May, 2010



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    'High in the Rockies : A live album' by Jason Boland and The Stragglers

    RDR/NT CD REVIEW: 'High In the Rockies - A live album' by Jason Boland and The Stragglers

    By Andrew W. Griffin - May 21, 2010 1:43 PM

    By Andrew W. Griffin

    Pop writer / The Norman Transcript / posted: May 21, 2010

    Jason Boland and The Stragglers – “High In the Rockies : A Live Album” (Proud Souls/Thirty Tigers) 2010

    Taking their traditional-country-meets-Red-Dirt sounds to four venues in the Rocky Mountains – Steamboat Springs, Fort Collins and Denver , Colorado and Laramie , Wyoming – native Oklahoma band Jason Boland and The Stragglers scored major musical points with a dynamite live album, recorded this past January and appropriately titled “High In The Rockies.”

    It was released on 4/20. Get it? In fact, a month or so ago, Boland and the boys were busted for pot possession down in Refugio, Texas as their bus blew through that dusty burg.

    Tough break. And while they insist it wasn’t a publicity stunt, you have to laugh. That’s show biz, eh?

    Anyway, as a long-time Boland fan, I couldn’t be happier with this live collection. And with it being recorded in towns not normally known as attracting Red Dirt music (save for Steamboat, of course), hearing “Backslider Blues” or hearing Boland talking about a “country version of a mosh pit” before kicking off the country waltz tune “Jesus and Ruger.”

    Boland, a native of nearby Harrah, is simply an amazing country singer and songwriter. Backed by Roger Ray’s guitar and steel guitar, Noah Jeffries’ fiddle, and a rhythm section featuring drummer Brad Rice and bassist Grant Tracy, the Stragglers run through originals like “Alright,” “ Bottle By My Bed,” and the irresistible “If I Ever Get Back (To Oklahoma).”

    But there are some choice country covers like that country ode to Utopia, Merle Haggard’s “Rainbow Stew,” and Don Williams’ “Tulsa Time.” Classy, Boland. Classy.

    There’s no “Pearl Snaps” or “Ponies,” but what The Stragglers give us on this outing is bound to give you a bona fide Rocky Mountain high.

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    Grade - A

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