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CD Review: Cowboy Joe Babcock - Swingtown - by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Swing On Down To Swing Town - Nobody Ever Loved You Like I Do - The World's Saddest Song - Back In The Swing Of Things - Why Did I Ever Leave My Happy Home - The Band Has Stopped Playing - I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water - The Lord Loves Western Swing - The Road Of No Return - Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes And Sweet Milk Gravy - He's Got A Way With The Women - You Make It Easy To Sin - Second Best Solution - If You See My Heart Today - Take Your Troubles All To Jesus - Swing Town Reprise

Wow, I wasn't expecting a new CD out by my old friend Cowboy Joe Babcock.  This is the guy who wrote "I Washed My Hands in Muddy Waters" and here he does it in a western style on this brand new CD.  He wrote all of the songs on this CD, and his 'nature' as an exceptional songwriter does indeed excel.  "Take Your Troubles All To Jesus" he co-wrote with Jim Glaser, the last of the Glaser Brothers who just recently passed away.  The Glasers, and Cowboy Joe, were all young men when they left Spalding, Nebraska, to become back-up singers for Marty Robbins.  Every one of them became very successful in the music business, and they did 'real' music, 'real' country music, and now 'real' western swing music.  Joe spent a good part of his music life on 'Hee-Haw' and other great television institutions, but for me he does it best when he's writing and singing western swing.  This CD is one of the most remarkable 'new' renditions of what western swing is all about.  All you have to do is listen to the words, take sharp note of the great musicians that are backing Joe, and listen with a thankful heart to the wonderful talent of Joe Babcock as a country-western vocalist. Recorded at Fireside Studios in Nashville, there's more incredibly gifted musicians on this recording than I have room to name. Phil Harris engineered the project, and what a dream-team it must have been for him to work with these magnificent musicians that still like and love 'real' music.  It's all here, that absolutely wonderful moment when great talent meets great talent and 'blends.'  It's Joe's great songwriting ability that brings this host of musicians together for an experience my heart tells me, they will never forget.  I really like what it says in the CD insert... "Along with working on his Tennessee ranch, Cowboy Joe continues writing, singing, and picking with the goal to help preserve, restore and promote the beautiful art form of western swing and cowboy music."  Boy does he do a great job on this album.  Every song is filled with delightful writing, and musical interpretation that is unbelievable coming out of Nashville today. Two songs here really grabbed me.  "The Band Has Stopped Playing" is a beautiful waltz-tempo love song.  Cowboys always liked to dance a waltz or two, and Cowboy Joe is providing it from the bandstand.  Followed by one of my favorite old-timey songs "I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters" a huge hit for Stonewall Jackson, here the composer does it in a really nice western swing style.  Love it.  I'm going to send this right off to the Rural Roots Music Commission, and I know what they like, and I already know what they're going to say about this remarkable album.  Get ready Cowboy Joe for a big shot in the arm, whatever that might mean in cowboy terms, it's going to be a fun one. www.music-savers.com
Record review by Bob Everhart, President, National Traditional Country Music Assn. for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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