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POPPIN' GUITARS: A Tuneful Of Sherman $17.99 $16.19

very limited CD/DVD combo is in stock and shipping now!!  if  you don't want the DVD and want just the CD ...just note in the "Comments" section of your order and  the price will be reduced in price to $15.99!  your web order will not show the discount but we will make it before billing/shipping.  You may also choose to  order a copy with DVD but get others just as CDs for gifts...just put in the comments section how many of each!  The DVD is limited time only!!!
A fantasmagorical Guitaristic tribute to the  Sherman Brothers by the greatest guitarists in the world!
1) Winnie the Pooh   -  Tommy Emmanuel                                               
2) A Spoonful of Sugar - Laurence Juber                                          
3) Hushabye Mountain  - Al Petteway                                         
4) There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow - Kenny Sultan        
5) You're Sixteen  - Greg Hawkes                                                    
6) Feed The Birds (Tuppence A Bag) - Doug Smith                  
7) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  - Mark Hanson                                 
8) Let's Get Together  - Pat Donohue                                             
9) The Slipper and the Rose Waltz - Jim Tozier                    
10) Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious  - Eltjo Haselhoff                
11) The Age Of Not Believing  - Elliot Easton                               
12) I Wan'na Be Like You  - Mike Dowling                                   
13) Chim Chim Cher-ee   - Nick Charles                                  
14) Stay Awake  - Tim Pacheco                                                  
15) It's A Small World  - Mark Hanson & Doug Smith      
"This Supercalifragilistic album is something I'll treasure forever"....
Richard M Sherman
POPPIN' GUITARS: A Tuneful Of Sherman
(Solid Air Records) — Producer James Jensen has compiled a lovely CD of acoustic guitar solos featuring the music of The Sherman Brothers. These tuneful, upbeat songs work amazingly well even without their indelible lyrics—or is it just that they’re so ingrained in my consciousness that I’m singing along in my head? Either way, this CD features the work of many fine musicians including Laurence Juber, Tommy Emmanuel, Al Petteway, Kenny Sultan, Greg Hawkes, Doug Smith, Mark Hanson, Pat Donohue (whom I listen to every week on A Prairie Home Companion), Jim Tozier, Eltjo Haselhoff, Elliot Easton, Mike Dowling, Nick Charles, and Tim Pacheco. Like an earlier offering "Delovely Guitar", a collection of Cole Porter tunes), this album serves as a reminder of how beautiful the guitar can sound when played by a master, without any rhythmic accompaniment. Every track is a treat, although I must single out Doug Smith’s exceptional performance of “Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag).”
....Leonard Maltin
and... from DR DAVE'S MUSIC BLOG / Canada ... his words really gives a better description of  this recording better than we could!!!
  This is probably THE acoustic guitar CD of the year. Yes, we are just past the halfway mark of the calendar for 2009, but this CD has it all. James Jensen of Solid Air Records has once again assembled most of the finest acoustic guitar players alive today and recorded them playing some of the best-loved music ever written. In every respect this should be the next Grammy for all concerned!

The array of talent is stunning. Ace guitarists Laurence Juber, Mark Hanson, Doug Smith, Kenny Sultan, Al Petteway, Mike Dowling and many others (including ukulele sensation Greg Hawkes) are joined this time by the inimitable Tommy Emmanuel, all in the service of the songs of Robert and Richard M. Sherman.

Now, before you ask "Who?" let me list a few of the songs the Sherman brothers have written:

Winnie the Pooh
A Spoonful of Sugar
You're Sixteen
Feed the Birds (Tuppence A Bag)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Chim Chim Cher-ee
It's a Small World

... among many others. And these are just a few of the songs on the CD!

There is even more reason to order your copy today. For this special CD, Solid Air is offering a combination CD / DVD package for only $17.99 (in addition to the CD-only package for $15.99). This DVD is only available "for a limited time" and I can tell you that you do not want to miss it.

Entitled "Behind the Scenes", the DVD contains extensive footage of Tommy Emmanuel recording his beautiful version of Winnie the Pooh, with alternate takes and studio chatter with his recording engineer - Laurence Juber! LJ gives a virtual master class on arranging for the guitar in explaining his version of A Spoonful of Sugar. And the "star" of the video has to be Richard M. Sherman, who discusses writing the songs, working with Walt Disney, hearing his music played on solo acoustic guitar, and even giving Tommy Emmanuel feedback on his own songs. We even get to see Mr. Sherman hear the first playback of Tommy's recording and his own thoughts on this project.

What a combination! The music from so many Disney classics, Disneyland, and even a number one song for Ringo Starr, arranged and played by stellar guitarists, along with a DVD of behind the scenes footage. What more can I say?

