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Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo: Melody Magic

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Melody Magic may not boast as high a profile as Frank Vignola’s pairings with Les Paul or Tommy Emmanuel or David Grisman, but this collaboration with fellow guitarist Vinny Raniolo offers similar rewards.

By Vignola’s reckoning, the two have shared the stage a thousand times, and the chemistry they’ve developed over the years is evident on every track here, from the opening nod to Beethoven’s Fifth to the rhythmically insinuating closer, Sting’s “Walking on the Moon.” Between these bookends, you’ll find a fancifully eclectic range of tunes, all but one imaginatively recast by Vignola. Indeed, for all his widely acclaimed talents as a player and improviser, it’s Vignola’s gift for arranging familiar pieces in fresh and often surprising ways that makes Melody Magic so engaging.

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