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Hypnotic Safari
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Un poco de Elfida (A bit of Freda)
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Entre dos montanas (Between Two Mountains)
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Autumn WInd
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La Gloria
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Short Stories
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Turquoise Jungle
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Caricias para la Princesa (Caresses for Princess Diana)
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Zamora
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Cathedral Bells
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Hypnotic Safari (extended play)
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Download MP3 Wayne Wesley Johnson & Ruben Romero - Hypnotic Safari
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Description:

(ID 653697)
Acoustic, Instrumental, Nuevo Flamenco, Jazzamenco

11 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Smooth Jazz, LATIN: Flamenco



Details:
This album features an eclectic mix of acoustic and electric steel and nylon string guitars and guitar synthesizer multitracked by two outstanding guitarists.

Wayne Wesley Johnson and Ruben Romero merge their musical styles in a fashion that creates the new sound of "Jazzamenco". This is a CD by guitar lovers for guitar lovers.

Over 70,000 CDs have been sold by the duo in the past 2 years, and the CD has been aired on over 207 NPR and College radio stations.

They are joined occasionally by smooth jazz / new age saxophonist Rusty Crutcher.

Both Johnson and Romero have been performing on guitar since early childhood.

Romero, a New Mexican resident, is a veteran recording artist with over 20 CD releases to date. Originally beginning his guitar training in Spain, this virtuoso classical and flamenco style player is now considered responsible for the creation of the "Santa Fe Sound".

Johnson, formerly a drummer for guitar legend's, Les Paul and Nokie Edwards (The Ventures), has also had several of his own bands through the years including the Yellow Jackets and Sons & Lovers. Groomed as a flat picking jazz stylist, he later adapted to thumb and fingerstyle playing techniques having performed with Thom Bresh (Merle Travis'son)in Las Vegas, and in this CD debuts much of his nuevo flamenco or rumba flamenca techniques as well.

Johnson is a regular performer each year at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, where he is joined by many of the world's finest guitarists. Johnson refers to his technique and sound as "Jazzamenco".

This is the third release by the duo...

Flamenco Flavors (IAGO/Talking Taco)
Flamenco Festival (Narada/Hallmark Music)


Read what they're saying about Wayne Wesley Johnson & Ruben Romero!


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Jazz at a Glance
Volume 119

Featured Artist: Wayne Wesley Johnson & Ruben Romero

CD Title: Hypnotic Safari Year: 2000 Record Label: Wannadu Productions Style: Flamenco / Contemporary Jazz Musicians: Wayne Wesley Johnson and Ruben Romero, guitars. Guest artist: Rusty Crutcher, saxophone.

Review: I have listened to HYPNOTIC SAFARI eight times and each time I discover something refreshingly new & creative in this unusual CD from Wayne Wesley Johnson and Ruben Romero. If you want to purchase something new and incredibly good, get a copy of this CD and if you can, purchase a copy for a close friend to enjoy, too!

There are 11 selections on this CD, each different and strikingly beautiful in concept and jazz motifs! Written by Johnson and Romero, this collection is sure to enchant jazz listeners who like the performances of master guitarists in topnotch form!

"Hypnotic Safari" has a playing time of 58:58 minutes, and is a lovely work of jazz. Closing out the collection at number 11 is an extended version of this song at 18:48 minutes.

Songs include the complex "Turquoise Jungle," "Autumn Wind," "La Gloria," "Entre dos Montanas" among others in this fine collection. Rusty Crutcher appears with saxophone on some of the selections and his performance on "Zamora" is outstanding and flawless. "Cathedral Bells" is a nice jazz piece destined for classic status for its direct approach and perfect jazz dimensions.

Everything about HYPNOTIC SAFARI is perfect. Wayne Wesley Johnson & Ruben Romero have created something uniquely original. It is not often one comes across such an excellent collection as HYPNOTIC SAFARI featuring such gifted guitarists. If you like jazz guitar with an international flavor, you will enjoy this one.

