Thursday, August 02, 2007

Singing Cowboys - Riders in the Sky

First of all, I love Riders in the Sky in a completely non-ironic way. Secondly, you should too. The first time I heard of them was when they brought the house down at the Katrina benefit at the Grand Ole Opry, so then imagine my delight when they popped up a few days later at Dollywood. Yep, those were good times on a good holiday.

Riders In The Sky are completely charmingly, massively entertaining and have pretty much single-handedly revitalized the Western (as opposed to country and western) genre since they formed in 1977. They are re-releasing their 1996 album, Public Cowboy #1: The Music of Gene Autry, complete with four bonus cuts and new liner notes, as it's 100 years since Public Cowboy #1, Gene Autry, was born. Any excuse to hear some good old fashioned western cowboy tunes again, I say. Ranger Doug, aka the Governor of the Great State of Rhythm, was kind enough to answer our lonesome questions...

Q. What distinguishes Western music from Country and Western?
A. Country music is often about feeling sorry for yourself, getting drunk, and hitting on your neighbor's wife. Western music is about free life and fresh air and hitting on your neighbor's sheep.

Q. What's your favourite kind of Ranger?
a) Texas Ranger
b) Park Ranger
c) Glasgow Ranger
d) Power Ranger
A. Smokey the Bear

Q. Where can our lonesome readers go to hear some more fine yodelling?
A. I can only recommend my guru, Elton Britt. Buy all you can, he is the master

Q. Do you think that the element of humour in your shows detracts from or adds to the music?
A. I don't know if it adds or detracts from the music, but it certainly has given us a 30 year career!

Q. What's your favourite Riders in the Sky song?
A. When Payday Rolls Around

Q. What is the least amount of money that you would recommend spending on a pair of boots?
A. Buy low, sell high

And the all-important lonesome question…

Q. What is the band's favourite cheese?
A. Joey's Polka smile.

Listen - Riders in the Sky - Take Me Back to My Boots and Saddle
Listen - Riders in the Sky - Mexicali Rose
Listen - That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine (for our Dad).

Buy it here.
Check out their joyous webpage.

Learn more about the Cowboy Code and busy some fabulously embarrassing baby cowboy outfits at Gene Autry’s store here.

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