It’s very true that Blues songs and singing were regular saddle pards of Irishbased and vaquero-inspired Cowboy songs.
Very happily we have Gary Allegretto, performer/songwriter and Harmonikids founder, to help champion that truth and expand upon it! Gary’s Blues styles here range from funlovin’ to deep ‘n’ darkly primitive and back up through great driving Blues boogie that would have made a band like Canned Heat proud.
Most of the songs are co-writes with…or solo writes by…multi instrumentalist and singer Ian Espinosa. Often you’ll hear nice turns of phrase in this collection’s pick tracks: “Every Silver Lining” (“…has its cloud”), “No Place Like Home” (“…and that’s why I love the road”), “Another Mule” (“… has been kickin’ in your stall”) and the like. More picks include the title track “Blues On The Trail” (as supposedly sung by The Sundance Kid), “Cowboys Gotta Be Free,” “A Horse Called ‘The Bluesman’” and the gentle ballad “Wherever I Roam.” A nice and timely cover of Steve Earle’s “The Firebreak Line” is also a welcome addition.
Allegretto & Espinosa are joined by Paul Eckman (upright bass), Steve Mugalian (drums) and Tom Corbett (mandolin).
Twelve tracks, highly recommended.
CD: $15 + $5 s/h from Gary Allegretto, 2144 Beech Knoll Road, Los Angeles, CA or through . cdbaby.com.
Rick Huff’s “Best of the West Reviews”
01. Blues On The Trail (3:32)
02. Black Diamond (3:58)
03. Cowboys Gotta Be Free (2:38)
04. A Horse Called The Bluesman (2:57)
05. Every Silver Lining (3:24)
06. The Firebreak Line (3:10)
07. When Dutchy Plays The Mouth Harp (2:50)
08. No Place Like Home (2:57)
09. Whittling Dynamite (2:45)
10. Another Mule (3:16)
11. Jack Of Diamonds (3:01)
12. Wherever I Roam (3:30)