Five stars! Excellent!

Record Label Website: http://www.wannadu.com

Reviewed by: Lee Prosser






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REVIEW: CD REVOLUTIONS MAGAZINE

New World "Jazzamenco" is the terminology guitarists Wayne Wesley Johnson and Ruben Romero use to describe their music, a hybrid of jazz, classical, and fingerstyle techniques with a rumba rhythm. In their new album, Hypnotic Safari, the duo present a sophisticated collection of original compositions that showcases Johnson's fingerstylings and Romero's flamenco technique.

Wayne Wesley Johnson cites as his early influences such guitar greats as Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Django Reinhardt, Charlie Christian, and Duane Eddy. Initially a jazz style flat picking guitarist, he later picked up the Thumb-picking country style from his buddy Thom Bresh and the fingerstyle influences of Laurence Juber and others. The Latin sounds of Paco de Lucia and Ottmar Liebert led to his interest in Flamenco and his friendship with Ruben Romero. Romero, a Santa Fe native, studied flamenco in Spain and has appeared with the Denver Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, as well as having been the subject of a musical documentary on PBS called "Simple Treasures." He is considered one of the primary innovators of the "Santa Fe Sound." Both musicians are recognized among the world's top guitarists, and Hypnotic Safari is a virtuoso performance. If the cool, creamy sounds of Latin guitars light your fire, this is the album for you.


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Amazon.com
November 2000

A Full Five Stars Rating For This Flamenco Guitar CD !!, November 8, 2000
Reviewer: Irvin Goodman (see more about me) from U.S.A. (irvin@prodigy.net)
When I received this CD I sat on it for awhile, because I had several others I wanted to listen to first. I should have played this one FIRST. Hypnotic Safari is an exceptional work by some very talented musicians. I always liked flamenco guitar music, but this is the best I've ever heard. I truly enjoyed each track on the CD. Every song is super, and worth listening to over and over. If you're relaxing, reading the paper or working around the house, you can still enjoy this effort. If you've never tried flamenco guitar, try this CD. Believe me, it's infectious. Add it to your collection, you'll enjoy it!

A real winner!, November 3, 2000
Reviewer: Michael Woznicki (see more about me) from Holland, MA USA
I have reviewed music before and the artist were of my choosing. When I was asked to review this album I wasn't sure of what to expect. After listening to the cd I must admit that there is real undiscovered talent in Wayne Wesley Johnson.This easy listening music extravaganza is simply some of the best music ever recorded and my only regret is that I did not get a chance to listen to it before. There is 60 minutes on 11 tracks that will both entertain and relax you at the same time.Simply amazing is all I can say about the way the music blend a Spanish mix with jazz and a little r&b. Johnson makes the music flow and before you know the 60 minutes is up and you'll find yourself replaying the cd over and over again.With a sound that is sure to please all lovers of music this album is first rate and loaded with the sounds that sooth. A sure fire winner and you have to hear it to believe it.

Truly hypnotic,
Reviewer: Carolann Kapuscinski from Philadelphia, PA New age, jazz,and flamenco guitar - what a combination. It goes right to my soul. This type of music was new to me and an incredible surprise. I was captivated by it when I heard it playing in a retail store. I HAD to have it. It IS hypnotic. I play it when I need to unwind and escape my everyday frantic pace. It does mentally transport me elsewhere. I hope to find other music by this duo.


