert ordered for Beatles fans (and contrarians) everywhere. Let It Be Guitar!”