Notes on Fingerpickin' . . .

When I was a teenager, I spent a great deal of time reading the liner notes to my LPs. With the dawn of the CD age, liner notes pretty much went out the window, unless they were tucked away inside the CD booklet, written in very small print that is getting harder and harder to read every year . . .

But, I digress. For those who are interested in such things, I thought I would share some background information on my Fingerpickin' CD.

The first ten tracks (That's My Boy through The Crawl) are from my 1994 cassette Fingerpickin' Guitar Solos. Appalachian Lullaby and Sand Mountain Sleigh Ride are from my Christmas Time CD and Acoustic Christmas book/CD set (Warner/Alfred Publications). Summer Walks, Au contraire, Just Takin' My Time, Headin' Home, and Walkin' Shoes are from the Down Home Picking book/CD set (Mel Bay Publications). The second version of Au contraire is from the Remembering Marcel book/CD set (Mel Bay Publications). The rest first appeared in various issues of Acoustic Guitar Workshop.

The guitars were recorded direct to analog tape through a Demeter Stereo Tube Direct and Lexicon PCM-60 digital reverb, using Monster Cable Studio Pro 1000 cable. (The second version of Au contraire was recorded to ADAT using the same signal path.) Mixing was done to a TASCAM DAT machine.

-Craig Dobbins, May 2006


That's My Boy

For my son Bennett. That's me on bass and drum machine. Richard Smith (and his brothers Rob and Sam) recorded this one on the Richard Smith Guitar Trio album.



This one was inspired by Jerry Reed's great tune Bluesland. I replaced the original bass and percussion parts when I remixed the track for this CD.



For my wife, who by lucky coincidence is named Julie. I overdubbed a little bass the second time through.



This one's for Chet. I wrote it sometime in the 1980's, and mailed him a tape of the tune for his birthday. He sent me back a nice note that said "Fine pickin' Craig!" I still have it.


The Wavular Sidestep

I think I wrote this one in the late 1970's. I had probably been listening a little too much to Saturday Night Shuffle by Merle Travis . . .


Hang Loose

A little Reed style pickin'. Again, that's me on bass and percussion. The original tape was eaten by a hungry reel to reel machine, so the version here is remastered from an ADAT safety copy.


Once Again

One of my favorite chord progressions. I love that E/A chord (or A Maj9, if you prefer.)


The Ballad of Fred Smith

"Any resemblance to Fred Smiths living or deceased is purely coincidental."


Through the Tears

I overdubbed the harmony line in the bridge with my Martin, and the harmony at the end with the Sand. Pat Kirtley recorded this one on his Rural Life album. Now I get letters and email asking if I have the tab to "that Pat Kirtley tune, Through the Tears."


The Crawl

Written during a time of great intestinal distress. (Note: Don't try this at home- the lead break in the middle is an overdub.)



For a dear friend who has passed on. I doubled the guitar in the bridge.


Summer Walks

Written in 1977. I was inspired by Chet Atkins' tune My Town.


Just Takin' My Time

This one's for Paul Yandell.


Au contraire (solo version)

Written for Marcel Dadi, who died tragically in 1996. He had planned to include it in his next album. I used just a touch of slapback echo on the recording.


Headin' Home

A little tribute to Merle Travis. I recorded this one through an Alesis compressor.


Appalachian Lullaby

I think I used both the pickup and an external microphone, probably a Shure SM57. The original title was simply Lullaby.


Sand Mountain Sleigh Ride

I borrowed the Delvecchio from Nashville songwriter Paul Craft. (I later bought the guitar.) I played the rhythm parts on my Taylor 514-C acoustic. The guitars were miked with an omnidirectional condenser through a tube preamp. I didn't have the bridge section finished when I recorded this one, so I just improvised a little Chet style pickin' in A minor, and that's what you hear on the recording.


Walkin' Shoes

One of three tunes (the other two are Just Takin' My Time and Headin' Home) written especially for the Down Home Picking project. I actually wrote Walkin' Shoes "in my head" while driving. When I tried it on guitar, it worked!


Au contraire (Remembering Marcel version)

When Mel Bay asked me to contribute a tune to the Remembering Marcel project, I thought it might be fun to re-record Au contraire as an "imaginary duet" between Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed. The electric guitar is "Chet's" part; the nylon string is "Jerry's" part.

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