The follow up to his well-revered holiday album Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar, this is Joel Paterson's new collection of vintage instrumental, guitar-centric covers of songs from the Beatles’ catalog, entitled Let It Be Guitar! Joel Paterson Plays The Beatles. The album features the guitarist’s signature blend of vintage jazz, exotica, blues, rockabilly, western swing and country, and uses classic Beatles songs as a sonic template for the mid-century musical journey.
Let It Be Guitar! showcases fresh new arrangements of these familiar tunes, employing a wide variety of musical styles and guitar sounds, paying tribute to Paterson’s biggest influences including Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Jorgen Ingmann, James Burton, Buddy Emmons, Ernest Ranglin and many more.
Of the inspiration for the album, Paterson says, “This is the guitar record I’ve always wanted to make. I love the Beatles and their artistry and attention to detail in the recording studio—and I love all-things-guitar. So, I had a great time diving into these amazing songs, coming up with my own arrangements, and at the same time paying tribute to some of my favorite guitarists and vintage recording techniques of yesteryear.”
The album’s liner notes were written by singer/songwriter and fellow vintage appreciator JD McPherson, who picturesquely describes the album: “Each of Joel’s interpretations of these songs are concise, genre-bending, stylish tone poems, mixing both Joel’s and the Beatles’ own century-spanning inspirations into one zesty musical stew. Contained within certain tracks, you may even find nods to OTHER instrumentalists who have delved into the Beatles’ body of work… It’s almost the meta-sonic equivalent of a Liverpudlian Rube Goldberg drawing.”
Recorded in Chicago at Reliable Recorders and at Paterson’s home studio, Let It Be Guitar! features Joel on guitar, pedal steel, and lap steel; Beau Sample (Devil in a Woodpile, The Modern Sounds, The Fat Babies) on bass; Alex Hall (The Flat Five, The Western Elstons, The Fat Babies) on drums; and Chris Foreman on Hammond B3 organ.
One of the busiest musicians on the roots music scene today, Paterson can be heard playing with The Modern Sounds, The Joel Paterson Organ Trio featuring Chris Foreman, Devil in a Woodpile, The Western Elstons, and many other Chicago-based projects.