RIDERS IN THE SKY
Yodel the Cowboy Way
That's How The Yodel Was Born - Here Comes the Santa Fe - Cowpoke - Riding The Winds of the West - Back In The Saddle Again (Gene Autry tribute version) - Blue Montana Skies - Singing A Song to the Sky - The First Cowboy Song - Yodel Blues - When The Bloom Is On The Stage - At the End of the Rainbow Trail - Desert Serenade
Riders in the Sky are obviously the most popular and best-loved cowboy and western artists in America, perhaps around the world. Sometimes I get CD's out of the blue to review, which is how this one happened. A fan of the Riders who makes her home in Costa Mesa, California, Ro Taylor, felt this CD, even though it isn't one of the Rider's more recent recordings, deserved to be 'reviewed' from an old time country music advantage point. So, here it is. If you've ever heard this wonderful group, you already know their respect for, and ability to perform, cowboy/western music is their forte, and all of them are committed to bringing their amazing talents together to keep this very American musical art form alive and well today. My first exposure to this great band was in Kerrville, Texas during the Jimmie Rodgers Festival there. I was on with Tom Swatzell the champion dobro player, and had a wonderful time, but it was the 'Riders' who captured the soul and wonderful entertainment spirit of that whole weekend. I wanted this group to also be on my PBS television show during the first of seven years that I hosted and produced "Old Time Country Music." The show eventually appeared in 22 state-markets. For the Rider's appearance, it was not to happen, but the Sons of the San Joaquin did get to do a show. Sometimes I wonder about talent 'scouts.' Now, the Riders have been nominated for induction into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame. Not sure that will happen in 2016, but the papers are already in the typewriter, we'll see what happens. As I listen to this incredibly well done CD, the first thing I notice is the great 'history' lesson I'm getting. A whole big bunch of delightful yodeling, and some incredible instrumentation by accordion, guitar, bass and fiddle. It's an amazing presentation of how country music was really country, and how amazing it was to listen to in its heyday. How cowboy music was really cowboy music. How western music was western, and still is. Yodeling is fun, and the Riders make sure it is for you on this wonderful presentation of some of America's finest traditional music. As I listen to this quartet, it appears to me that they can all yodel. Ranger Doug is the foremost yodeler, but ALL of the songs reflect an incredible respect for this wonderful musical entertainment that was so popular when radio was real radio, recording companies were real recording companies, and movies had some of the best western music ever presented to the public. Not only are the Rider's In The Sky nominated for induction into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame, this CD (no matter what it's release date) is being forwarded to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their CD of the Year awards. Good luck Riders, I hope you will be able to accept both of these honors, individually and together.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International