RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Dave Edmunds - Rags & Classics 
Cherry Red Records

Rating: C

Dave Edmunds is best known as a highly sought after producer, an eclectic solo artist and as a member of the band Rockpile.  Oh, he also is famous for that classic tune about hearing people knocking and not letting them in.  Not a bad résumé any way you look at it! 

What makes On Guitar... Rags & Classics interesting is that this is Dave's first time producing a completely instrumental album!    The album ends up proving that Dave is pretty damn good at the six-string, but in an understated sort of way.  I suppose we all knew he was this good, but with all he has done vocally, it is easy to overlook his guitar skills.  He is not a guitar hero as such, but rather a total musician, playing for song and delivering the goods for whatever is needed. 

Dave takes on some big songs as well including "Wuthering Heights," "Green Onions," "Classical Gas," and “A Whiter Shade of Pale."  He plays in the style of his heroes Chet Atkins and Merle Travis much of the time, and he seems to be having a blast doing so.  However -and this is a big however- the album never gets to the point where it makes one go 'wow.'  He may be knocking, but we are not rushing to come in.  Don't get me wrong, the music is good, and the songs are well done.  There is nothing wrong with this release.  There is just not that patented Dave Edmunds sort of coolness going on, perhaps intentionally so.  Maybe Dave wanted to pay homage to those he musically appreciated.  He may have done so without putting enough of himself in the mix.  And when you’re Dave Edmunds, that something is pretty damn special.

This one is good... not great.  It is worth a listen as the guy does it well.  Not sure yet if it is worth ‘repeated listens’, though. 


1. A Whiter Shade Of Pale
2. I Believe I Can Fly
3. God Only Knows
4. Wuthering Heights
5. Your Song
6. Black Mountain Rag
7. Classical Gas
8. Green Onions
9. Cannonball Rag
10. Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Molto Allegro (Mozart)

Jeb Wright