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20th Century Guitar Magazine
October 2000
by Robert Silverstein

WAYNE WESLEY JOHNSON & RUBEN ROMERO
Hypnotic Safari (Wannadu)

Fans of acoustic-electric jazz, World music and the currently hot Nuevo Flamenco guitar craze should definitely check out the debut duo album from the guitarists Wayne Wesley Johnson & Ruben Romero. Merging the finger-style performance and jazz guitar expertise of Johnson with the ultra-hot Flamenco guitar wizardry of Romero, Johnson & Romero have come up with an intriguing new sound they appropriately dub "Jazzamenco." Recorded last year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Hypnotic Safari goes the distance with a musical palette of breezy instrumental guitar-based jazz and engaging World Music-inspired forays. Johnson and Romero employ multiple acoustic and electric guitars adding numerous shadings and timbres to their flawless performance. Reinforcing the full-bodied studio sound of the album are several gifted musical co-stars including Josef Martinez (Latin percussion), Ben Lucero (bass) and esteemed New Age composer Rusty Crutcher (sax). (editor.-Crutcher's many fine albums are also worth checking out). Additionally, Hypnotic Safari features gorgeous cover art and graphics, extensive technical track-by-track descriptions and bios of both Johnson and Romero. A rare meeting of two guitarists who, together reach a pinnacle of sound perfection, the 11 track CD flows effortlessly from beginning to end. Among the many highlights is the title track, a Johnson/Romero co-composition which opens the CD and which is revived again in a 19 minute extended play version. Spanning a wealth of guitar styles and musical genres, Hypnotic Safari is time well spent for guitar lovers of all persuasions.


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This review appears in issue # 54 of IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION...

Wayne Wesley Johnson & Ruben Romero - HYPNOTIC SAFARI:
This is a beautiful (guitar oriented) CD that holds true to the title... very laid-back (but high energy) musical journeys... Wayne & Ruben are clearly in love with the playing, & completely in tune with the rhythms they are exploring. Both acoustic & electric (& some guitar synthworks) from Wayne, with Ruben furnishing flamenco style guitars and keyboard synths. They are aided by bass from Ben Lucero, latin percussion by Joel Martinez & sax from Rusty Crutcher. Listeners who are looking for "out" music won't be attracted to this, as it stays pretty much within the patterns. That is NOT a bad thing for listeners who enjoy quality music with great energy... this is very satisfying music! It is very easy to (mentally) add the dancer with the castanets c licking as you listen to this. The flavor that is achieved is definitely Latino & their music easily inspires passion! I enjoyed this a great deal & give it a HIGHLY RECOMMEN ED for those who want a listening adventure that doesn't stray too far to the "outside". Contact at Wannadu Productions, POB 212, Oldwick, NJ 08858-0212, on the site at http://wannadu.com or via email to wjguitar@aol.com

Rotcod Zzaj

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Guitar Nine Records

Guitarist Wayne Wesley Johnson created the "Nuevo Jazzamenco" sound with fellow guitarist Ruben Romero, and their newest collaboration, Hypnotic Safari, is a relaxing blend of smooth jazz melodies and Spanish Rumba Flamenca rhythms. The CD features an eclectic mix of acoustic and electric steel and nylon string guitars and guitar synthesizer recorded by the two outstanding guitarists. Listening to the eleven tracks on Hypnotic Safari you'll hear joy, excitement and soulfulness delivered with spirited performances. As New Age Voice Magazine remarked, "This is an album for guitar lovers, by guitar lovers..." Take a musical safari with Johnson and Romero - highly recommended.


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"METAPHYSICAL REVIEWS"
July 2000


The first time I heard Hypnotic Safari I jotted down the feelings it aroused. Energy, rhythm, flamenco style with a jazz beat, virtuosity and heart.
Here is ambient music that lifts, elates, gratifies and satisfies.

Wayne Wesley Johnson has been playing guitar since he was nine, inspired by such notables as Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Duane Eddy and Wes Montgomery...to name a few. Originally trained as a jazz style, flatpicking guitarist, Wayne then expanded to include classical and then, thumb and finger style techniques. That was followed by Spanish and New Mexico flamenco which, when combined with his other disciplines, Wayne calls jazzamenco.

Santa Fe native Ruben Romero began studying flamenco guitar in Spain, at age eleven. He has over 17 albums recorded, and plays much of the music he writes himself. He is internationally regarded as a virtuoso, innovator, arranger, and composer.

