The jumpin' debut from Wylie & the Wild West Show, the tall bespectacled redhead from Montana and his band. About as good as modern roots rockin' country and Western swing can get, this is wild fun, with Wylie and his band supplying plenty of dance-inspiring tracks. Wylie has an encyclopedic ear for the aforementioned styles and is blessed with a golden voice that falls somewhere between his obvious hero, Marty Robbins
, and maybe a young Merle Haggard
. Lead guitarist Will Ray
's string bending is superb, as well as Marty Rifkin
's steel playing. Check out Wylie's masterful yodeling on "The Yodeling Fool" and "All Hat, No Cattle," a humorous indictment of "hat" singers. This is true-to-form stuff, with memorable songs that sound traditional, without coming off as cheap retro knockoffs. And Wylie and company mix up the grooves enough to keep things interesting, as in the swampy "Talkin' About My Baby" and the blues-tinged "Wishful Thinking."