musicofthewest0211_01_250The western heritage and ranching traditions of Alberta and Montana have been closely intertwinedsince the first cattle were trailed across the Medicine Line. Jim Reader — a well-known singer, songwriter,guitar-picker and rancher — teamed up with Montana rancher, cowboy and animal-health tech T.J. Caseyto produce a neat collection of the real deal when it comes to cowboy music.
There’s plenty of Reader’s fine acoustic finger-pickin’ guitar on tracks like Grubline and The Frontier.T. J. wrote one called Harvest Moon and I’venever heard him sing better. The arrangementsare pure, clean and western and they reflect the great sound coming out of Mountain Valley Studioin Taber. 
Bruce Rawling knows how this music should sound; his production touch is just what it should be. He also plays a great guitar part on Swingin’My Way Home To You. He adds vocal harmony onseveral tracks as well. You’ll also find one of Reader’s songs that got a lot of airplay from his 1880s Cowboys CD, Trail Drive.
Order this one from www.cowboycountrymagazine.com


musicofthewest0211_02_250The Rawling Brothers – The Last Of The Horseback Kids

Rocky Mountain Country is how Doug and Bruce Rawling describe their sound. It reveals obvious influencesfrom the bluegrass world as well as roots of western music. The album has been a project lasting a couple of years. There’s a variety of tempos and styles with lyrics about lost love, childhood memories and the western landscape. Some of the best pickers around add their talents: Jake Peters on banjo; Lucas Welsh on fiddle, mandolin, guitars and lap steel; and Craig Jenkins on baritone guitar and bass. The songs are all originals by Bruce and Doug, save for Will The Circle Be Unbroken.
Far Away From My Home is one song that  caught my ear the first time I played it. It’s catchy,up-tempo with some great leads by Peters andWelsh. It’s one of those tracks that anyone who drives long miles would love to have in the CD player. My pick of the whole project is The Life Of A Cowboy. It’s a masterful blend of lyrics and melodywith word pictures like this: There’s something about wood smoke at twilight, the smell of a good pony’s hide, makes a melancholy cowboy treasure each step of the ride.
Order this one from www.cowboycountrymagazine.com