Crossing Borders - Ghost Riders In The Sky - East To El Paso - Sky Rock - Pancho And Lefty - Dance Of The Desert - Land Of Nod - Una Buena Vida - Lost In The Desert - Route 66 - Defiance Plateau - Modoc Up - Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie
It continually fascinates me to hear cowboy and western music coming out of the old west, but to hear it coming out of even older 'West' Virginia is a marvel. Carol Markstrom makes her mark here with her own compositions, taking the listener deep down to the Rio Grande Valley, both sides, Mexico and the USA. That in itself is a remarkable accomplishment. She also has a perfect old west sound in her voice, not some phony la-la land very bad impersonation. She's very confident with her own material, and to hear her also add some lovely 'standard' old time western songs to the total mix is also not only brave, but also very comforting and easy to listen to. Not knowing the backing musicians, there is some incredibly good acoustic music lead and rhythm guitar picking along with some 'just right' harmonica additions. Seth Maynard is the final hands-on engineering which he did remarkably well. There's some fine fiddle on "Sky Rock." I'd also like to point out that there is some very nice 'slide' guitar on "Pancho & Lefty" and also some fine accordion on "Una Buena Vida." "Route-66" is a nice re-arrangement of an older song, but done in the Carol Markstrom style it's more like a kind of western-swing style. She closes this very listenable CD with an old standard, "Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie," with a not-quite yodel intro. It isn't bad, but the old Patsy Montana style of yodeling included a full octave change to the falsetto voice which Carol didn't do, but still... it's a great song and well done in a different style. I'll have no difficulty forwarding this CD to the Rural Roots Music Commission for their appraisal, and I know they are looking for good old-style western and cowboy music.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres. National Traditional Country Music Association, for Country Music News International