CD Review: The SaddleTones “Hitch Yer Wagon”

Posted: April 20, 2012 in Music
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When you turn on the country music radio today, you inevitably run into music that sounds more like southern rock than it does the music that was made popular by people like George Jones, Merle Haggard or even Patsy Cline. But just when you’ve all but given up on finding that good old-fashioned country sound ever again, along comes someone like The SaddleTones.

The SaddleTones is a country band that is fronted by Miss Laurie Ann, who creates songs that feature a sound that is almost timeless. Part of the reason for that “timeless” feel is her voice, a voice that will instantly remind you of other singers like Loretta Lynn, Wanda Jackson and the aforementioned Patsy Cline. And the words that Miss Laurie Ann writes will also transport you to another time with their simplicity, something that is truly missing from today’s music.

Of course, The SaddleTones are more than just Miss Laurie Ann on vocals and guitar; the band contains three other musicians who help bring each song from Miss Laurie Ann to life. The rest of the band consists of guitarist Mike McMillan, bassist Arturo Baguer and drummer Ira “Tex” Kaye. Together, these four musicians make the perfect ensemble to create that old-time country sound. But the band also takes a touch of rock and roll to give their music some body. This “rock-boppin’ country” as it’s been named can be found on the debut release from The SaddleTones called Hitch Yer Wagon.

Hitch Yer Wagon from The SaddleTones begins with the title track. “Hitch Yer Wagon” is a tune that transports the listener back in time to another time when country music had its own unique sound. The addition of Isaac Stanford’s steel guitar helps bring back that unmistakable feel that only country music had. This track alone will make you wish this type of music was still being played on today’s contemporary country music stations.

It is on “The Last to Know” that you get a real sense of what the expression of “rock-boppin’ country” means. The SaddleTones create a song that would sound like a blues tune if only a blues singer was the one adding their voice to the music being played by the band. As it is, the country-flavored vocals from Miss Laurie Ann adds a lot of twang to the blues to make the song so much more. The country/blues combination from the band as well as the addition of Earl Poole Ball’s piano all combine to create a track that has mass appeal to it, as country fans will like it as much as the blues fans.

“Detour to Nowhere” is one of the hardest rockin’ tracks on the release. The roots-rock music created on this song is very reminiscent of early Johnny Cash as the driving nature of the song may remind you of those early days of rock and roll when country music, the blues and R&B were all coming together to create a new musical genre that would soon take the world by storm.

On the track “Long and Lonely Night,” the SaddleTones create a slow-paced song that truly brings back the feel of old Loretta Lynn songs. You can almost feel the pain in the lyrics written and sung by Miss Laurie Ann as you listen to the song. The entire band does a wonderful job capturing the feel of old country songs that seem too long gone. It’s a pleasure to hear that you can still find this type of country music if you try hard enough.

The pace changes from song to song on Hitch Yer Wagon from The SaddleTones. One minute, you’re listening to a slow, painfully emotional track like “Long and Lonely Night,” the next, you’re listening to a song like “Lackawanna County Line Blues,” which has a much faster and upbeat feel to the music, even though the lyrics of that song are still a little on the sad side; and then, the musical landscape changes once again for a song like “Usual Way” which slows the pace down to a painful crawl as you listen to Miss Laurie Ann sing about the pain of living from day to day.

Miss Laurie Ann and the rest of The SaddleTones bring to life music that seems to have been long gone. The writing and playing on the band’s 2012 album Hitch Yer Wagon takes you back to the days when country music still sounded like country music. This new release seems almost lost in time when compared to today’s country music scene; but for those looking for that classic country sound, look no further than Hitch Yer Wagon from The SaddleTones.

Click HERE for a live performance of the band’s song “The Usual Way”.

  1. […] and then, the musical landscape changes once again … … Go here to read the rest: CD Review: The SaddleTones “Hitch Yer Wagon” « Matheson's … ← Willie Nelson Honored With Statue in Austin, Texas | MUNDIAL […]

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