|1.) God Bless the West**||8.) Down In Abilene**|
|2.) Friday Night In Alpine**||9.) Tecumseh Valley|
|3.) Come a Little Bit Closer||10.) Legend of Black Bart (Live Version)|
|4.) My Sweet Wyoming Home||11.) Rawhide|
|5.) Urina Cantina (Instrumental)||12.) Pancho & Lefty|
|6.) Ode to John Wayne**||13.) Gold Dust and Rainbows|
|7.) Little Laredo (Instrumental)||14.) Remember the Alamo|
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Sometimes we come across something that strikes us as a bit unusual. Such as what does a fellow from New York State know about the old west? Well not since Eddie Rabbitt picked up a guitar in NYC and penned some country greats, has there been a New Yorker that embodies the western spirit as well as Mr Bolton does on his CD entitled "In The Old West"
Putting it together much like a textbook, Rob opens the album with God Bless The West, which is a terrific description of the physical beauty of the land that makes up the territory. From The Petrified Forests To the Montana Big sky, it's apparent why people have always wanted to live in the western states.
Friday Night in Alpine, might have actually served up a bit more than "Sarsaparilla" to their patrons, but in most of these Wild West Towns there is a certain degree of meanness that always tended to center around the piano player. This second song does a good job of painting the picture of the chaos and sweetness that played out in these towns.
One of the dangers about doing a cover song is that it is most likely going to be compared to the original. However, Rob's Cowboy Calypso Sound on his version of Come A Little Bit Closer does a nice job of not being an imitation of the original. And of course we can't wait for him to jump out the window and run!
My Sweet Wyoming Home and Urina Cantina are pleasant songs to have in this album. Sweet Wyoming talks about the longing for home, and the harsh reality of being away from it, while Urina Cantina is a nice melody of fun surrounding the activities of a normal Cantina. Much like "Tequila", the melody is built up around the "Urina Cantina" cry. I'll bet they donít serve up much Sarsaparilla though.
Who doesnít love the Duke? Ode to John Wayne does a nice job of painting the Duke's portrait of Americana and Patriotism, and is followed up by a short instrumental of "Streets Of Laredo". A nice touch coming in after the John Wayne track, to complete te 1st half of the album.
Down in Abilene: Along the Chisum trail, the cattle drovers ate a lot of dirt, bared the inclement weather, and smelled cowhide for 1200 miles. Is it any wonder that they would be thinking of the end of the drive at Abilene? With his hard driving vocals, Rob delivers perhaps the best performance of the album. The vocals are backed up by equally driven music mix that is sure to keep you listening till the end of the drive.
Tecumseh Valley and Poncho and Lefty were risky covers by Mr. Bolton. He gleans from two great albums from Townes Van Zandt (Rear View Mirror and The Late Great Townes Van Zandt). These songs were previously recorded by Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Kris etc. However, once again Rob puts own
unique sound to the mix, and comes up with a good clean version of well covered material. "Its out of kindness I suppose."
I got a real kick out his cover of Rawhide! The title song of 1958-65 series of the same name: "Rawhide" with Eric Flemming (In my opinion he was the Quintessential Cowboy), Clint Eastwood (before he went Hollywood) and sung by the great Frankie Lane. What makes this song so cool is that not many of today's listeners would remember this song. Perhaps Rob can make it a hit again!
Remember the Alamo, a cry that still resonates in the Texas prairie where the are still proud of Col Travis, Davy Crocket and Jim Bowie. With this cover Rob draws a new line in the sand and creates another listenable version of a well done cover.
Lastly The Legend Of Black Bart, and Gold Dust and Rainbows carry on in the same theme inspired fashion and hold the album together with Rob's descriptive writing. While rocking the beat in Rockabilly fashion of the great P.O.-8 AKA Black Bart, to the ghost of Gold Dust And Rainbows, the album concludes with theme intact. Perhaps it's fitting that his performance of Gold Dust And Rainbows is from a live recording in 1981. Though only 27 years ago since it was recorded, the 1981 world is as far gone as the Old West. Nice touch. Besides you just gotta love a fellow that can do a while album all by hisself! Especially since he ain't drinkin nothin' but Sasparilla. - CH