Neck and Neck is a collaborative album by American guitarist Chet Atkins and British singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Knopfler, released on October 9, 1990 by Columbia Records. "Poor Boy Blues" was released as a single, and in 1991 won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. That same year, "So Soft Your Goodbye" won a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance.
Atkins originally recorded "Yakety Axe", a parody of Boots' Randolph's "Yakety Sax", on his 1965 album More of That Guitar Country. This new recording features lyrics and a new arrangement that were composed by Merle Travis. Atkins also previously recorded "I'll See You in My Dreams" on an album with Merle Travis.
In his review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album four out of five stars, calling it "the most focused and arguably the most rewarding record Atkins has released." Erlewine singled out Knopfler's influence on the legendary guitarist:
Working with Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler had a rejuvenating influence on Chet Atkins. Knopfler has Atkins moving toward his country roots, but both guitarists still play with a tasteful, jazzy sensibility--however, Atkins has abandoned the overt jazz fusion pretensions that sank most of his '80s records.
"Poor Boy Blues"
"There'll Be Some Changes Made"
Billy Higgins, Benton Overstreet
"Just One Time"
"So Soft, Your Goodbye"
Boots Randolph, James Rich, Merle Travis
Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt
"I'll See You in My Dreams"
Isham Jones, Gus Kahn
"The Next Time I'm in Town"
Chet Atkins - guitar, vocals,
Mark Knopfler - guitar, vocals,
Larrie Londin - drums,
Guy Fletcher - drums, bass, keyboards,
Edgar Meyer - bass,
Steve Wariner - bass,
Mark O'Connor - fiddle, mandolin,
Paul Franklin - steel guitar, pedabro, dobro,
Floyd Cramer - piano (track 6),
Vince Gill - background vocals,
Mark Knopfler - producer,
Mike Poston - engineer,
Guy Fletcher - engineer,
Vanelle - assistance engineer,
Ron Eve - assistance engineer,
Bill Schnee - mixing engineer,
Doug Sax - mastering at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles,
Alan Yoshida - mastering at The Mastering Lab in Los Angeles,
Deborah Feingold - photography,
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