Picks and Pans Review: Read My Licks

updated 08/22/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/22/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Chet Atkins

Nashville's nimblest guitarist owes a big-time thank you to such guest stars as George Benson and Mark Knopfler, who help save him from churning out what might have been an entirely slick, mediocre production. On "Around the Bend," Knopfler and another guitarist, the talented Pat Bergeson, come to the rescue and form a smooth, finger-pickin' summit with Atkins. Benson reaches back to his early days as a pure jazz guitarist and floats delicious, hollow-bodied fills during a duet with Atkins on Johnny Mercer's "Dream." By the time Atkins wraps things up on his own with a warm instrumental version of Don McLean's "Vincent," the hits, thankfully, outnumber the misses. (Columbia)

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