Ernie Martinez – Blue Range
Each region of the country still retains some reflection of its original settlers and something of a regional flavor that marks their lifestyle. Martinez is from Colorado and his music is strongly influenced by the presence of the cowboy and elements of the “western” of country-and-western and by western swing. This results in a bluegrass recording with a distinctly different feel. Take the opening cut “Along The Navajo Trail,” it starts out swinging, then morphs into an all-out bluegrass piece.
The program is varied and there are some great numbers from the cowboy genre including “The Old Double Diamond,” “Night Rider’s Lament,” “Red River Valley,” “Ride ’Em Cowboy,” and “Streets Of Laredo.” This is a labor of love for Martinez as he plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, and resonator guitar, as well as sings the leads and some of the harmonies. He is accompanied by various singers on most cuts and some fiddlers on others. Otherwise, this is his show.
Featuring an interesting and unique approach to bluegrass, this is a strong effort by a regional artist. It works nicely and makes for a good concept album. (Ernie Martinez, 2606 S. Miller Dr. #101, Lakewood, CO 80227.) RCB