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Rainer

Tucson's late guitar hero Rainer Ptácek was no stranger to the recording studio, but his finest moments were always in small rooms playing to a few dozen attentive listeners, with only a microphone stand separating him from his audience.

This disc captures a full 20 numbers from a magical performance at Tucson's Performance Center on June 6, 1997, with Rainer mixing original songs like "Inner Flame" and "River of Real Time" with favorite covers like Willie Nelson's "Time Slips Away," Billie Holiday's "God Bless the Child" and George Harrison's "Within You Without You."

It's an extraordinary set by the artist at his best, one that reminds us of the treasure we once had--and one to play again and again.

More by Gregory McNamee

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