The guitar in Western Swing holds a particularly important place. Many guitarists have made major contributions in the field, but the cornerstone remains Eldon Shamblin, whom Rolling Stone magazine once called the World's Best Rhythm Guitaritst. His sophisticated, swinging and moving chords forever impacted the music. Coupled with him were early lead players like Muriel Zeke Campbell, who performed dazzling single-string solos on records up to two years before Charlie Christian joined the Benny Goodman Sextet.
As a genre of muisc, Western Swing is a unique blend of jazz, blues, cowboy, western, gospel and Spanish sounds. The repertory of any Western Swing band includes tunes associated with each of these schools of music, but a consistent style flows through every performance. The roots of Western Swing are not easy to trace. Most pinpoint the Light Crust Doughboys (formed circa 1931) of Fort Worth, Texas as the first example.
Legends of Western Swing Guitar presents the playing of Eldon Shamblin, Billy Dozier, Bob Kiser, Muriel Zeke Campbell, Benny Garcia, Cameron Hill, Jimmy Wyble and Junior Barnard in tare black & white archival films from the 1940s to recent performances recorded in color from the last decade. As well Tommy Morrell, guitarist of a younger generation, is also included. His playing highlights not just the passing of a flame but new places the torch can be carried.