1. Right or Wrong
2. Promised Land
3. Turkey in the Raw
4. Ain't Oklahoma Pretty
5. Pick Me Up On Your Way Down
6. Jingle, Jangle, Jingle
7. Your Cheating Heart
8. Grain of Salt
9. You're From Texas
10. Over Nevada
11. Ghost Riders in the Sky
12. Cowboy Lullaby
13. Tacos, Enchiladas and Beans
14. Diggin' Up Bones
15. Stage Fright
16. Act Naturally
17. Steeling Home
Bucky "Buck" Pizzarelli - Acoustic Gibson rhythm guitar
John "Rusty Pickins" Pizzarelli - Electric guitar, vocals
Tommy "Dusty Spurs" White - Pedal steel guitar
Martin "Marty Mouse" Pizzarelli - Bass
Aaron "Hoss" Weinstein - Violin, mandolin
Danny "Two Drum Sticks and a Side of Grits" Coots - Drums
Rebecca "Becky Lou" Kilgore - Vocals (tracks 1, 6, 9, 10,
"Cowboy" Joe West - Vocals (tracks 2, 8)
Andy "The Velvet Sage" Levas - Vocals (tracks 5, 7, 11,
The West Texas Two (John "Rusty Pickins" Pizzarelli and
Jessica "Jesse Janes" Molaskey) - Backing vocals (tracks
Western swing has gone out of fashion, although it was all the rage
in the USA in the 1930s and 1940s. It was basically country music
with the addition of elements from jazz and the blues. The strong
beat made it ideal for dancing.
Now guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli has revived the genre with this CD.
In fact Bucky might be said to have such music in his bones, as his
father hitch-hiked to Texas in a vain attempt to be a cowboy. He even
nicknamed his son "Buckskin", which got shortened to Bucky
(and, for this album, Buck).
At any rate, Bucky plays Western swing with devotion, surrounding
himself with other musicians capable of reproducing the style. These
include Tommy White and Aaron Weinstein, who respectively play the
pedal steel guitar and the violin, which are virtually obligatory
in any Western swing band.
Everyone enters into the spirit of the music, which is distinguished
by its jaunty rhythm and songs that often describe yearning for lost
love. Rebecca Kilgore, Andy Levas and Joe West sing them with conviction
and the correct western drawl. At one time, Rebecca actually sang
with several country-and-western groups, including one called "Becky's
Buckaroos". Bucky Pizzarelli sticks to acoustic guitar but his
son John adds electric guitar (and a vocal on Ain't Oklahoma
Pretty) and Bucky's other son, Martin, keeps the rhythm going
with his dependable double bass. There are plenty of jazzy solos,
notably from Aaron Weinstein, and the whole thing swings along cheerfully.
Aaron switches to the mandolin and forms a trio with two guitars for
Karl Kress's instrumental Stage Fright: not, perhaps an example
of Western swing but very enjoyable nonetheless.
My reaction to this album is an enthusiastic shout of "Yee-hah!"