My Favorite Songs

The Fiction Twins is a fictitious duo formed by Japanese musician Toshio Watanabe who overdubs himself on the songs. He learned the skill of overdubbing using two tape recorders early in his career. Over the years he honed his skills using newer and newer recording techniques, backing himself up on guitar and mandolin. 

On this new project, Watanabe thought he would add banjo and fiddle and began recording with himself, little-by-little. But he also included some help from fiddle players like Chris Sharp, Jane Johansson, Hiroyuki Momiyama, and Hsuen-Cheng Liao. 

Other guests include Kazumi Watanabe (vocal), Terry Eldridge (bass), Josh Graves (resonator guitar), and Hideyuki Watanabe (banjo). The CD booklet has an introduction by Watanabe in English and then the text switches to Japanese to explain the history of each song. 

English translations for each are provided by musician, publisher, and music professor Wayne Erbsen. The selections chosen by Watanabe are some familiar bluegrass standards and others such as “Girl I Love Don’t Pay Me No Mind,” “Knoxville Girl”, “Watson Blues,” “Are You Tired Of Me, My Darling?,” “Rocky Run,” “How Will I Explain About You?,” “The Bluebirds are Singing For Me,” “What Became Of That Beautiful Picture,” and “Mama Don’t Allow.” 

Watanabe has a very pleasant voice with his slight accent, and his guitar, banjo and mandolin playing are solid as he shows on “Rocky Run” and others, and of course the various fiddle players fit nicely into the mix. 

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