Earl Klugh,
Naked Guitar
(Koch, 2005)

It all began for this Detroit native at age 13 while watching a Chet Atkins performance on The Perry Como Show with his mother. And, while still a teen, young Earl Klugh was sharing the stage with Grammy-winning jazz guitar great George Benson. Since those early days, Klugh has also performed with Chick Corea, Hubert Laws and Bob James. Klugh and his guitar have appeared on more than three dozen albums both as a solo artist and with other jazz musicians.

Klugh, a songwriter in his own right, says that he is a fan of good songwriting. And while Klugh does not consider himself as a jazz artist, that is where you will find his music.

Klugh's 2005 release Naked Guitar marked a return to the studio after a six-year absence. The album of 14 tracks is mostly cover tunes featuring, as the album title suggests, only Klugh and his guitar. Only the final track, "Angelina," is a Klugh original.

On Naked Guitar, Klugh shows off his finely honed skills as a solo guitarist. While there is no electronic manipulation of any kind -- only a stripped-down, straightforward recording -- it sounds at times as if Klugh has another guitarist on board. But don't let your ears fool you, it's only Earl.

Naked Guitar is a great album for chilling out or snuggling up to that special someone -- with or without the fire.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Sherrill Fulghum

3 May 2008

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