Rural Life, Acoustic Guitar Solos by Pat Kirtley (Independent)
Pat Kirtley

By Bob Mitchell

The simple facts: forty minutes, fifteen selections, eleven of which are original. Three guitars and five tunings. Recorded by Mainstring, P. O. Box 135, Bardstown, KY 40004. The effect of an overall listening: it makes you smile.

This is Pat Kirtley's third solo release. Each project showcases a Kentucky treasure and any ear that enjoys the sound of an acoustic guitar will hear and love this CD. Each cut shows increasing maturity and dexterity. The project as a whole is a brilliant splash of musical colors. Individual selections are a slice of Pat's love for Kentucky and the guitar. The first cut, one of my two favorite tunes, is a tribute to Arnold Shultz, one of the earliest fathers of the Kentucky thumb-picking style.

Kirtley takes the listener on a musical tour of his home state, providing a surprise around each curve in the road. His melodies are true originals, with sometimes unusual but always delightful chord progressions. Throughout the release, there is a deep respect for the musicianship of Chet Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. From a 'toe-tappers' like "State Fair" or "Black Pepper," to the beautiful "Through The Tears" or "Dance With Me," Pat provides his audience with pure auditory enjoyment. If you are into acoustic guitar, this CD is must for your collection. If you recently discovered the sound of strings and wood, this is a fine CD to start a collection. The more you listen to this project, the more you like it.

One final note: if you were born in Kentucky, just wait until you hear "My Old Kentucky Home." It is a tasteful transition from the days of Steven Foster to the new millennium (this term is now required in all printed and written correspondence.)

For more information about Pat's music and schedule, contact him through a very comprehensive web site