- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: September 29, 2008
- Label: Raven [Australia]
- 1.Down South Blues
- 2.Mutual Admiration
- 3.Muskrat Ramble
- 4.If I Had You
- 5.Cannonball Rag
- 6.Boogie for Cecil
- 7.Is Anything Better Than This
- 8.Dance of the Golden Rod
- 9.Who's Sorry Now
- 10.Nine Pound Hammer
- 11.I'll See You in My Dreams
- 12.Dill Pickle Rag
- 13.Me and Chet Made a Record
- 14.Flatt Did It
- 15.Medley: Tennessee Rag / Beaumont Rag
- 16.Medley: Texas Gales / Old Joe Clark
- 17.You're Gonna Be Sorry
- 18.Goodnight Waltz
- 19.Don't Monkey 'Round My Widder
- 20.Medley: Black and White / Ragtime Annie
- 21.On My Way to Canaan's Land
Personnel: Chet Atkins (vocals, guitar); Doc Watson, Merle Travis (vocals, guitar); Jerry Reed, Jerry Shook (guitar); Michael Coleman (electric bass); Terry McMillan (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: Hugh Cherry; John D. Loudermilk.
Authors: Chet Atkins; Doc Watson.
Arranger: Chet Atkins.
While Chet Atkins is justly recognized as a key architect of the Nashville country-pop sound, even relatively late in his career he would take some opportunities to return to his folksier roots. Such was the case with a couple of collaborations he embarked on with fellow guitar greats Merle Travis, on 1974's The Atkins-Travis Traveling Show, and Doc Watson, on 1980's Reflections. Both are combined onto one 57-minute disc on this Australian CD reissue. A little surprisingly, although Atkins and Travis had played together before the January 1974 session resulting in The Atkins-Travis Traveling Show, they'd never done so for an official release. With producer Jerry Reed (himself no small country guitar legend) adding rhythm guitar on a few tracks, the duo ran through some old favorites ("Muskrat Ramble," "Cannonball Rag," Travis' own "Nine Pound Hammer"), pop standards ("Who's Sorry Now"), and even a couple Shel Silverstein songs on this low-key album. Neither Atkins nor Travis had anything to prove by the time this pairing rolled around, and there's something of an "old friends getting together for the heck of it" feel to both their picking and their relaxed, almost nonchalant occasional vocals. It was a refreshingly plain production for a time when the country scene in which Atkins and Travis had started as youngsters was getting pretty slick. At the same time, there's a lack of ambition to the endeavor that makes it a secondary curiosity in both men's catalogs, and certainly not one of the top places to start as showcases for their formidable abilities. The same can be said of Reflections, but Atkins' partner sounds a little more animated on this album, even though this Atkins-Watson session shares a similar "just two pals pickin'" vibe (and though the band is fuller, with rhythm guitar, bass, and percussion backing the pair's guitars and vocals). Atkins and Watson wrote most of the material on Reflections, and it adequately displays both men's formidable instrumental skills in the folk-country style. The self-conscious "Me and Chet Made a Record" skirts novelty territory, and like the other tracks sporting vocals, reveals Atkins' fairly severe limitations in that department, as does their cover of the Delmore Brothers' "You're Gonna Be Sorry." ~ Richie Unterberger