Together, Johnson & Romero mesh like Gilbert and Sullivan, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and Rogers and Hammerstein. Each brings special talents to the duo which serve to emphasize, not detract from, the glory that is Hypnotic Safari. Indeed, it is my wish, that they record many more albums...and I am given the opportunity to review them.

Johnson & Romero have given us excitement, joy, merriment and heart gift wrapped in a package called Hypnotic Safari. Here is Spanish-New Mexican-rumba-flamenco music that is, all-at-once, toe-tapping and meditative. This reviewer says to Johnson and Romero...Do More!!

Richard Fuller, Senior Editor


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New Age Voice Magazine NAV Review July 2000

When two guitarists collaborate on a set of tunes, you can get a very lively interplay between the rhythm and melody, with one musician usually holding the basic rhythm steady while the other solos. In the case of Johnson and Romero, they seem equally adept at playing either part. Both have played since childhood, Romero specializing in the Spanish and flamenco styles, Johnson jazz and pop, recently leading the Yellow Jackets before he became enamored of new flamenco styles. As a result, this album is definitely in the new flamenco camp. As is typical of this style, we hear percussion taking the place of castanets and footstomping, and an occasional sax accenting the proceedings. This is an album for guitar lovers, by guitar lovers, and there is a reltationship you get between two guitars that you just don't get between, say the guitar and sax or guitar and piano or bass. There is a tightness when you have two of the same that perhaps is only matched if you have two drummers. The feel of the whole album is bright, sunny, upbeat, the sort of mood lifter that has a high energy, summertime feel.-DL

Note: artist comment / correction ...Wayne Wesley Johnson wants to clarify that the Yellow Jackets is not the same Yellow Jackets as the current jazz group. Wayne's original band which performed between 1960-1969 was called the Yellow Jackets and later was changed to "Sons & Lovers" between 1969-1972, before Wayne began performing as a solo artist.


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Review: Johnson & Romero
Hypnotic Safari (Wannadu Records)

By Erik Deckers
Indie-Music.com
Intro/general thoughts: After a hectic day at work, or after being overloaded with a lot of loud, heavy music, I like to kick back with and relax with music that calms my jangled nerves, and doesn't require a lot of concentration to enjoy. Wayne Wesley Johnson and Ruben Romero's new album, "Hypnotic Safari," certainly fits the bill. These two extremely talented guitarists have produced nearly an hour of smooth, flamenco-style jazz they refer to as "nuevo flamenco" or "rumba flamenca." If you like smooth jazz, great guitar work, or are a fan of Spanish guitar music, "Hypnotic Safari" is a CD you need to listen to.

Type of Music: Smooth Jazz/Nuevo Flamenco/New Age

Hometown: Oldwick, New Jersey

Notable: Wayne Wesley Johnson has played guitar for several notable jazz artists, like Sandy DeVito and Eddie Berg, and even played drums for Les Paul (Les Paul said Johnson is "a fine guitarist. . . and fine drummer too." Johnson was even the leader of The Yellow Jackets, who I remember listening to back in high school.

Ruben Romero has been playing guitar since age 11. He has released over 17 albums, and played with other international musical stars, including Jesse Cook, Oscar Lopez, and Ottmar Liebert. And New Age label Narada has released two volumes that feature Romero's work, along with other guitar artists like Paco de Lucia and Al Di Meola.

Highs: "La Gloria" was one of my favorite tracks on the whole album, and one that really makes flamenco music accessible to casual or even new fans. The piece was originally written and recorded by Romero, and was recorded again for this album. The piece showcases the two different techniques of Johnson and Romero. However, my absolute favorite was "Caricias para la princesa" (Caresses for Princess Diana), a hauntingly beautiful and sad tune that was written by, and featured, Ruben Romero.

Lows: No joke, there really were no low points on the whole album. When you get musicians as experienced and talented as these two, you'll be hard pressed to find anything wrong with the music.

