Billy Mure – Songs of Hank Williams
Billy Mure is a first-rate studio guitarist, as well as a composer, arranger and band leader. His instrumental albums of the 1950s, including Supersonic Guitars in Hi-Fi are prized by space-age bachelor-pad music fans for their multi-tracked arrangements and multiply overdubbed instruments, and starting with 1958’s Fireworks, their broad “Living Stereo” soundstage. Mure worked behind the scenes as well, providing arrangements for pop hits like “Do You Wanna Dance?” and “Bobby’s Girl,” as well as the Beatles knock-off, The Nutty Squirrels. This 1960s entry in Mure’s catalog features a dozen instrumental arrangements of songs written or made famous by Hank Williams.
Though the album is credited to Billy Mure’s Guitar and Orchestra, the “Orchestra” is more a matter of Mure’s layering than the use of strings, woodwinds or brass. Mure’s guitars blaze as he overdubs dazzling lead lines atop rhythm playing; the bass and drums add a rock ‘n’ roll backbeat, and the wordless voices suggest Esquivel; amid the overdubbing and vocalizing, however, Mure’s guitar remains the star. Pop instrumental collectors and fans of Hank Williams will each enjoy this trip through a dozen country classics turned easy listening gold. The only disappointment is the short running time of twenty-four minutes; this would have paired nicely with one of Mure’s many other unreleased albums.