Joe Maphis’ Classic ‘Flat-Picking Spectacular’ Gets A Remastered And Digital Release

CMH Records is honoring several of their legacy releases throughout this year with remastered works now becoming available for digital release and streaming for the first time. The latest of these remastered classics is Joe Maphis’ Flat-Picking Spectacular, out now. The 26-track collection features the “King of Strings” himself on guitar, fiddle and 4-string banjo, along with special guests Merle Travis, Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith, Zen Cook and Johnny Gimble.

Joe Maphis was dubbed the “King of Strings” because of his ability to handle a variety of instruments, even a double-necked guitar, with speed and accuracy. He and his wife, Rose Lee Maphis, would also earn the title of “Mr. and Mrs. Country Music.” Joe Maphis was the first known player to flat pick fiddle tunes and his talents would bring him to radio stations, television, and even film scores throughout his career.

Upon its initial release on CMH Records in 1981, the Flat-Picking Spectacular double LP was nominated for a Grammy in the “Best Country Instrumental Performance” category.

The tracks “Memories of Maybelle” and “Carter Country” are nods to Joe Maphis’ hero, Mother Maybelle Carter. The lengthy track list even includes extended renditions of “Irish Washerwoman” and “Sailor’s Hornpipe,” and many will recognize the tune of “Cripple Creek,” “Duelin’ Banjos” and “Riders in the Sky.” 

Track List for Joe Maphis’ Flat-Picking Spectacular:

  1. Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar
  2. Cripple Creek
  3. South
  4. Lonesome Road Blues
  5. Zendel’s Breakdown
  6. Town Hall Rag
  7. Whistling Rufus
  8. Memories of Maybelle
  9. El Rancho Grande
  10. Rocky Mountain Reel
  11. Silver Threads Among the Gold
  12. Grandma’s Favorites
  13. Charlotte Breakdown
  14. Foggy Mountain Breakdown
  15. Lara’s Them (From Doctor Zhivago)
  16. Hilltop Pickin’
  17. Little Rock Getaway
  18. Sailor’s Hornpipe
  19. Albuquerque Rag
  20. Liebestraum
  21. Duelin’ Banjos
  22. Riders in the Sky
  23. Guitar Rag
  24. Irish Washerwoman
  25. Carter Country
  26. Liberty
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