Flying Fingers

Flying Fingers

by Joe MaphisJoe Maphis


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Along with Chet Atkins and Merle Travis, Joe Maphis was one of the most widely heard session guitarists from the 1940s until the 1980s, but his solo recordings weren't nearly as popular -- which doesn't mean they weren't good. The 24 brisk, crisp instrumental tracks on Flying Fingers (running under one hour) were cut mostly for Columbia between 1955 and 1960; the 1955-1957 stuff was recorded between sides by Rose Lee Maphis, and she is present there playing guitar, with Larry Collins (featured on four numbers, on top of which his sister Lorrie is the subject of the title of the Maphis original "Lorrie Ann"), Johnny Bond, and Leon Silby joining the guitar accompaniment on the later sessions. In addition to guitar, Maphis himself plays banjo and autoharp on various tracks. The best showcase to date of Maphis' work, the music features what seem like superhuman feats of dexterity, reminiscent of Jascha Heifetz's 1930s recordings on the violin, only better -- every note is hit spot-on, but the playing never loses its warmth or seems mechanical. Listeners may swear that the masters of "Flying Fingers," "Fire on the Strings," and "Floggin' the Banjo" must have been sped up, but they weren't. While they may constitute highlights, they're not alone. Other high spots include "Katy Warren Breakdown," by session fiddle player Fiddlin' Kate Warren, and the cover of "Sweet Fern" by A.P. Carter. There's also a lot of variety, especially with the presence of the four Collins sides, which rock pretty hard; "Early American" shows some strong blues elements.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/1997
Label: Bear Family
UPC: 4000127161031
catalogNumber: 16103
Rank: 75051

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Maphis   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Leader
Skeets McDonald   Bass
Larry Collins   Track Performer
Rose Lee Maphis   Guitar
Johnny Bond   Guitar
Cliff Crofford   Trumpet
Marion Z. "Pee Wee" Adams   Drums

Technical Credits

Joe Maphis   Arranger
Billy Miller   Illustrations
Don Law   Producer
Rich Kienzle   Biographical Notes
Deke Dickerson   Reissue Producer
R.A. Andreas   Illustrations
Richard Weize   Reissue Producer,Tape Research
Tom Sims   Illustrations
Traditional   Composer

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