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CD REVIEW: The Westbound Rangers - The Westbound Rangers
By Don Sechelski - 07/26/2009 - 05:34 PM EDT

Artist: Band: The Westbound Rangers
Album: The Westbound Rangers
Genre: Americana, Folk, Acoustic
Technical Grade: 8.5/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9.5/10
Performance Skill: 9.5/10
Best Songs: Angelina Baker, Clocks, The Other Side
CD Review:

The Westbound Rangers is a four man ensemble consisting of Graham Sherrill on claw hammer banjo, Mike Walker on mandolin, Read Davis on guitar, and Wes Burkhart on bass. Their high energy music is a cross between bluegrass and Old Time with a strong Appalachian feel. Their debut, self-titled release was recorded live around a single microphone with no overdubs and very little mixing. It has more energy and excitement than many highly polished efforts.

The boys are listed as co-writers on five of the CDís nine tunes. Three are public domain and the ninth is a bluegrass remake of the euro-pop song Clocks. The opening cut on the CD is the Rangerís Theme Song, reminiscent of a thirties radio show. Itís a high energy kick off for a high energy CD. Fiddler, Casy Miekle joins the boys on the folk song Angelina Baker, a foot tapping reel.

The Westbound Rangers is a very nice first effort that captures the essence of this band and delivers an unadulterated, raw version of the music that built Nashville. The Westbound Rangers is truer to that music than most of whatís coming out of Nashville today.

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