Roger McGuinn, Limited Edition

Rob O'Connor

By Rob O'Connor

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

In the '60s, Roger McGuinn — along with his Byrds-mates — pioneered the alloy of psychedelia and country, and in the time since, he has refined and redirected his approach, revisiting the joy he felt upon first discovering traditional music and marrying it to the sonic power of the 12-string electric guitar. Limited Edition finds McGuinn wistful of those earlier times, as in "Parade of Lost Dreams," which is practically a sequel to the Byrds 'classic "So You Want to Be a Rock 'n 'Roll Star," and the Beatles '"If I Needed Someone," which McGuinn's old friend George Harrison wrote after hearing McGuinn's version of "The Bells of Rhymney." Yet despite McGuinn's formidable catalogue, he seems most comfortable looking past the middle distance of his own career and delving into positively ancient jazz, blues, folk and country standards like "Shenandoah," "Shady Grove," "Saint James Infirmary" and even "When the Saints Go Marching In." Underneath all that electricity remains the heart of a folkie who still values the craft of a great and simple song.