February 2010 Mel Brown/Bunchgrass Band

Mel Brown

Mel Brown won the Country 103 Rising Star competition at the 2009 Kamloops Cowboy Festival. His poetry got him that award and, since then, Alberta’s great, pure cowboy singer and songwriter, Allen Christie, went to work setting several of Mel’s poems to music and recording them. Allen does the vocals and most of the instrumental work. The result is great listening.
I’m not sure if it’s Mel or Coleman Robinson doing the vocal on Fat Girls. That one might not please
those into absolute political correctness, but man, is it catchy. The final track features Mel reciting his poem, Babblin’ On.
This is an album that you’ll want to play several times. The more you listen, the more clever phrases you’ll pick up. For example: “Didn’t know the cop was a lady when I smacked her,” and “Hutterite wine should be sold at the liquor store.”
There’s a lot I like about this one. Another highlight is Allen’s guitar solo on Buckle Bunny. The poem is transformed into a catchy acoustic talkin’ blues and the guitar solo sounds reminiscent of Hank Snow’s style.
Visit our Cowboy Country Market or call toll free at 1-800-943-7336 to order.

bunchgrassband_faroutwestThe Bunchgrass Band
Far Out West

We were at the announcer’s booth at the 2009 Heritage Ranch Rodeo and, between events, Gord Colliar and I played music to enhance the experience for the ranch rodeo fans. Gord pulled out this CD and not only did we play a couple of tracks at the rodeo, but as Billie and I listened to it on the drive home, I knew we had another album that would make The Spirit of the West playlist.
The players are Bud Maynard on vocals and guitar, Larry Vannatta on vocals, guitar and harmonica, Blaine Evans on mandolin, and Eva Levesque on harmony vocals. There’s even a touch of bongo drums played by Arturo Ramirez, recorded in Bucerias, Mexico.
There are some extremely well-written songs here. Fence the Sea, Treaty #7 and Coffin Handle Butte are meaningful songs. The CD I received, unfortunately, doesn’t list any songwriter credits, but Gord told me that Cowboy State of Mind and Dirty Hastings Streets were his compositions. The first one to make the Spirit of the West playlist was Longview Trail. It’s an adaptation of The Old Chisholm Trail with a great beat, great vocal and a “reedy” cowboy harmonica. I wonder if that’s Bud Maynard on lead vocal…
Visit our Cowboy Country Market or call toll free at 1-800-943-7336 to order.