Fans: Anyone who loves great guitar work or likes to relax to guitar jazz. Fans of Al Di Meola, Ottmar Liebert, or Pat Metheny -- three big mainstays on New Age radio shows on NPR -- will love "Hypnotic Safari."

Production notes: This is probably one of the best engineered recordings I've heard in a long time. Everything is superbly mixed, and engineer William Bartley should be proud of the work he did on this. This is definitely a showcase recording if you ever want to show off your new high-end audio system.

Promo notes or Indie-Notes: My one real complaint with the whole CD is that the "Anatomy" section of the CD cover, which lists the background of each song, is written for guitarheads. Each song lists the different guitars, rhythms, tuning methods, types of guitar strings and even fingerstyles. Maybe I'm committing some guitar heresy by saying this, but this information really didn't interest me that much.

However, there was a little personal background on each song, like who it was written for, or some performance history of the song, which was more interesting. Plus, I did appreciate the bio and background information included on the cover -- which is very rare on any album -- so it's a trade-off.

Summary: Let's face it, both Johnson and Romero are guitar masters. Their technique and ability is razor-sharp and they're able to create some of the best jazz guitar work I've heard in the 15 years I've listened to jazz. If you can listen to Wayne Wesley Johnson and Ruben Romero without at least tapping your foot or humming along, have someone check your pulse.


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Music Design Review

Discover the "Jazzamenco" sound of HYPNOTIC SAFARI - a relaxing blend of smooth jazz melodies, heartfelt harmonies and Latin rumba flamenca rhythms spiced with spontaneous improvisation. Over a dozen differnet types of guitars including an eclectic mix of fingerstyle, flamenco, acoustic and electric are perfomed by world-class guitarists Wayne Wesley Johnson and Ruben Romero. Together with celebrated saxophonist Rusty Crutcher, Johnson and Romero present an album of exceptional compositions that is a must have for anyone who loves great guitar music.


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Radio "Mir" Review
(International)

I'd like to inform you that Hypnotic Safari was included in my Top 20 for magazine NAV for two months because your music is truly outstanding. Also I send you my comments and impressions as to CD.

Exciting highly imaginative guitar music from the album Hypnotic Safari, that is closest, on my sight, to new flamenco, and that gives rise to a new breath of life because of a new musical "wind" blowing from Safari. Magnificent emotions and moods are only a part of that show which is opening before you during penetration into this music. When listening to it and looking at the amazine cheerful pictures of the disk, it is a miracle that is going on: the pictures are reviving...
The rhinoceros and the giraffe dance rumba to the accompaniment of pelicans and frogs' sounds and noisel. With smooth rockings, they are echoed by the smiling lion and panther, by the winking flamingo and cheerful zebra...
Enveloping and gentle as a morning southern sun, the music carries a listener away, into a "warm paradise" of joy where he unites with his self and the environmental world. After such "travels" one comes back renovated and hunguring to see marvels and to plunge again into this fantastic world created by the masterly guitar players.
Alexei Krupski. Radioprogramme "Visionary Voyager", Minsk, Belarus
e-mail: stranik99@mail.ru


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Just Jazz Guitar Magazine Review
by Ed Benson, Editor

"Talk about an unlikely pairing of musicians---Wayne Wesley Johnson, drummer and a flatpicking guitarist from New Jersey meets flamenco guitarist Ruben Romero from Santa Fe, NM! The union appears to work on their first CD "Flamenco Flavors" (IAGO/Talking Taco), in which they play styles ranging from jazz and samba to traditional flamenco. They call it "Jazzamenco." Eight of the tunes were written by Romero and Johnson. The interplay between both guitarists is evident and my favorite cuts are "Malaguena" and the originals "Caricias para la princesa,""Un poco de Elfida" and the Gipsy Kings flavored "Zamora." Enjoyable and recommended."

