July 11, 1997 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Inner Flame

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Rainer Ptacek
genre
Blues
We gave it an A-

When Czech slide-guitar wizard Rainer Ptacek was diagnosed with brain cancer (currently in remission), it inspired Robert Plant and Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb to assemble this tough ‘n’ tender homage, The Inner Flame. A stellar guest list — including Emmylou Harris, Evan Dando, PJ Harvey, and Plant with Jimmy Page — pays respects to the songs and spirit of the man. Ptacek greases up the tracks with his eloquent bottleneck guitar, a unique sound suggesting Delta music gone to the hinterlands and back. A-

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