Buck Lambert,
The Olde Prospector
(Big Horsey, 2001)

The Olde Prospector contains nine songs written and performed by Buck Lambert, himself a self-styled prospector who has "found gold, silver, meteors and treasure. What a life!"

Only the title track has anything to do with prospecting. "The Olde Prospector" is about a dying prospector who gives his gold claim to the good samaritan (the narrator) who stops to tend to him where he lies on the side of the road. It's a rhythmic storytelling song, the melody perhaps a bit upbeat for the subject. Even though Lambert refers to himself as "the Olde Prospector," the song is clearly not autobiographical.

The overall sound is older style country, full of slide guitars and a steady beat. Lambert's voice is a treat -- smooth and deep and warm, reminiscent of "the Silver Fox" Charlie Rich. There is variety among the tracks. Some are songs of loneliness and regret -- "Someone," "All Alone" and "Those Yesterdays," the last of which has a mild honky-tonk flavor. "Nola's Song" is a sentimental old-fashioned love song, perfect for a snuggly slow dance with someone you love.

"Las Vegas Lady" and "Poor Man's Lament" have faster tempos, although none of the tracks reach the level of "rollicking." "Poor Man's Lament has a melody that reminds me of "The Games People Play" and is a protest against the wealthy who manage to keep poor and homeless people out of sight and mind. "The Old Place" is a nostalgic song about a mom who visits his boyhood home while "Wisconsin" extolls the beauty of Lambert's native state.

No information is given in the liner notes about who is accompanying Lambert, if anyone, although it's fairly certain Lambert is playing guitar. Those who are partial to smooth and mellow country music with an old-time touch would do well to give a listen to Buck Lambert's The Olde Prospector.

[ by Donna Scanlon ]
Rambles: 8 December 2001