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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Actor and screenwriter Christopher Guest is best known for his mockumentaries, including "Best in Show" and "This Is Spinal Tap."

(Soundbite of movie, "This Is Spinal Tap")

Mr. MICHAEL MCKEAN (Actor): (as David St. Hubbins) (Singing) Stonehenge! Tis a magic place where the moon doth rise with a dragon's face. Stonehenge…

BLOCK: But music is more than a joke for Christopher Guest. And he's got a new CD of instrumental music to prove it. Guest and several longtime friends call themselves The Beyman Bros. Their CD is called "Memories of Summer as a Child." Tom Moon has this review.

(Soundbite of music)

TOM MOON: It doesn't take long, with the intricate, placid sounds of The Beyman Bros, to realize that Christopher Guest is serious about music.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: Of course, Guest had to be at least a decent musician to pull off "Spinal Tap" and the spot-on satires of old folkies in the 2003 parody "A Mighty Wind." But the music of The Beyman Bros suggests he's more accomplished than that. Listen to the way Guest and his longtime collaborator, guitarist David Nichtern, interact here.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: Guest plays guitar and mandolin, mandolin cello and even the clarinet. He and the two other multi-instrumentalists of The Beyman Bros have been playing together informally for years, mostly in Guest's kitchen. Nichtern says that the songs on this album started as simple rhythm-guitar jams. When they'd land on an intriguing mood, they'd seize it and build a song around it.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: The collaborative explorations led The Beyman Bros to a spacious sound. These instrumentals have the calm of meditation music. But they also carry flashes of rock-guitar brilliance and late-night swamp blues, and the carefully knit tapestries of bluegrass.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: It's thinking person's Americana - low-key and lovely. And nothing you'd expect from the guy who gave the world guitar amps that go up to 11.

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: Our critic is Tom Moon, author of the book "1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die." The new CD from The Beyman Bros is called "Memories of Summer as a Child." You can hear tracks from it, and watch a video of The Beyman Bros, at nprmusic.org.

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