reviews · 01/14/2020
Red Steagall has “done it all,” with tremendous successes in television, radio, music & poetry recordings, songwriting, motion pictures, writing and “live” performances. And his talent has been widely recognized, resulting in winning every award you can think of. In 2019, he released this ten track CD comprised of eight songs and two poems. You’ll hear a religious influence in some of the songs, e.g. “I Ride for the Brand of the Man with the Nail Scarred Hands” and “When He’s Gathered Up the
reviews · 01/13/2020
Rex Allen used to say that, in his opinion, Jimmy Wakely was the most underrated singer in Hollywood. You can hear the reasons Rex held Wakely in such high regard in this collection of 84 recordings, including all of his 24 hits and a variety of music (he was popular in the pop field as well as in the western and country genres). His Number 1 hits with Margaret Whiting are here, as are songs from his movie days, beginning with his 1940 recording of “Cimarron (Roll On)” with the Jimmy Wakely Tri
reviews · 10/02/2018
Known as "the voice" of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. This new CD features 15 cuts of which 10 are brand new recordings featuring the voice of this Western Swing vocal legend. The remaining five cuts are four live spoken word pieces of the great Bob Wills, Leon's longtime boss and a 1987 intro to Leon and his group at the White House. Leon is backed on this album by so many wonderful musicians including the steel guitars of album producer Tommy (Waco) Spurlock on most of the cuts and that of t
reviews · 07/30/2018
Rather than being a specific statement of content, “Cowboy Psalms” is actually the title track of the newest release from Oklahoma poet Ron Secoy. In truth most of these tracks are religious, some less so. But all are lessons. Picks here include the title cut “Cowboy Psalms” (equating herding herds and herding words), “Outlaw” (an O. Henry-worthy encounter at a campfire), the barroom braggin’ piece “Tall Tail” (his spelling not mine), “Adam & Eve” as cowfolk, “Ol’ Bill” and “Mustang,” an unu
reviews · 07/30/2018
What terrific fun this jazzy Colorado assemblage is!! Not thickly produced, Steel Horse Swing’s premiere album is just sweet and sorta vintage (surprise-surprise) Swing! The band features our new friend Carlos Washington on lead vocals. We were introduced to him (and he to us) at this past November’s convention in Albuquerque. A former professional rodeo rider, Washington used to sing to earn his entry fee. At such events, he used to not be allowed to get away without singing the National
reviews · 07/23/2018
Here is an awarded yodeler who makes use of the yodel breaks in her voice to achieve a rather unique (and identifiable) style stamp in her “normal” singing. Paula Erlene (Williamson) is the wife and frequent stage performance partner of John Wayne double and Western novelist Ermal Williamson. Two releases from Paula Erlene came in the same package. The first, “Across The Brazos” was actually released last year and continues to enjoy considerable airplay among the Western DJs. Picks on it in
reviews · 07/23/2018
In listening to this release, I was particularly struck by the skillfulness with which Clark’s poetry has been set to music. Creating songs using classic Cowboy verse is one of those classic slippery slopes, but Pegie Douglas just artfully skates along it! The tracks here are perfectly thought through and well executed. Now there are more successful Badger Clark-based songs from which to choose than just “Spanish Is The Lovin’ Tongue!” And remember this is “Volume Two,” too!! The poems used
reviews · 07/18/2018
I’m sure I’m on record, probably in triplicate, as having maintained that what I think of as “sing-speaking” works well for a certain kind of singer…and particularly well when that singer is delivering saga songs. By “sing-speaking” I mean sounding a pitch on a word with minimal or no effort to sustain the note. Jerry Bell uses the technique. His title track on his new CD “Idaho Ed” is helped out by it as is his “Devil’s Rope.” But Bell’s spoken delivery on the poems remains the highpoint of
reviews · 07/18/2018
In a past review I drew a comparison between Chris Mortensen’s vocal styling and that of Neil Young, which Mortensen writes he finds “a bit puzzling.” Well, puzzle onward! For me it still holds true. To my ear on most of the tracks, something in Mortensen’s swoop onto and casual glide over notes still evokes a bit of Neil Young, particularly in Young’s more recent material where he sings closer to Mortensen’s vocal range. And a certain rock sensitivity on Mortensen’s part is suggested by th
reviews · 07/12/2018
Literal nuts-and-bolts terrain description songs can be an embarrassingly slippery slope that many artists have plunged down. Richard Elloyan is one of the few who can get away with it and, for the life of me, I'm not exactly sure how!! Just such a song (“Sunrise Side Of The Sierras”) leads off Richard Elloyan & Steve Wade's newest offering. It's dedicated to the late Steve Swinford, Elloyan's fast friend, collaborator and producer of most of his past releases. The title track “Up For Adopti

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