The Rimrock Ramblers,
Way Out West
(Swallowtail, 1997)

This is easily the best collection of cowboy instrumentals ever recorded. It's hard to listen to without daydreaming of old scratchy black-and-white B-westerns where the bad guys dress in black and the good guys save the day and get the girl. It's also hard not to sing along, even if all you know is the chorus.

Chock full of favorites from "Happy Trails" to "You Are My Sunshine," each tune is performed to its level best with traditional guitar and fiddle. But the addition of dobro, electric bass and harmonica adds a slightly contemporary twist that fits right in. It's easy to envision a bunch of bone-weary cowboys resting around a campfire while listening to the harmonica on "Cattle Call." Or to see the lovely senoritas in their brightly colored dresses when hearing the Spanish guitar on "South of the Border."

The Rimrock Ramblers are Cal Hand (dobro), Bill Hinkley (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, electric bass) and Judy Larson (rhythm guitar). They are joined on this album by Clint Hoover on harmonica and Gary Schwartz on bass.

This is a delightful collection of tunes that are well performed and easy to listen to.

- Rambles
written by Sheree Morrow
published 19 July 2003

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