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CD Review: BACK IN THE SADDLE - Born To Be Branded

BACK IN THE SADDLE
Born To Be Branded
Back In The Saddle Again - I Want To Be A Cowboy's Sweetheart - Rawhide - Cattle Call - Sioux City Sue - Vaya on Dios - I'm An Old Cowhand - Pigtails And Ponies - Oh, Lady Be Good - Whoopie Ti-Yi-Yo, Get Along Little Doggies - Ride 'Em Cowboy - Ghost Riders In The Sky - Happy Trails - Born To Be Branded
 
If I were to select the cowboy and western songs that best represent the best in traditional cowboy and western music, it would definitely be this list of remarkable classic western songs 'Back In The Saddle' has selected for this remarkable new CD release on Saddle Pal Records. One of my early close friends in western music was Patsy Montana. We did a lot of shows together including a lot of television.  She always had the right attitude it seemed to me, "I want my roses while I'm alive, not after I'm gone."  This is the same reflection this 'live' Back in the Saddle show reveals in this amazing album, whip lashes and all.  All of the members, remarkably talented, include Frenchy Berne Poliakoff (vocals, ukulele, whip); Gallopin' Gwen Hughes (vocals, ukulele, whip); Ya Durn Tuten (upright bass, vocals); Ramblin' Rick Hinkle (guitar, vocals); 'Tijuana Tim Higgins (fiddle, mandolin); and Matthew 'Kickin' Kkaminski (accordion). female vocals are extremely well done with extraordinary harmony that exactly fits what the ladies are singing.  There has to be an equal match in supporting musicians, and they are there too.  It would be hard for me to pick only one song as my favorite out of this incredible list, but if I had to do that, I'd pick "Sioux City Sue," not only because it's a song about Iowa, but also because the group does it so amazingly well.  This is a 'live' recording done at the Red Clay Music Foundry in California. I've heard a lot of 'live' recordings, but none so well done as this remarkable accomplishment.  A round of applause also to Rick Hinkle at Audiocam Music for the perfect 'mix.' Sometimes when dealing with 'live' acoustic instruments engineers fail to 'pick up' the innuendo of the music, but Rick Hinkle did exactly that, and did it extremely well.  We don't really hear a male vocalist until we get to the song "I'm An Old Cowhand" and that sure adds to the variety to the entire program making it a perfect historically accurate reproduction of the best of the west. It's not going to take me very long to get this one in the hands of the Rural Roots Music Commission for their appraisal.  Knowing their love for all kinds of traditional music I don't see this one not getting some recognition for their wonderful work.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres. National Traditional Country Music Association, for Country Music News International

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