Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rock Mandolin: Holiday Inn

Today’s song is the one that gave me the idea for this feature. Recently, I made a trip to Pennsylvania and since my FM radio is not working, I bought some used CDs for the journey. One of those was my favorite Elton John album, “Madman across the Water.”

While the album produced the hits “Tiny Dancer” and “Levon,” my favorite cut is the title cut. As I listened to the album, I was reminded of a great cut that features the mandolin of Davey Johnstone: “Holiday Inn.”

“Madman across the Water” was Elton John’s first album to feature Davey Johnstone and he became a regular in John’s lineup ever since. Although he has worked with numerous other artists and released a solo album, “Smiling Face” and an instrumental duet LP with John Jorgenson named “Crop Circles”; he is best known as John’s guitarist (and on a few select tracks, his mandolinist).

In addition to playing the fine mandolin parts on “Holiday Inn,” Johnstone is also playing sitar; however, I am having a difficult time picking it out in the mix. Toward the end, Johnstone plays two mandolin parts – one in the left channel and one in the right. Absolutely beautiful.

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