Note: many of these selections are also on Hypnotic Safari (Wannadu)


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Review by Lou Mecca, Jazz guitarist
former Musical Director at FDU-Rutherford/Teaneck Campuses

I first met Wayne Wesley Johnson at the MacAfee Guitar Show in New Jersey, May 1999. I heard him play and I was very impressed with his style and musical ability. Then I heard his new CD "Hypnotic Safari" on Wannadu Productions, and knew then that I really had not heard this fine guitarist until his teaming up with Ruben Romero, a brilliant guitarist and together they recorded original tunes that are really hypnotic. I recommend this CD for shear listening pleasure and maybe you might go on a musical safari. Great Work!


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Review: Wayne Wesley Johnson/Ruben Romero
"Hypnotic Safari"

An interesting and diverse gathering of South of the Border guitar candy. Both guitarists whip out clean and tasty chops, in a Jazziz magazine kinda way. Safe, smooth and pleasant bass guitar, sax, and Afro-Cuban percussion and drumming underpin the string-exchanges of Johnson (leader of The Yellowjackets, able to chameleonically blend guitar genres) and Romero (who's played, in the Flamenco style, with the Denver and Minneapolis Orchestras)', as they politely allow one another to take the foreground for a few bars, then step back again for the other. "A bottle of wine, some brie and bread, this CD, and my baby...."

Bret Hart
The Unheard Music
609 Morehead Street
Eden, NC 27288


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Letters from our friend, Thom Bresh... Wayne Wesley Johnson is not only a loyal friend and fine player, we have played together in L.A., Las Vegas and Nashville, but is one of the most networked guitarists in the business. He has turned me, and other players as well, on to great pieces of gear, accessories and even guitars that are now in my stage and studio arsenal. As a designer, his "Bluesette," built by the Heritage guitar company, is still one of my favorite guitars of all time. Wayne Wesley Johnson is good for the guitar, both personally and professionally.

What Thom Bresh has to say about "Hypnotic Safari"

" I just love to listen to it...the music makes me FEEEELLLL Good! Hypnotic Safari...That's exactly what it is...A safari, not of animals, but guitars, styles and techniques. From the jungle of guitar rhythms to the lilting Romero style in the treetops, with of course, the sting of the electric jazz styling of Johnson as he swoops down on his prey...Cool to have on anytime..."
Thom Bresh, Guitarist /Songwriter/Entertainer
(Son of the late Merle Travis)


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Feedback from listeners & fans....

"Wayne, the CD is absolutely fantastic...just blew me away...I knew it would be good, but it is absolutely fantastic...I don't know anyone in the world that has more passion for the guitar than you do."
Scott Chinery
The Chinery Collection
Toms River, NJ

"Wayne Wesley Johnson and I have been friends for about a million years...we've travelled all over the world together...Wayne's a fine guitarist and fine drummer, too"
Les Paul at The Iridium, NYC

"My husband and I turned on your tape...we looked at each other and my husband just said...WOW! It's absolutely wonderful...I want it in my store...I want to sell it! I'll take a dozen copies right now!
Estella Roush / Strawberry Jam
New Hope, Pa.

"Just got your tape...nothing short of excellent, great playing jazz and latin, flamenco works well together"
Anthony Smith
guitarist with Nokie Edwards of the Ventures
Geneva, Ill

"Finally, I have heard guitar gods. You and your partner play your ass off on both CDs... I hear the traditional but the jazz also lends itself to the power and love of your instruments. Bravo, multi bravo. You are both masters. I wish you much success with these projects and hope that there is more where these came from."
George Manno, Guitarist / Freelance Writer
Chicago, ILL

"I got the CD before driving on a trip last weekend and listend to it in the car. It made the trip easier! I like this one even more than the first one, so you guys are getting it together. I will mention it in the (CAAS) newsletter when you are ready, with ordering info and all that...it is good playing and you are both to be commended for a good job. I will be sending Chet Atkins his copy soon. You and Ruben are welcome to play again at the convention...it is for sure that you are welcome to play." Mark Pritcher, President
Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS)
Knoxville / Nashville, TN


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