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CD Review: DENNIS STROUGHMATT - A Tribute to Ray Price's Cherokee Cowboys

A Tribute to Ray Price's Cherokee Cowboys
One More Time - You Wouldn't Know Love - Bubble in My Beer -Invitation to the Blues - There Goes My Everything - Healing Hands of Time - My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You - Take Me Back To Tulsa - Lonely Street - You Done Me Wrong - I'd Fight The World - Rubber Dolly - Wild Side of Life

I had the great opportunity of meeting Dennis Stroughmatt in 2015 when he came to the LeMars, Iowa,  'Old Time Music Festival,' for a Rural Roots Music Commission "CD of the Year" award for his incredible work researching, fostering, and performing a French Creole fiddle style music from Illinois.  His ability to play 'real' fiddle is amazing.  What I didn't know was the incredibly beautiful voice Dennis has.  I can understand his fascination with Ray Price too.  Some of the very best 'real' country music and honky-tonk came from the work of Mr. Price.  My wife Sheila and I had the wonderful opportunity to 'open' for Mr. Price on a taping of 'Midwest Country' for RFD-TV several years ago.  It was one of those magical moments for musicians like us. Mr. Price was still at the top of his game, and it was an incredible treat for us to be with him.  His piano player at that time was his son I believe, however Dennis Stroughmatt went to a great deal of time and trouble to get some of the best Cherokee Cowboy's that ever worked with Price to play on this album.  I'm glad he did, he has brought back some of the best 'danceable' country music ever recorded, and in Dennis's hands (and his incredible voice) it's a miracle of sorts to be able to hear this wonderful music TODAY.  Recorded with some of the best of the Cherokee Cowboys: Buddy Emmons on pedal steel, an innovator for sure; Pete Wade on lead guitar; Buddy Spicher on twin fiddle; Ken "Little Red" Hayes on triple fiddle; Ernie Reed on lead fiddle; with Dennis playing fiddle on every one of the takes.  Hargus "Pig" Robbins did a lot of the piano work on this recording, and Mike Sweeney also added some steel.  What's also amazingly beautiful on this album is Dennis's choice of back-up harmony singers.  Tony Booth and Justin Trevino from Heart of Texas Records, and without a doubt one of the best, and also a good friend, Leona Williams from LoveShine Records. WOW! How could anyone possibly put together anything better than this cast of musicians and singers.  The best of all is Dennis's ability to recapture the Ray Price sound in his voice, and carries it throughout the session. I've always had my favorites when it comes to fiddle music, and Dennis, and his fellow fiddlers, sure did a delightful job on two great traditional songs, "Take Me Back To Tulsa" and "Rubber Dolly."  For those that like Ray Price music, this is without a doubt the number one tribute and dedication to an artist that took a stand against the evolution of country music from it's original style to a kind of hip-hop-rap-rock style very counter productive to 'real' country music.  Off this marvelous CD goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission who will be listening with ALL ears tuned in to Dennis Stroughmatt.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Association www.music-savers.com for Country Music News International

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