Guitar Stars

With Billy Joe Walker Jr. on board, MCA Master Series had enough guitar players to make a guitar-oriented sampler.  The timing is a little odd in retrospect as the rise of the “guitar god” was happening in hair metal bands at this time, but these players played nothing like the scale-frenzied players of the metal charts.  Albert Lee could probably keep up with them, but the audiences for each would be far too different.

This compilation from 1988, despite not being pegged to a year, features five artists from the label:

Larry Carlton provides two songs, one from each of his MCA Master Series albums.

Acoustic Alchemy, who only had one album out at this time, provides two songs from Red Dust and Spanish Lace

Albert Lee, also provides two songs from his only album available at the time.

Billy Joe Walker Jr., who like the others, only had one album, provides two songs from Treehouse.

Jerry Douglas, with everyone else, provided two songs from his first album.  Although Douglas technically plays Dobro, it’s close enough to a guitar to make it on this album.

The feel of the album is definitely country with only a slight jazz feel brought in from a few songs.  There’s not really much indication of the genre of music when you inspect the artists or song titles, so I can image some people were surprised by the contents.  Some pleasantly, some probably not.

Like the previous sampler album, this design used the large white border and a single custom art piece in the center.  The color bar is a solid color (teal) and the font sizes are slightly reduced, resulting in a more refined look.