Albuquerque's own western swing band has just released another CD. This fantastic album is packed with 17 very enjoyable musical cuts in the style of this very talented Western Swing band.
This super album opens up with an awesome Western Swing version of Gordon Jenkins' San Fernando Valley from the Roy Rogers Republic movie days. From there they bring back memories of the Pappy Selph band of the 1930's with When You Smile. They also remember the big bands with Curio vocalist and plectrum banjoist Jordan Ripley's wonderful vocal on Tuxedo Junction from Glenn Miller and the instrumental Dardanella. Also from pop music they reprise Gus Kahn and Ted Fiorito's I Never Knew, W.C. Handy's Saint Louis Blues and Irving Berlin's Russian Lullaby. They also bring back wonderful memories from many of the Western Swing bands of days gone by. There is Beale Street Mama from Milton Brown, Tulsa Baby from Dave Stogner and That's What I Like About the West from the great Tex Williams. The group bandleader, steel guitarist, mandolin and guitar player John Feldman wrote the Texas dance hall styled I've Arrived and co-wrote with band guitarist Art Maya Let's All Go to El Paso, a tune with huge Western Swing hit potential. Then of course, there are gems from the Bob Wills songbook, the Billy Bowman steel instrumental, Midnight in Amarillo with John doing Billy's steel part, Got a Letter from My Kid Today and Lee Ross' Hear to Heart Talk. Another very interesting cut is the compilation of I Hung My Head and Cried and Hang Your Head in Shame titled, Hang Your Head Medley. The album closes with fiddle player Joe Carter's vocal on Willie Nelson's Night Life.
Other band members are Stan Burg playing guitar, Jay Rosenblum-bass, Tom Walker-drums, Larry Freedman-piano, Fiddlin' Doc Gonzales- fiddle, Robert Rambo- guitar, Byron Ripley- guitar, Tim Clark- trumpet and recently deceased Brian Finigan playing trumpet and trombone. The special guest Curios are Clay Mac- fiddle, Robert Lucero- trumpet and Martin MacPherson- saxophone.
This album can be obtained from www.amazon.com or from Cary Ginell's Origin Jazz Library web site.