The thumb- and index-finger guitar picking method Merle Travis
learned as a kid in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky served him very well throughout his long career, and he developed into one of the most skilled and innovative guitar players on the country (or any other) scene, capable of making an acoustic or electric guitar sound like a complete swing orchestra, a style so his own that it has its own name ("Travis picking"). Travis
also had a comfortable, warm voice, and considerable skills as a songwriter, making him a triple-threat performer, and he merged folk and country with jazz and swing textures into an easy, down-home populist tone. This two-disc, 40-track set has his most famous songs ("Dark as a Dungeon," "Sixteen Tons," "Divorce Me C.O.D."), plus a whole lot more, including several of his stunning guitar instrumentals.