George Barnes is credited—somewhat dubiously—as being the first electric jazz guitarist. Whether the veracity of his claim is accurate or not, it matters little; over the course of a fifty-year career, Barnes wrote and recorded some fantastic music. One such record was Country Jazz, released in 1957, and while the novelty of a legend such as Barnes taking on cornpone hillbilly tunes, the novelty wears off once Barnes gets to pickin’. This record was released on a rather tiny label sixty years ago, but is being reissued by Modern Harmonic this month. It’s a fine chance to hear some great country pickin’ and grinnin’.