Old-time music was the popular music of the U.S. from about the Civil War until World War II. It was and remains a very diverse genre with many regional variations. One of those is cowboy music, the focus of this new CD from Ranger Doug Green of Riders In The Sky, who back him up on the project. Green sings lead, including some fancy yodeling on “The Yellow Rose Of Texas,” and plays rhythm guitar. Too Slim is on vocals and bass. Woody Paul sings and plays fiddle. Joey The Cowpolka King sings and plays accordion. The 11 selections are all in the public domain, though the authors are noted when known. Many of them date from the nineteenth century.
The CD opens with “The Blue Juniata” and runs through “Green Grow The Lilacs,” “The Old Chisholm Trail,” “When The Roses Bloom Again,” “The Strawberry Roan,” “The Yellow Rose Of Texas,” “Little Joe The Wrangler,” “The Hunters Of Kentucky,” “Molly Darling,” “Tying Knots In The Devil’s Tail,” and “The Cowboy’s Lament.”
Green has a strong and smooth voice, and the arrangements are well-done, as one would expect from a band which has been a Grand Ole Oprymember since 1982. The band is part of a well-polished tradition which includes Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Sons Of The Pioneers, rather than what could be called the closer-to-the-cowboys tradition of singers such as Glenn Ohrlin. (Rural Rhythm, P.O. Box 750, Mt. Joliet, TN 37121, www.ruralrhythm.com.)SAG