CD Review: ASPEN BLACK – Lovin’ the West


Lovin’ the West
El Dorado – Lovin’ the West – One Cowgirl –
Nobody’s Listening – Sing Me A Campfire Song – I Can’t Catch The Mule –
It Must Be The Rain – Following the Cattle Trail Home – Nothin’ But The
Wind – Go West
It amazes me that interest keeps popping up
about western and cowboy music in America.  Both the settlement of the
west and the old-time cowboy has pretty much changed.  Still, the
‘legend’ of the west and the heroes and bad guys still hangs on with a
passion.  Keeping the history alive, keeping the ‘brand’ of music alive,
keeping today’s ‘original’ thoughts loud and clear.  This must be a
non-ending thorn in the side of commercial popular music in America
today who want to ‘control’ the business.  Aspen Black is a beautiful
young woman devoted to her musical development.  This particular CD of
original songs really showcases her beautiful voice.  It takes me back
many years to an old opera house somewhere in the dusty west, where the
local citizens have arranged for a concert of music they like and
understand.  Aspen Black fills that image perfectly.  Aspen fills that
old opera house too.  Those ‘dusty’ cowboys and cowgirls all sitting
through a concert of music devoted to their own existence.  And roaring
like crazy at the end of each song and story.  All of these ‘new’
country and western songs are precious.  It’s a strong statement to the
music world at large that beautiful voices, beautiful writers, beautiful
girls still exist, and in the case of Aspen Black, none of these
writers and performers are afraid to make their statements.  I kind of
like each and every song on this album, each one is a different kind of
story.  Each one is a different kind of musical presentation.  Each one
is incredibly well done.  Aspen is an accomplished musician too,
performing lead guitar, rhythm guitar, mandolin, hand drum and
tambourine, and does all of the lead vocals.  Kerry Grombacher plays
mandolin, and sings harmony.  Randolph Walker plays lead guitar, rhythm
guitar, harmonica, acoustic bass and also adds harmony vocals.  It’s a
delightful ‘new’ look at the west, and certainly a delight to listen
to.  Being a harmonica player I really like “Nothing But The Wind” but
the song I like best that presents Aspen’s voice so softly and beautiful
is “It Must Be The Rain.”  Good going Aspen, a delightful project that
should be part of anyone who wants to hear some ‘new’ stories about the
old west, and some terrific music and vocals.  Off it goes to the Rural
Roots Music Commission for their appraisal.

RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Assn. for Country Music News International

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