Well I can tell you about the songs. Tommy Emmanuel's Winnie the Pooh is a powerhouse start to the CD. Tommy pulls out all of the stops for this song which is a favourite of his and his daughters. From the opening mist of chordal harmonics ("nothing artificial about those" as LJ points out!) to the subtly over-dubbed melody this one is a real gem, a genuine mix of technical skill and musicality.

Not to be outdone, Laurence Juber provides a superb arrangement of A Spoonful of Sugar complete with complex orchestral counterpoint thrown in to stay true to the original as well as to delight your ears. The way this song grows through subtle key changes and delightful transitions makes it a joy to hear over and over.

Al Petteway slows the tempo a bit with his arrangement of Hushabye Mountain from the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Petteway does a great job with this tender ballad, keeping the haunting melody front and center.

Kenny Sultan then livens up the proceedings with his skipping version of There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, a popular tune from the Disney theme parks. Sultan spices up this happy tune with some down-home blues fingerpickin' and string bending that suits it to a "T".

Slipping out of the solo guitar realm for one tune, Greg Hawkes works his ukulele magic on You're Sixteen. The song sounds as if it were written just for uke, or perhaps a whole orchestra of them. If your foot is not tapping to this song, you may not be breathing.

Getting back to the guitar, Doug Smith provides a wonderful version of Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag), with both melodic delicacy and harmonic richness. The exquisite sound of his guitar sounds like a baritone guitar in an open tuning to my ears. Gorgeous!

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang seems to sneak onto the sound stage. This playful version by Mark Hanson has all of his trademark care and attention to detail in the arrangement which keeps true to the atmosphere of the song as well as its melody and scoring. All of this requires him to play all over the neck of the guitar as well as to toss of some sparkling harmonic work, seemingly effortlessly.

Pat Donohue provides a swinging version of Let's Get Together, a song from the movie The Parent Trap (sung by Hayley Mills in the movie). This funky fingerpicking number is another foot tapper and just a lot of fun to listen to.

By now we might need a breather, and Jim Tozier provides it with a lovely performance of The Slipper and the Rose Waltz, a song from the film The Slipper and the Rose and for which the Sherman brothers received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song.

The mellow mood continues into the next track by Eltjo Haselhoff, until after almost a minute it suddenly blossoms into a boisterous version of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. There is some great playing in a whole variety of styles in this one, and each is more fun than the last.

The Age of Not Believing is another Academy Award nominated song, this time from the film Bedknobs and Broomsticks. This lovely multi-guitar version by Eliot Easton (double-tracked, I assume) is full and rich and a fun romp through the melody.

The oddly-punctuated I Wan'na Be Like You (sometimes also called "The Monkey Song") is from the film The Jungle Book. Mike Dowling gives us an imaginative arrangement and a spirited performance that gives this classic new life.

Of all those great songs from Mary Poppins, it was Chim Chim Cher-ee that walked off with the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1964. Nick Charles does the song proud with a fine arrangment of a classic song that takes it through several changes of mood and tempo.

Stay Awake, a lullaby from Mary Poppins, is given a sensitive reading by Tim Pacheco, who is careful not to lose the sleepy-time feeling of the song in the film. He captures the dreamy atmosphere very well indeed.

So how can such an amazing CD end? Mark Hanson and Doug Smith provide a superbly worthy finale in their incredible duo version of It's a Small World. Theirs is a truly ear-opening rendition that will show you aspects and avenues of this song that you may never have guessed existed. These two great players combine to produce a wonderfully sublime musical experience that is the perfect ending to a magnificent project.

Buying this one is a no-brainer. Your only decision is whether to shell out the extra $2 for the DVD! I would say get the CD / DVD package - you will be glad you acted quickly enough to get one!
....2009 Dave Walker 

Poppin' Guitars
A who's who of fingerstyle guitarists take on classic songs by the Sherman Brothers.

By Doug Young

Laurence Juber and Tommy Emmanuel
Laurence Juber (left) and Tommy Emmanuel (right) both contributed to Poppin’ Guitars.
As the third in a series of albums that pairs many of today’s best fingerstyle guitarists and arrangers with the works of great contemporary composers (the first two included a Grammy-winning take on Henry Mancini’s work and a Cole Porter collection), Poppin’ Guitars: A Tuneful of Sherman features the music of Richard and Robert Sherman. You may not recognize their names, but everyone knows the Shermans’ music, from stage and screen musicals like Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book, and even music for some Disney amusement rides.

Poppin’ Guitars (Solid Air Records) offers a delightful mix of styles, from gentle ballads to Kenny Sultan’s ragtime treatment of “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” to Greg Hawkes’s ukulele version of “You’re Sixteen,” a 1960 hit for Johnny Burnette and later for Ringo Starr. Each arrangement takes a familiar song and gives it an unexpected twist. Al Petteway, who contributed a beautiful version of “Hushabye Mountain” from Mary Poppins, said he grew up with most of those songs. “I loved hearing what all of the guitarists did with them,” Petteway says. “It made all of that music fresh again for me.”

