Main Street Breakdown

Main Street Breakdown – Chet Atkins (1954)

We believe that “Mainstreet Breakdown” has the greatest lick this Nashville Cat ever came up in the endless stream of records he cranked out under his own namefew of which could even be considered “country,” let alone as “country” as this. By the early 60s most of his records could fit quite nicely into an easy listening format, back when that genre hadn’t caught on with the punk rockers, but was still for the original now mostly dead or deaf tired old businessmen who were too pooped to pop out after work and relax to Little Richard and Fats Domino like his kids were doin’ back in the day. Still, Chester was always worth checking out, especially if you were or are a guitar player yerself.

That’s definitely Jethro Burns burnin’ up the mandolin, so the rhythm guitar has got to be Homer Haynes and though there are no personnel listed anywhere on any of the three major religions (78, 45 & 33 1/3) this cut was issued on, we suspect that it was the usual gang of idiots, the RCA studio musicians, producers and arrangers, that talented as they were, spent their later years in the 60s and 70s pounding the real country music into the ground with their Nash-villianous Sounds-scam style of Country Poop.

Chet’s earlier stuff was recorded live in the studio with little or no overdumb overdubs and these film clips are are a tribute to a man so good on the guitar that I can almost forgive him for his “countrypolitan” over-productions. He took the edge off the real country music to garner “pop” music sales at the expense of its soul by removing the fiddle and steel guitar and adding strings, tubas, oboe sections, background vocal groups and ran-dumb inappropriate other instruments as “sweeteners.” Somebody should invent something to remove the over-productions from the basic tracks. If “I need a” Kerr singers, I’ll ask for I’ll ask for them but don’t hold your breasts.

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