CD Review: Cowboy Joe Babcock – Swingtown – by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show



Swing On Down To Swing Town – Nobody Ever Loved
You Like I Do – The World’s Saddest Song – Back In The Swing Of Things –
Why Did I Ever Leave My Happy Home – The Band Has Stopped Playing – I
Washed My Hands In Muddy Water – The Lord Loves Western Swing – The Road
Of No Return – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes And Sweet Milk Gravy –
He’s Got A Way With The Women – You Make It Easy To Sin – Second Best
Solution – If You See My Heart Today – Take Your Troubles All To Jesus –
Swing Town Reprise

Wow, I wasn’t expecting a new CD out by my old
friend Cowboy Joe Babcock.  This is the guy who wrote “I Washed My Hands
in Muddy Waters” and here he does it in a western style on this brand
new CD.  He wrote all of the songs on this CD, and his ‘nature’ as an
exceptional songwriter does indeed excel.  “Take Your Troubles All To
Jesus” he co-wrote with Jim Glaser, the last of the Glaser Brothers who
just recently passed away.  The Glasers, and Cowboy Joe, were all young
men when they left Spalding, Nebraska, to become back-up singers for
Marty Robbins.  Every one of them became very successful in the music
business, and they did ‘real’ music, ‘real’ country music, and now
‘real’ western swing music.  Joe spent a good part of his music life on
‘Hee-Haw’ and other great television institutions, but for me he does it
best when he’s writing and singing western swing.  This CD is one of
the most remarkable ‘new’ renditions of what western swing is all
about.  All you have to do is listen to the words, take sharp note of
the great musicians that are backing Joe, and listen with a thankful
heart to the wonderful talent of Joe Babcock as a country-western
vocalist. Recorded at Fireside Studios in Nashville, there’s more
incredibly gifted musicians on this recording than I have room to name.
Phil Harris engineered the project, and what a dream-team it must have
been for him to work with these magnificent musicians that still like
and love ‘real’ music.  It’s all here, that absolutely wonderful moment
when great talent meets great talent and ‘blends.’  It’s Joe’s great
songwriting ability that brings this host of musicians together for an
experience my heart tells me, they will never forget.  I really like
what it says in the CD insert… “Along with working on his Tennessee
ranch, Cowboy Joe continues writing, singing, and picking with the goal
to help preserve, restore and promote the beautiful art form of western
swing and cowboy music.”  Boy does he do a great job on this album. 
Every song is filled with delightful writing, and musical interpretation
that is unbelievable coming out of Nashville today. Two songs here
really grabbed me.  “The Band Has Stopped Playing” is a beautiful
waltz-tempo love song.  Cowboys always liked to dance a waltz or two,
and Cowboy Joe is providing it from the bandstand.  Followed by one of
my favorite old-timey songs “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters” a huge
hit for Stonewall Jackson, here the composer does it in a really nice
western swing style.  Love it.  I’m going to send this right off to the
Rural Roots Music Commission, and I know what they like, and I already
know what they’re going to say about this remarkable album.  Get ready
Cowboy Joe for a big shot in the arm, whatever that might mean in cowboy
terms, it’s going to be a fun one.

Record review by Bob Everhart, President, National Traditional Country Music Assn. for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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