In addition to the album, a limited-edition DVD provides a behind-the-scenes view of Tommy Emmanuel recording “Winnie the Pooh” at Laurence Juber’s studio, along with discussions between Juber, Emmanuel, coproducer James Jensen, and Richard Sherman, as well as Juber performing his stunning version of “A Spoonful of Sugar.” As the opening track of the album, Emmanuel’s arrangement sets the mood, beginning gently with his trademark harmonics before evolving into a playful and joyous romp through the Hundred Acre Wood.

Stories in the Songs

Not surprisingly, arranging these tunes presented some challenges. “We were always doing something to tell stories,” Richard Sherman says. “These are little bits of stories, not just a melody out of the blue.” That meant the guitarists had to tell these stories without words, but there were other challenges as well. “There’s a little extra pressure involved when you know that one of the composers is going to hear your treatment of his song,” says Jim Tozier, who covered “The Slipper and the Rose Waltz.” But Sherman was enthusiastic about the results. “They had to make something with melodic lines alone,” Sherman says. “They told their own stories. I’m thrilled because they made so many wonderful individual statements within the material.”

The guitarists on the album didn’t opt for simple arrangements of the melodies, instead choosing to interpret the whole recording. Doug Smith’s beautiful arrangement of “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins is a case in point. “The song is not only beautiful but has a real sense of wonder,” Smith says. “I wanted to convey that at the beginning by repeating the first two chords of the chorus, C and Em, which sound great in the C G D G B E tuning. I start with a bit of the chorus because that’s the first thing you hear when Mary Poppins starts. I wanted to get the coda as close as I could to the movie version, and I also tried to occasionally get a bit of what the orchestra did into the arrangement.”

Although some tracks on Poppin’ Guitars overdub a second guitar, the closing tune is the only full-fledged duet. Mark Hanson and Smith’s arrangement of “It’s a Small World” serves as a showcase of duet arranging techniques and also exemplifies the personal connections many of the artists felt with these tunes. “It’s a Small World” was written for the 1964 New York World’s Fair (it later became part of a Disneyland ride), where Hanson first heard it. “Having grown up a couple miles from Disneyland, I always think of the ride and that façade that has a giant clock that’s constantly ticking, with it chiming on the quarter hour,” Smith says. That clock is prominently featured in their arrangement. “We love the intro—Big Ben chiming—which is also echoed at the end,” Hanson says. “The beauty of the sound, my Big Ben harmonics over Doug’s eighth-note harmonics ostinato, really pulls the listener in.”

From there, Smith and Hanson pull out all the stops to keep the short and simple melody interesting and varied, moving from a delicate music-box-like version of the chorus, through several styles—mimicking the effect of moving through different cultures on the ride. “Doug and I work out duets in a variety of ways, and we used all of them in ‘It’s a Small World,’” Hanson says. “Doug made up the intro, I wrote the uptempo fiddle-tune craziness near the end, and we worked out much of the rest of it together. The idea of playing the verse and the chorus melodies simultaneously came from my wife, Greta Pedersen, who has used the technique with her children’s choruses.”

From Orchestration to Fingerstyle

Some guitarists were less familiar with the tunes they arranged. Tozier began his arrangement of “The Slipper and the Rose Waltz” by tracking down a copy of the movie and listening repeatedly, since he didn’t know the tune. Although the song’s complex orchestration was difficult to emulate, Tozier made a useful discovery. “Fortunately, the same melody is also used for the vocal tune ‘He Danced with Me/She Danced with Me,’ sung by Richard Chamberlain and Gemma Craven after the ballroom scene, which made it easier to focus on the melody and the important chord changes,” Tozier says. The tune was a stylistic departure for Tozier. “One of the neat things about the melody is that it builds up tension through a series of half-step intervals, with the tension releasing in the last few notes of each line,” he says. “It was such a departure from the Celtic tunes I’m used to arranging.”

Poppin’ Guitars is clearly a labor of love by all involved, and if there’s a common theme, it’s “fun,” which is perhaps best represented by Mike Dowling’s quoting of Baloo the bear (“Get mad, baby!”) from The Jungle Book in his arrangement of “I Wan’na Be Like You.” (For a transcription, see the March 2010 issue page 80.) Sherman had a mirthful reaction to Dowling’s line. “I heard it and I giggled,” Sherman says.

Doug Young is a contributing editor to Acoustic Guitar.


Artist: Various
Product Type: AMR CDs
Item #: SACD2086
Price: $17.99 $16.19
POPPIN' GUITARS: A Tuneful Of Sherman
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 17 June, 2009.

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