Brad Paisley doesn't just pay tributes to his heroes on his fifth album - he shares licks with many.

Let's get young guns out of the chute first - the acclaimed West Virginia born guitar ace duets with expatriate superstar Keith Urban, 41, on their latest hit Start A Band.

The lads performed the song live as they kicked off the recent 42nd CMA Awards show in Nashville.

Paisley made mildly risqué jokes as one of the show's hosts - along with Oklahoma star Carrie Underwood who was not two stepping backstage with Faith Hill.

He also performed his recent hit Waitin' on a Woman - named Video of the Year and featuring octogenarian singing actor Andy Griffith.

Brad also picked some solo guitar in a brief tribute to the late Grammy award singing actor and hotshot guitarist Jerry Reed, who died at 71 on September 1, and was named Male Vocalist of the Year.

But that was then and this is now for an album that topped the all genre Billboard Top 200 album sales charts on debut.

An amazing feat - considering there are 11 instrumentals on this 16-track disc.


Paisley entrees his album off with Huckleberry Jam - the first of his instrumentals that slip into gear alongside the punny surf pastiche Turf's Up and Kim.

Well, Huckleberry is named after his eldest infant son and Kim after his actress wife Kimberley.

So you might guess that Les Paul, now 93 and still performing, inspired Les Is More.

When you punt on instrumentals you could be excused for punning for gold.

Steve Wariner joins the hotshot on their co-write of Chet Atkins tribute More Than Just This Song - "Mr. Guitar came into my life/And let me live this dream."

B. B. King indulges in energetic genre crossing on Let The Good Times Roll and Mr Snoop Dogg imparts the vocal intro on instrumental Kentucky Jelly.


But the puns climax on Cluster Pluck with the axe army James Burton, Red Volkaert, Albert Lee, Vince Gill, Brent Mason, John Jorgensen and Wariner joining young Brad.

Truly orgasmic for guitar gurus but more historic and prophetic is Come On In - with Buck Owens on vocals, mandolin and dobro.

Buck might have gone to God at 76 on March 25, 2006 but sounds in better nick than Andy Griffith, 82, who joins Brad on belated hit Waitin' On A Woman, reprised from his 2005 Time Well Wasted album.

It was definitely Andy's role in the video, not his world-weary vocals that made this a hit and bonus track.

The performance was a variation on Griffith's role in Adrienne Shelly's film Waitress.

While remembering octogenarian video heroes let's not forget Grand Ole Opry icon Little Jimmy Dickens for his role as Grandpa Paisley in the Pre-Cluster Cluster Pluck Prequel.

So is this good value?

Well, bravo to Paisley for blasting it past the Music Row gatekeepers at the age of 35.

I suspect the vocal duets and its Billboard chart debut at #1 will keep the werewolves from the studio door.

And, of course, add fuel to the blazing sales fire that will hopefully bring Paisley here on a tour - strategically with Urban if record companies, booking agents and managers can ensure their ducks and ducts fly are in the right row.

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